How not to fall asleep during meditation: 6 important tips
A few years ago, just trying to meditate, I fell asleep regularly during practice. It began with yoga: shavasana sent me to the kingdom of Morpheus. Even pranayama could not save the sleepiness. Day or night, rested or tired – during any practice I just could not doze off.
This problem worried me very much. For some time I struggled with drowsiness: I kept myself in suspense, chose postures in which it is difficult to fall asleep, the time of the day when full of energy. The result was that my practice turned into wakefulness, not meditation.
The first revelation came in the class of yoga. My teacher suggested that falling asleep in shavasana could mean banal fatigue. Therefore, instead of meditating, the coach offered to just take a nap.
The second revelation came during meditation with open eyes. While in the group class, I saw how even experienced practitioners began to fall asleep: they could swing, involuntarily flinch, snuffle.
Realizing this, you can consider drowsiness as part of the practice of meditation. This is normal.
Instead of struggling with drowsiness or judging yourself for it, it’s best to pay attention to 6 points that will help make your meditation successful.
Ask yourself if you are tired. If yes, then the best choice in this situation is to sleep.
2. Meditate in a less sleepy environment
Sometimes our body is determined to sleep at a certain time, in certain places, in certain positions. Coping with such a biorhythm is very difficult, so do not fight the body. If drowsiness causes morning meditation – try to practice in the evening. If the dream is from staying in the bedroom – go to the living room.
Get rid of the environment that screams: “Sleep!” Practice in a neutral place where your body does not decide it’s time for a nap.
Conduct an experiment with the position during meditation. Where it is more comfortable for you to sit with your back straight: on a chair, pillow, rug? With back support or without it?
3. Stop fighting with drowsiness
It is better to study your relationship with her. Be aware of your feelings and thoughts. You can perceive the situation in different ways: as a problem that needs to be solved, or simply an experience that is worth taking.
4. Ask the counsel of the mentors
In every tradition, philosophy, there is one’s own view of drowsiness in meditation. And, therefore, there are suggestions on how to deal with it. Learn about them from an experienced mentor.
5. Meditate on sleepy sensations
As soon as you begin to experience drowsiness, realize this. What sensations appear in the eyes, chest, stomach? If you still dozed off, pay attention to what you feel when you come back from a dream.
6. Make the energy move
Try to change the practice: interrupt the session, get up and move. Perhaps you should even engage in dynamic meditations or practices such as Tai Chi, yoga.
It is important to realize that drowsiness is a normal part of the practice. Now I look at it as another aspect of my meditative experience. Now, after letting go of evaluation, I can play with this state and not feel tension and irritation.