Dream yoga was actually the main/first form of lucid dreaming and it was like this for over 900 years. Here’s what it is and how it works:
Dream Yoga comes from the teachings of Tibetan Buddhism and it involves tantric processes and techniques. The best way to learn it, or about it, is directly from a qualified teacher because it’s much better to learn this enlightened experience with them than from any textual information.
However, if you’re simply starting out in learning the basics and you are a beginner, then this is a great place to get started! Most often, dream yoga is what the Western world refers to as an out-of-body experience practice with the goal to grow spiritually and train your mind.
The basic form of lucid dreaming is just the beginning of dream yoga, which then further develops by using the advanced tantric energy work, along with visualization of various Tibetan iconography and the integration of psycho-spiritual archetypes.
Simply put, dream yoga goes above and beyond what we know today as ‘lucid dreaming’.
It uses very advanced methods for lucid dreaming where sleep is just a tool that is used on the path to spiritual awakening. It is the union of the consciousness within your dream state.
According to The Dalai Lama, dream yoga can be practiced by anyone, no matter if you are a follower of Buddhism or not. His wish is for everyone to practice and achieve enlightenment, thus he encourages everyone to practice this form of spiritual awakening.
How to practice dream yoga
By the way, dream yoga means more or less the same thing as lucid dreaming, it’s just a slightly different way of saying it. Dream yoga is also a much older way of saying it because this is where/how it originated.
1: Set a very strong intention to lucid dream
The first step is to find motivation for lucid dreaming (try reading about the reasons to lucid dream).
A strong motivation is one of the three key aspects and this one is important because it creates momentum that then carries over into the dream world. You need to make sure your subconscious mind KNOWS you REALLY want to lucid dream.
In case you’re wondering how to find motivation, think of a time where you needed to get up early and woke up before your alarm went off. Maybe you were going on holiday the next morning, or on Christmas day when you were a kid, for example.
You need to have that excitement about lucid dreaming so that your mind knows to put you into a lucid state.
Before going to sleep, you set the intention to wake up at that time, and thus, you found intention to do so even while unconscious. In the same manner, you can set a subconscious ‘alarm’ to wake you up within your dream, JUST by having a strong intention of lucid dreaming.
2: Practice writing your dreams down in a journal
The next step is to have a good dream recall ability. Dream journaling and a firm resolve to remember your dreams are two ways you can make this easier. Whenever you wake up, you need to question yourself whether you had been dreaming and you need to try and recapture any possible part of the dream.
Then, you need to write down anything you happen to remember from your dream, so it’s very helpful to keep your dream journal beside your bed. Finally, find any technique for inducing lucid dream from the Western or the Eastern world that work best for you that will help you lucid dream more often.
3: Start supplementing vitamin B6
This vitamin helps you massively with memory and dream recall. You’re going to need to boost your dream recall if you’re going to be successful at dream yoga, so start by just taking one vitamin B6 supplement every morning with your breakfast.
Another easy way of getting more of this is just to eat more bananas and leafy greens. You could make a lovely smoothie!
You’re ready to practice dream Yoga!
Now, you are ready to practice dream yoga, but remember:
- You need to visualize and meditate on “ah”, the Tibetan syllable in the center of your body.
- You need to be completely aware of it while falling asleep.
- Associate the visual letter with the sound it makes.
- Begin falling asleep with full awareness
- This is what enables you to maintain awareness of the full presence of your state of natural light both while you are dreaming and while you are in deep sleep
You can also go through your day with an understanding that all of the experiences you have are just a substance of your dreams. Apply this philosophy to any specific people, states or objects that you feel attachment or desire.
If you recognize them as a dream you are going to weaken your attachment to them. Keep into the mindset that everything is a dream. All of the things that you are attached to, all of the things that hold your mind, think of them as dream things.
When you’re drinking your coffee in the morning, think of it as dream coffee. You drive your dream car on the way to your dream work, to have a meeting with your dream boss, about a dream problem you are having.
If you keep seeing everything as a dream, everything that happens to you like you are in a dream, and the results are going to be like in a dream. This way, nothing around you is going to have a strong effect on you and you will be able to detach from everything.
Then, while you’re lying in bed before falling asleep, you can once again review your day as if you are reviewing a dream. Carefully observe how everything that happened and everything you encountered and experienced is like a dream. And then, you can create the intention to stay aware while you are dreaming.
Once you wake up, as stated earlier, review the night and try to remember any instances when you were dreaming. If you remember experiencing a lucid dream, try to have a sense of joy and accomplishment. And if you didn’t have a lucid dream, make sure to generate a stronger intention to be more consistent about being aware and practicing the next night.
Two other things you can do is to practice specialized breathing exercises before you go to sleep. These exercises are designed to calm you down before you fall asleep. They also help you purify your consciousness. And you can also try merging your mind with the mind of the spiritual teacher that you have previously chosen.