Important notice: Some of our classes are incorrectly showing ‘Class Full’ for some users due to a technical issue. Our engineers are working on it and we hope to have this resolved shortly.
Until then if you want to double check class availability, you can still log in and book via the triyoga Client Portal here.
If you need help please contact your specific triyoga centre here, and our teams will be happy to help you.

Important notice: Our booking system supplier is currently experiencing technical issues, which is causing account and checkout actions to fail in some cases. Their engineers are urgently working on it. Until then, you should be able to log in and book via 1) the triyoga app or 2) the triyoga Client Portal here. Or if you need help please contact your specific triyoga centre here, and our teams will be happy to help you.

Important notice: Some users are experiencing login issues due to a technical issue upstream with our booking system provider. Their engineers are working on it. Until then you can still log in and book via 1) the triyoga app or 2) the triyoga Client Portal here.

Important notice: Our booking schedules are temporarily down due to a technical issue. Our engineers are working on it and we hope to have this resolved very shortly.
Until then, if you need help please email our customer care team at [email protected] or contact your specific triyoga centre here, and our teams will be happy to help you.

want to be a smarter sleeper? yoga nidra can show you how

James Reeves’ yoga nidra teacher training at triyoga starts on the 25th September. Read on to find how yoga nidra can help you have sweet dreams.

Today, life is crazy-fast, and it’s becoming increasingly hard to switch off from not only work but also play. As we plug into social networks or engage in computer games and high-impact workouts, our leisure activities have become as stressful as our work pressures. We’re over stimulated, struggle to switch off, and are unable to truly rest. There are a lot of sleep-deprived souls out there right now!

Yoga nidra introduces us to a new idea, that we can meditate on the experience of going towards sleep, coming out of sleep and ultimately, allows us to surf the deep sleep states too. The practice brings us very close to sleep, enabling us to learn how to navigate it and recognise when we are falling towards sleep. With practise we can begin to ride these stages and ultimately, whilst our body falls in to deep rest, we can remain conscious. However, just like cannoning up to the edge of a waterfall, we might expect to go over the edge a few times until we really know where the edge is! In the same way, due to the nature of relaxation that comes about from meditating on our body and breath sensations we can expect to fall in to sleep a few times before we master staying alert through the entire practice.

If we do happen to fall asleep or drift in and out of sleep in the practice we might begin to notice what it’s like when consciousness resurfaces. The first stage back out of sleep is called Hypnopompic, and it’s a place where we can watch how the structures of our sense of self, me or ‘I’ begin to arise and then how thoughts, beliefs, and memories begin to reform on the surface of our Awareness. That is to say that we experience, even if fleetingly, the very deepest state that precedes the mind and thoughts. Beyond the mind and the identity of ego is pure, open, spacious Awareness. We no longer have to take it from somebody else, from the high teachers, but in our own experience, however fleetingly, we are this openness of consciousness. We have experienced something and now we know who we are at our deepest level.

With more practice, and more insight, we begin to be aware of the pre-sleep hypnogogic state. Here, as we start to drift towards sleep, we ride a threshold between the conscious mind and cognition and the unconscious mind and memory. Throughout history artists and scientists alike have reported of the insight that comes from resting in this between-sleep place. Edgar Allan Poe, for example, wrote of the “fancies” he experienced “only when I am on the brink of sleep, with the consciousness that I am so.” and the chemist Kekule discovered the ring structure of benzine whilst dozing, literally seeing atoms dancing before his eyes, falling in to snakes until one of the snakes took hold of its own tail. In many ways, this state is akin to meditation; the brain shifts from producing beta waves (the waking mind, cognition) to alpha waves (slow thinking and space between thoughts). The difference is that we’ve dropped effortlessly towards this state and in fact we can’t avoid it; it happens every time we go to sleep. It’s just that now we are paying attention and learning to not ‘fuse’ with the sleep state.

Many people report a deeper, more rested sleep when practising yoga nidra as a way to enter sleep. Part of this is down to the fact that you are consciously ‘switching down’ with the body and mind. This is an excellent way of integrating the practice in to your day and to promote healthy rest at night. However, it is a popular misconception that we can take in new information and learn whilst asleep, so if you’re snoozing through much or all of the practice, whilst getting some good sleep you’re not practising yoga nidra. It is only by staying awake and aware that we can really practice.

If you were to go too long without sleep you would begin to lose your sanity. We need sleep like we need air and water; it is essential to our existence. The teachings of Buddhism often refer to sleep as an ‘enemy’ in meditation. As a good friend of mine shared last week, ‘sometimes I wrestle with my demons, sometimes we just snuggle’. You must decide for yourself, are you going to snuggle up? Or stay awake and aware? Both have their merits. Most of all, I hope you have a wonderful time exploring this practice and resting deeply. It’s worth doing nothing and having a rest!

James has over a decade’s yoga teaching experience and is one of the UK’s leading authorities on yoga nidra. His classes combine inspiration drawn from his teachers (including Richard Miller, Mukunda Stiles, Kali Ray, Donna Farhi and Rod Stryker) together with insights gained on his own yogic journey. James sees yoga as our opportunity to engage with a deep sense of interconnected wholeness, both within ourselves and the world around us, and his classes seek to help us live the essence of our true nature: welcoming, open, spacious and free from judgment and conditioning. James has worked with organisations such as Oxford University, Oxfam and Khiron House Trauma Clinic and even at the 2014 Oscars where he supported one of his regular clients, the British actress Emma Watson. He has been featured in publications including the Sunday Times, Cosmopolitan, Evening Standard, Spectrum (British Wheel of Yoga magazine) and Italy’s Vivre lo Yoga magazine. Visit https://www.restfulbeing.com/.

Join James in Soho
iRest yoga nidra teacher training:
discover the meditative heart of yoga
25 – 30 september

book now

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