Written by Katlyn Eriksen
Can meditation help you lucid dream?
What connection could yoga practice and meditation have with lucid dreaming? In this article you will learn how to lucid dream through meditation, as well as how you can improve your yoga ability while you sleep!
What is a lucid dream?
Lucid dreaming is the ability to become consciously self-aware during a dream, so that you realise that you are dreaming. Once you have reached this state of awareness it is possible to manipulate and control what happens in your dream. For many people this happens spontaneously, but it is possible to actually self-induce a lucid dream as we will see.
The link between lucid dreaming, meditation and cognition
Lucid dreaming was officially accepted by the scientific community back in 1970, and since then it has been subject to various studies and research. Some interesting findings indicate that there are links between lucid dreaming, meditation and cognition, people who meditate tend to lucid dream more often and have better dream recall.
Lucid dreaming - a type of ‘sleeping meditation’
Also, people who meditate or lucid dream, or both are more likely to have a cognitive learning style known as ‘field independence’ which defines the ability to be able to separate detail from the context. Individuals that are skilled at this are typically able to learn in a more independent and self-guided way.
The findings suggest that lucid dreams could be thought of as a type of sleeping meditation. So if you are someone that meditates regularly, studies show that you are more likely to lucid dream as well as possess the independent cognitive learning style.
How to lucid dream through meditation
It is also possible to lucid dream while awake during meditation. There are many guided meditations that have been designed to help people induce a lucid dream state while meditating.
The first step is to reach a state of deep calm and relaxation, where you are far removed from any daily thoughts or concerns. Once in this state, the next step is to create a vivid imaginary world in your mind, and to firmly root yourself in it with all of your senses engaged.
Creating a vivid imaginary world
If the setting for your imaginary world is on the beach near the ocean, you should be ale to feel the sand underneath your feet, or the wind blowing in your face, hear the waves crashing against the rocks smell the salt in the air. Once you are fully immersed in this imaginary dream world it is possible to mentally disassociate from your body and initiate a lucid dream from there.
Lucid dreaming and yoga
Research shows that it is possible to learn and improve various different motor skills while lucid dreaming. The sensorimotor cortox which is a neural mechanism responsible for creating physical movement, responds not just to real life movement, but to imagined or dreamed movement too, and this imagined or dreamed movement results in actual learning.
This means that practicing a certain motor skill while you sleep will show real life improvements in that skill when you are awake! Amazing right? So if you are in the process of learning a tricky new yoga pose such as a head stand, peacock pose or shoulder-pressing-pose, practicing these manoeuvres while asleep will result in real life improvements. While it isn’t as effective as practicing while you are awake of course, it is still better than no practice at all.