Falling Asleep During Yoga: Good, Bad, Or Simply Fantastic?

by Simona Terron

You’ve been waking early, crunching deadlines like a boss, and acing all kinds of tricky situations that would faze normal mortals. And then you hit that yoga mat hard, give it all you’ve got, and…pass out into a dead sleep when in the corpse pose or Shavasana. How mortifying!

It’s All Good: It’s nothing to be embarrassed about. It happens to everyone at some point or another and it’s not exactly a bad thing. Yoga is a discipline, sure, but it’s also a journey; and if you fall asleep during a restorative session that has been filled with stretching your body and working out the kinks that release stress, it’s actually a good thing.

It’s All Natural: A lot of yoga novices tend to feel embarrassed and self-conscious of the uncontrollable things their bodies do during a class. Some people cannot contain their groans and grunts when they gently push muscles that have become accustomed to sitting at desks for long hours. Others find that relaxing their physique completely means losing control over other things which result in tiny amounts of bodily fluids and gases escaping too.

It’s A Gift: While this can lead to some awkwardness, just laugh it off and relax even further. Accepting your body for what it is with all its flaws and imperfections just as you appreciate its strengths and abilities, is all part of learning to love yourself. With so many folks struggling with insomnia and having trouble falling asleep for various reasons, the ability to relax and sleep deeply is a gift. Learn to channel this when you need to get your precious beauty sleep and it’s a win-win.

If you still feel too self-conscious, though, here are three simple tips that’ll help:

  1. Ask your neighbor or another yoga session attendee to nudge you gently awake with their foot or elbow if they notice that you’ve fallen asleep.
  2. Speak to the instructor beforehand and ask them whether it’s okay if this happens. You can also enquire about what to do to minimize distracting the others in the class when this happens.
  3. Try to be aware of the sensations in your body as you relax each and every muscle group. Focus on a sound, either something in your surroundings or of your instructor’s voice.

There’s a reason that shavasana is one of the hardest poses despite seeming like the easiest. But if there’s one thing yoga teaches us, it’s that we shouldn’t fight, but flow. There are worse things than being so calm, relaxed and safe, that you start snoozing.


Join The Conversation