by Yoli Maya Yeh, Yoga Therapist
Is sleep just another thing on your to-do list to get done? Is it in the first slot or way down the list? When you do sleep do you feel rested? Do you have an easy time getting to sleep? If these questions have made you reflect on your own quality of sleep and finding a deficit—listen up! Sleep is one of the most important activities we humans engage in daily. During sleep the brain and the entire nervous system process experiences, sensory input, conversations, knowledge gained, traumas endured—pretty much everything that happens in our waking existence. Sleep is a state of our being that is designed to file the input neatly away and ready to access when we need it. Our brain is an amazing memory hard-drive. Without enough sleep-rest or with a compromised quality of sleep we send our mind-body systems into overload. We must have time to process in the experience of deep sleep in order to thrive and survive. Yoga offers a unique sleep-rest equivalent called Yoga Nidra. Translated as Yogic Sleep or Deep Relaxation Meditation, this essential practice is done at the end of a yoga session for at least 10 minutes or perhaps periodically throughout a yoga therapy-style practice. This relaxation exercise allows the body to process all the experiences during a yoga session and to self-heal. One amazing fact of Yoga Nidra is that if practiced for 30 minutes without falling asleep, it’s the equivalent of 6 hours of sleep rest! So, if it’s ten minutes at the end of yoga, you do the math. Our modern-day existence is so sensory rich that without good-quality sleep or an equivalent, we are not managing our stresses. Instead we are suffering, aging quicker then normal, creating disease and disturbing the mind and emotions. If you would like to learn more about how Yoga Nidra can help you thrive in life, please join us at the Yoga Therapy for Insomnia workshop June 23 from 1:30-3:30pm. Yoga Nidra is an essential skill in the management of anxiety in all the ways it manifests, from panic attacks to sleeplessness. In a workshop on June 16 from 1:30-3:30pm, various tools relevant to Relieving Anxiety will be taught. Ultimately, yoga’s goal is to unite you with your unique body and mind connectivity as well as release the stresses we store in the body. In this way we increase the brain’s capability to do its unique job of perceiving experiences and then storing them away for future reference. It is within your reach to be able to keep the good stuff, let go of the bad and teach yourself just what it takes to thrive!