Sleep like a Happy Baby
Getting in your 8 hours sleep can sometimes be tough, given that we’re often out late/up early, up checking emails, eBay bids (is that just me?) or social media until pretty late on. I’m a believer that it’s the quality of sleep that is important and not necessary how many hours you get; we all know that 8 is the magic number, but on those nights when it’s just not possible, setting yourself up for a deep sleep is the best thing we can do. Here are some ideas how…
Naturally, regular excise helps us to chill out at night, exercise is a beneficial stressor to the body. The brain compensates for the physical stress by increasing the amount of time you spend in deep sleep and sometimes there’s nothing better than literally falling into bed after a great FG class and sleeping like a happy baby.
Another of my favourites is Lavender essential oil on your pillow; there’s something really comforting and calming about the smell, which you can also dab a small amount of onto your wrists and temples can help warm up the scent in those pre-sleeping hours.
Eliminate screen usage 1 hour before hitting the hay. The light from your phone sends signals your brain that it’s time to be awake and makes falling asleep ever harder, yes, even when you’re watching hilarious Youtube clips.
Try out a progressive muscle relaxation, focusing on each section of the body individually: face, shoulders and arms, chest and abs, back, hips and butt, legs and feet. Tense each of these areas (starting with the face, ending with the feet), then slowly release the tensed muscles until your entire body is completely relaxed.
Also, Yoga Nidra – the sleeping yoga, can help to relax the body and mind with great results. We’re running a few more classes in this on Sunday 11th October, 8th November and 13th December with Nina Rashid. A great exercise for sleeping, recommended by Nina herself, is the 4-7-8 breathing sequence:
Breathe in for 4 seconds
Hold breath for 7 seconds
Slowly breathe out for 8 seconds…. And sleep!
Yoga Nidra is an ancient yoga practice, a systematic form of guided relaxation. It is also called yoga sleep but it is actually a state between sleeping and waking. It restores our body, senses and mind to their natural function. Regular practitioners say it often brings immediate physical benefits, even after the first class. It helps to reduce stress, improve sleep, lower blood pressure and it has the potential to heal psychological wounds.
In a typical Yoga Nidra session, Nina will guide you through several stages, setting intention, Sankalpa, then you learn to focus your awareness on your breath, bodily sensations, emotions and thoughts. Going on a gentle journey through your body and mind, allowing you to reach the most profound level of relaxation possible. It is a very simple practice, asking you to let go and surrender.
Yoga Nidra after the 3.30pm Classic class is a fabulous way to cool down, relax and let go. The strong Yang postures in the Classic class need a calming counterbalance, and what better than an hour of yoga Nidra! It is also a nice way to prepare yourself for a calming Deep core class at 7pm, taught by Nina, deep relaxation will energise and calm the mind, focusing more and letting your body go deeper into the postures. The benefits of Yoga Nidra are cumulative, the more you do it, the more you benefit.
Nina has been practicing and teaching yoga since 1998. Nidra has always been a soothing balance to the different styles she teaches and practices and is very keen to to broaden and deepen understanding and experience of Yoga Nidra in its totality, join her on a on the second Sunday every month on the transforming, healing and awakening practice of Yoga Nidra. Don’t forget your eye masks, cushions and blankets!
“I liked learning about the connectedness of my body, the atmosphere and Nina’s instruction.”
“It had a massive impact on me.”
“I feel completely relaxed and instead of trying to block everything out I have embraced thinking about the things I need to.”
“Nina is a superb teacher – she did an excellent job of leading us through the process. I achieved a state of deep relaxation – I’d love to do it again.”
Sunday 5.30-6.30pm on: 13th September, 11th October, 8th November and 13th December
£12.50 per class or £40 for all four