“Sleep is the best meditation” ~ Dalai Lama
Are you getting enough? Sleep, relaxation, rest…whatever name you give it, do you tune in and give your body what it needs to run efficiently every day?
We don’t run our cars without fuel or a service, so what tools can we use to ensure we learn to value and reap the rewards of quality sleep and relaxation?
Take a power nap!
Sometimes 20 minutes is exactly what you need to restore the batteries. Not convinced? Marvel at a sleeping baby or puppy in the weeks of growth: bursts of animation and energy are followed by blissful sleep before the cycle begins again. Give yourself permission to rest. I am privileged to witness the restorative benefits of rest at the end of every pregnancy yoga class and in regular yoga classes too.
Some yoga styles have been designed to restore our energy levels in a more restful, meditative practice. Let go of the emotional baggage, anxiety or stress to give yourself more of a chance of quality sleep by practicing styles such as Yin yoga, Yoga Nidra and Restorative yoga.
“Sleep is the best meditation” according to the Dalai Lama. Don’t underestimate the restorative power of sleep for the mind. Turn off the stimulation, let your mind relax. It’s a challenge in a world which revolves around smart technology. We are always connected, for better or worse, at the touch of a button. A good old fashioned book before bedtime can be a great way to unwind.
Encourage regular sleep patterns
Do you have a bedtime routine? I was amazed to notice that the latest software on my phone now includes a “Bedtime” setting, reminding you to go to bed at the same time! Children respond better to a bedtime routine so why not embrace it as adults too? Because pottering around the house late at night is not helping you switch off or slow down.
Make a gratitude list
List people or things you are grateful for before going to sleep. Happier energy will flood into your body, leaving you in a good space for your body to relax rather than dwelling on the negatives. It does not have to be an exhaustive list, so don’t keep yourself awake worrying that you have not included everyone!
Connect to the breath
Thoughts keeping you awake? Try tuning into the sound of the breath so the focus is away from the chatter of the mind. Feel the sensation of breath as it enters and leaves the body. Slow yourself down with the breath.
Observe how much more productive, happier and inspired you will feel by getting quality sleep and rest. In the words of Tsongkhapa “Cherish your body, it is yours this one time only” so why not give it the best medicine you can?