Following on from Reva’s ‘Wake Up Yoga’ blog here are some practical ideas for you to incorporate into your bedtime routine to support you in having a deep and rejuvenating sleep.
1. Evening meal – eat a simple meal, before 7pm if possible, to give your body time to digest.
2. Movement- it can be beneficial to move the body at the end of the day to help relieve any tension. Some gentle movement following breath and what the body wants is a good start. There are also some wonderful restorative poses that can help the muscles and nervous system relax more deeply.
3. Self-massage (Abyangha) - warm some sesame or olive oil ( put in bowl over another bowl of hot water) and massage your skin using long, firm , slow strokes on muscles and circular motion on joints. If you have time lie down and let the oil soak in (perhaps whilst doing your yoga nidra). Then have a warm shower.
4. Yoga Nidra- a deep relaxation, known as ‘yogic sleep’, can support the whole system in recalibrating at the end of your day. Download one from our website blog.
5. Herbal tea- enjoy a herbal tea such as chamomile or lavender to help relax and prepare your for a good night’s sleep.
6. Breath- settle into the present moment with breath awareness.
7. Meditation- allow the body to become still and bring awareness to the breath. Witness the natural mind, observing and returning to the breath. We can label a thought or emotion as simply that, without following a story. Rest in the space of the heart. Through practice we can become less identified with the body and egoic self and more identified with Consciousness or Self. Returning to a still, spacious place inside helps us to feel anchored to the Self after our busy day.
8. Reflection- complete your day with a review of your day beginning with the last thing you did or interaction you had- was there a way that you could have done this differently that would have embodied the virtues that you wish to cultivate such as kindness or understanding? As you review don’t be self-critical, stay in a loving place with yourself as a student of life. Complete this practice tuning into a feeling of gratitude and finding at least three things you are grateful for from the day.
9. Unplug- turn off your mobile phone, laptop and Wi-Fi before sleeping, ensuring no interruptions and minimizing electronic magnetic frequency allowing the body to rest and heal deeply.
10. Darkness- sleep in a dark room, using black out blinds if necessary. This allows the body and mind to fully rest.