I love to sleep. From unintentional beach naps resulting in a terry cloth imprint and mascara on my cheek to intentional sleep-ins on the first day of vacation. A little extra sleep can make a huge difference in my day. I remember the glorious mornings when all of my daughters finally began to sleep through the night and, after years, I got eight solid hours. These days, I’ve curbed my night owl tendencies thanks to Jamey’s early bird nature. I have lots of energy and am often on the go, but I’ve found that taking genuine care of my sleep schedule feels like a gift to myself and those around me. I can be a more attentive and caring mother, partner, and teacher.
I sincerely appreciate the sleep lessons I’ve learned from yoga and Pilates. The first few times I tried Savasana, I’d think about what was next in my day or struggle to adjust into comfort. Now, I literally flop into Savasana, psyched for the stillness, and I just let go. I’ve practiced so much I can take it to bed, and it helps me wind down from any day. Yoga Nidra, that conscious place between waking and sleeping, has helped me balance more fluidly between being a businesswoman, mother, friend, etc. These practices have taught me to allow myself to sleep deeply, without baggage or stress.
Joseph Pilates said, “It’s far better to be tired from physical exertion than to be fatigued by the ‘poisons’ generated by nervousness whilst lying awake.” Pilates brought me to this world of the mind-body connection and how it affects us down to our core being. If you know me at all, you know I love a good workout where I twist, engage, and wring out my entire body, whether it be through yoga or Pilates. Moving my body and deeply engaging my breath contribute profoundly to my good night’s sleep.
At Balance, our methods bring you excellent body mechanics, strength, endurance, and physical fitness. And while we speak about the mind-body connection quite a bit, we don’t generally talk of sleep. However, March is National Sleep Month, with Sleep Awareness Week being the 14-20th, and National Sleep Day, Friday, March 19th! Yay, more sleep! We have also decided to join the National Day of Unplugging, 24 hours from sundown March 4th to sundown March 5th. Will you join us?
This month we’re offering two sleep centric workshops! Thursday evenings, March 11th – March 25th, from 7:00-8:15 pm join Amy DiLillo for a three-week Yin and Yoga Nidra Workshop: The Sleep Series. Guaranteed to be dreamy. Back by popular demand (with the added bonus of techniques for betters Z’s), 3 Hours of Bliss-Yin Yoga with Kim Dwyer returns Saturday, March 27th from 12-3 pm. Additionally, we encourage you to join our MARCH MADNESS Movement Challenge; take 17 classes in 31 days to be entered to win! Any classes count towards your total – we encourage you to explore all that we have to offer and mix things up – Vinyasa, Hatha, Sculpt, Pilates, Yin, or Meditation (balance out the movement with some stillness). We know the power of participation helps with well-being, and well-being helps with sleep. It’s a beautiful cycle intended to help us escape sleeplessness and stress. We invite you to practice with us!
As I write this, the sun is streaming through the window, and I know that I will sleep better tonight. Small changes can greatly benefit the body, mind, and spirit.
Mahatma Gandhi said, “Each night, when I go to sleep, I die. And the next morning, when I wake up, I am reborn.” It is vital to practice healthy sleeping habits for our physical and mental wellness. From the magic of a spontaneous cat nap to the reliable rejuvenation of a good night’s sleep, we wish you sweet dreams and sound rest.