Sutra 1.10 abhava pratyaya alambana vrttih nidra
Deep sleep is when the mind is overcome with heaviness and no other activities are present. TKV Desikachar
Sleep is the non-deliberate absence of thought-waves or knowledge. BKS Iyengar
Coincedental perhaps that this was the next sutra as this past fortnight has been most helpful in enabling me to catch up on some much needed sleep and deep relaxation with yoga nidra and other restful pursuits eg knitting and reading. Even to the point of reading a book and nodding off for ’40 winks’ as my grandfather would say (and now I know why he was so fond of the chaise longe!). Or being in Viparita Karani (legs up the wall) and dozing for 15mins. It’s helped me re-establish a better sleep pattern that I am committed to maintaining for at least the next month, when life gets ‘back to normal’.
Holidays are great for focusing on personal projects, and breaking unhelpful habit patterns, though the real test comes when you add your ‘usual routine’ back into the mix. If I can make it through to 31 January getting 7.5+ hours a night, that is a big step. As someone who functions quite well on 6.5 hours a night, its easy to cut myself short of the extra, even though I know how much better I function with an extra 1-1.5 hours.
My two favourite enablers of more and better quality sleep are a) regular (daily or each other day) practice of restorative yoga, and b) finding an absorbing series of books, as I’m far more motivated to go to bed earlier if there is a good book waiting for me…more on both of these another time.