We all know how important sleep is to our overall wellbeing. When we forget, we might struggle with a lack of inspiration, frustration with our students, or straight-up yoga teacher burnout! Our students are no different! So, we wanted to share some strategies on how you can help your yoga students prioritize sleep.
A great way to speak to your students about sleep is when you’re guiding them into savasana, the ultimate rest pose. In Eastern health systems, stillness is viewed as medicine unlike in the west where busy-ness is all too often glorified. Inviting students to value savasana
and rest as extremely beneficial is key to relieving stress, anxiety, and many sleeping issues. When students view good sleep as important, they’ll make it a priority!
Nevertheless, one of the major issues regarding sleep isn’t the fact that it’s not valued, it’s insomnia or difficulty in falling/staying asleep. Yoga Nidra (a form of guided meditation that moves you through different points in the body) is a great yogic tool that can help your students fall asleep at night. Whenever I travel, I plug my earphones into my phone as I go to sleep and listen to a yoga nidra either via YouTube, Spotify, or a meditation app like Insight Timer. No matter how uncomfortable my hotel bed is, falling asleep to a yoga nidra allows me to tune out my crazy day, consciously focus on my breath, relax my body, and be guaranteed a good sleep.
So, how are you incorporating this important piece of wellness in your classes?
You can help your students prioritize sleep by reminding them that their bodies can’t function optimally without proper sleep. You can also remind them that a tired mind is a distracted mind. If they want to get the most out of their practice and be present, they need to be well-rested. Plus, good sleep hygiene is essential for a healthy immune system.
All of this will do them no good, however, if you don’t include some tools for them to use. You might share a bedtime sequence they can do at home, or help them find deep relaxation in savasana.