Looking for a better night’s sleep?
There are many different reasons behind sleep problems: from diet to medical issues, chronic pain and more. But even if we are not dealing with an underlying condition, we may notice changes in our sleep patterns when life serves up a full plate, during times of change and transition or when our stress level increases. From responsibilities at work and at home, to reading the news and keeping up with the world, this constant intake of sensory information overstimulates our nervous system and we struggle to find the calm and peace needed for a good night’s rest.
The good news is that our Yoga practice—especially a focus on more relaxing practices—can be a very effective way to support healthy sleep patterns. And over the next 14 days of the Sleep Retreat I invite you to take some time for yourself each day and learn different practices that can help support deep and restful sleep. Sweet dreams!
TEACHER: Ellen Cremer
STYLE: Gentle, Calming
LEVEL: Mostly Relaxing 1
DURATION: 14 Days
TOTAL PRACTICES: 14
Your Weekly Practices
SETUP YOUR PRACTICE SPACE: Is there one dedicated space where you can leave your props so they are readily available? Or do you like the flexibility to practice on your deck on sunny days? Some privacy is helpful; plus consider turning off your phone, asking for some quiet time from family and keeping excited pets in another room.
PROPS: Here's a general list of props you should have on hand; you may not need all of these depending on the Challenge you're doing. Plus, I announce at the beginning of each practice what you'll need that day. Yoga props are easily found online or at a local sporting goods store.
• Yoga mat
• Two foam Yoga blocks, 4 inch width
• Blankets or pillows (optional: household blankets)
• Yoga bolster (required for most Restorative practices)
• Yoga strap (optional: belt or scarf)
• Therapy balls (only needed for self-massage practices; tennis balls work too)
SHOULD I EAT BEFORE PRACTICE? Try to avoid eating 1-2 hours before any activity; but as with all things, adjust to suit your needs and lifestyle. Avoid caffeine before any relaxation practices.
PRACTICE EVERY DAY? WHEN? It's ok to skip days, take breaks and adjust the schedule to fit your needs! Also each day has a suggested practice time (generally active in the morning, relaxing in the evening); but as always listen to your body and don't be afraid to experiment and modify.
RESPECT YOUR LIMITATIONS: It’s important to remember that not every single Yoga pose offered here is right for everyone, especially with old injuries or other limitations. Please be patient with yourself as you begin this journey and feel free to take breaks or modify as needed.
PRACTICE DETAILS and PROGRESS: Next to each practice you'll find some notes on length, time to practice and what to expect (see sample to the right). When you complete each practice, click the Mark Complete button to save your progress. As you move through the Challenge, you'll see the Progress pie chart change to reflect your progress. You can always click the COMPLETED button again if you want to do that practice over again.
Before you start your retreat I’d like to invite you to take a few moments to reflect on your own sleep patterns. I realize this can be a sensitive subject for some and sleep deprivation can be very challenging; but please know these reflective thoughts are an opportunity to bring awareness into an important area of your life-—and awareness is always the first step towards change.
Perhaps you even feel drawn to write in a journal to help shine a light on some questions: How do you feel throughout the day when you didn’t sleep well? Is sleep this thing that just gets in the way of your activities and may seem like a ‘waste of your time’? Or do you notice some feelings of frustration or tension when thinking about sleep and the challenges you might have experienced around sleep? Do you give yourself time to wind down from your day before going to bed?
Any subtle observations and responses are important and can help you to learn more about your current relationship with sleep and the changes you may begin to focus on!
Enjoy yourself and good luck!
Evening • 40 min
Active & Instruction 1
Evening • 54 min
Instruction & Gentle Practice
Evening • 31 min
Active 1 & Meditation
Evening • 26 min
Evening • 36 min
Evening • 30 min
Active & Relaxing 1
Before you start the second week of your sleep retreat, it might be helpful to take a few minutes to reflect. How are you feeling? Have you noticed any change in your sleep patterns? If you have taken notes you may even read through your notes to see if you can observe any patterns.
This can also be a good time to make small changes in your routines or intentions for this next week. Have you tried practicing Yoga first thing when you come home from work, or right before bed? Perhaps it’s worth trying something different? Or maybe there are life style choices that you want to adjust slightly to support your sleep. Remember, this is all about exploring and trying things out to see what really resonates with you and supports your sleep! I selected some great classes for you this week, and I sincerely hope they help.
Enjoy, and I’ll check in with you in a week!
Evening • 27 min
Evening • 32 min
Evening • 38 min
Active & Relaxing 1
Evening • 34 min
Relaxing Movement 1
Evening • 15 min
Evening • 49 min
Active & Relaxing 1