Teaching Yoga Students about the Importance of Sleep

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Teaching Yoga Students about the Importance of Sleep

continuing education courses for yoga teachersBy Dr. Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500

What is the value of Yoga Nidra (sleep of the Yogis)? Deep relaxation techniques, taught in Yoga classes, can become life savers outside the class. Although we should not take sleep period short cuts, Yoga Nidra is effective for bringing the mind and body to a state of rest, while the mind maintains awareness.

How many people wish they could work longer and get something accomplished instead of sleeping? How many times is the relaxation or meditation segment of a Yoga class taken for granted by students? Many will remark at how they feel a state of bliss or how mentally rested they feel after class.

Yet, how many students take their relaxation practice home? Very few Yoga students understand the benefits of relaxation and meditation. One way to drive the point home is to design a pamphlet, or a flyer, which discusses the consequences of sleep deprivation and the benefits of relaxation.

Now is a time when many people work all day and night. They work at home, after they have left their jobs, and some have second or third jobs. Many people readily admit that when they wake up, they answer Email or do research on the Internet in the middle of their sleep cycle. After an hour or so, they go back to bed.

For some of us, broken sleep cycles do not bother us. However, some people really need a solid sleep cycle to function properly on the following day. Broken sleep sessions seem to work fine for my cats, but many humans tend to function better on eight solid hours of sleep.

The results of sleep deprivation are tricky. Each of us may respond with a slight difference. Some of the many symptoms, due to lack of sleep include: inability to concentrate, nervous behavior, irritability, sleeping during meetings, lack of motivation, reduced decision-making skills, and an appearance of tiredness.

Worse still – sleep deprivation can cause automobile accidents, depression, and heart disease. The need to relax and sleep is a matter of survival. With that said, Yogic relaxation techniques are more than temporary rest, to be experienced once per week, in a Yoga class.

Yoga Nidra, stage-by-stage relaxation, body scanning, and relaxation through visualization, are basic tools for mental and emotional survival. In the worst of times, people are tested by stress and lack of sleep. Yogic relaxation techniques and meditation are valuable methods for enhancing the quality of life.

© Copyright 2009 – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division

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