Do you find you are so worried about the anxieties of the next day that you have difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep? In the rest of this restorative yoga class for sleep we are going to enter into a kinship with sleep with a reverence that allows us to let go of the thinking mind and doing body. Join me.
Rubin Naiman says, Too often we ¨dash through sleep to get to the next morning´s awakening. Are we reflexively fixating on the shoreline of tomorrow morning’s awakening, or will we allow ourselves to descend deeply into the sea of sleep?¨ he asks. ¨To descend deeply into the sweet waters of sleep, we must stop focusing on the shoreline of tomorrow morning’s awakening.¨ Rubin Naiman
¨As useful as thinking is in our waking life, it inhibits sleep just as light inhibits nights. And just as we can walk along the water’s edge, but cannot walk in deep water, we can think our way to the brink of slumber, but not directly into deeper sleep…. The actual transition into sleep requires willingness to let go of thinking.¨ Rubin Naiman
Let go of all the senses that track and scan your waking world. Open your internal senses, the ones that can see in the dark, Awaken your nighttime consciousness. The natural world of darkness and shadows where sleep is in its natural habitat.
Each night you enter into a sacred retreat from your day. Sleep is a respite. A sabbatical from your waking life. When darkness falls, you are given liberty to take leave from your responsibilities and withdraw from the flow of life. It is here you can find the restorative healing of deep stillness, the surrender of sleep.
We can enter into our relationship with sleep with reverence and sacred ceremony. It is an inner development, a kinship with sleep so that our thoughts can slow down, our body can release its tension, our emotions can unravel, we can meet our exhaustion and open to the mystery of spirit. This is a meaningful time when we listen like a true friend to the exhaustion of our body and need for rest. Our inner companion of sleep allows us to let go of the distractions of the waking world and surrender to bone deep fatigue.
Through sleep we meet the dark cave of night in our inner bodies. In sleep we welcome the magic of the inner well. The primordial womb from which our life force is birthed. When we withdraw from the forward trajectory of the waking world we enter into an alchemical world where refuge and rest are the birthplace of vitality.
Through sleep there is an offering. In surrendering to this gift which is freely given each night we unfold into rest and rejuvenation, healing and calmness, stillness and tranquility. Quiet from the activity of the day. Drift down into the waters of deep sleep and receive the gift of renewal.
Inspired by Rubin Naiman´s Hush
for the love of sleep
by Melissa West
there is a greater world
that draws me home
slowing down into this nightly retreat
I welcome the release of excessive wakefulness
relinquishing the day and all it’s doing
I fall headlong
into the softness
of its embrace
surrendering to the sacred nourishment
that befriends me
as darkness descends
unraveling into the stillness
of the ocean’s depth
healing respite is generously offered
under the receptive blanket
of the grace of night