Want inspiration? Go to bed!

13 Comments 26 February 2012

Suzanne Selby GrenagerThis is a guest post by Suzanne Selby Grenager. Suzanne is the author of Bare Naked at the Reality Dance, a real-time look at the guts it takes to strip down, step up and make the difference we’re all born and dying to make. A former Philadelphia Inquirer columnist, published in Yoga Journal, Suzanne was an early Kripalu Yoga teacher and leader and is certified in the body-mind-spirit Rubenfeld Synergy Method. She invites you to enjoy audio clips and PDF downloads of her new book at www.suzannegrenager.com

Want inspiration Go to bed

Image courtesy of Dora Pete

Are those old standby new year’s resolutions to eat less and exercise more gone? No need to fret, sweat or lose sleep over a lost resolution or two.

The single most important resolution, the Queen of resolutions, is well within your grasp, any night of the week.

It’s a far easier habit to form than skipping cookies or skipping rope. And it’s helped motivate me to do those harder things like dieting, working out and working hard.

It’s even got the imprimatur of double blind scientific studies to back it up.

It’s called sleep, of course, and I’m here to tout it, and a related practice, as the next best things to sliced bread, and less fattening, too.

You’ve likely read the boring research suggesting people who get enough sleep are more efficient at work, safer drivers, have sexier skin—better sex—and the list goes on. But it doesn’t include the single most important benefit, which effects absolutely everything. And I’m going to speak altogether personally here. When I get enough sleep, I get inspired.

And when I get inspired, whatever I do all day long is sparked by a deep inner connection to Source that keeps me motivated and happy to be alive. When I skimp even a little on my eight to nine hours a night, I become a whole different woman whom I don’t love to be.

An example just this week:

I am in the hugely challenging throes of promoting my wild and woolly new book Bare Naked at the Reality Dance. The good news is I am very happy with the book itself. I love the design and I am now confident about the content, which I used to fear was so honest it would put readers off.

Now enough people have finished it for me to know they find my honesty empowering. The problem is, only seven weeks in, I find myself way too attached to how well the book sells.

I can’t stand to look at my Amazon ranking or view the weekly sales results my consultant sends. Yesterday, when I did look and saw the dismal numbers for the week before, I went into quite the funk. I hadn’t slept well the night before and I hadn’t done the deep breathing exercise that is my icing on the cake of a good night’s sleep.

This morning after a better sleep, I did the critical breathing, and the bad news that bothered me yesterday, which got compounded by more not so great news today, is barely interfering with the inspiration I feel as I write this post.

What’s the breathing? It’s called the Ujjayi yoga breath. After I wake up, I roll over onto my back and support my knees with pillows. Using the throat as a suction pump to draw air in, I take deep controlled breaths through my nose, making a soft sound in the back of my throat.

I fill and empty the chest fully and, when I am done, I have often moved from the mild sense of dread I can wake up with to a feeling bordering on exhilaration. The sleep, together with the Ujjayi, make my day, by making a new woman of me. If you want to join me and aren’t sure how, take a yoga class, or connect with me through my website.

Here is a video demonstrating Ujjayi yoga breath:

Your Comments

13 Comments so far

  1. marian says:

    Ahh, Suze! What a wonder filled reminder – sleep; expecially after we’ve all lost an hour of sleep with the spring time change! And, breath! breathe in, breathe out! Ruha! the spirit of aliveness. Thank you. Marian

  2. Bless you, Marian, for your acknowledgment of these simple truths.

  3. Amy Law says:

    There’s no better stress reliever than getting enough sleep. That breathing technique can be help me as well. Thanks for sharing^^
    Amy Law´s last blog post ..MSDSonline Management Partners with ICG Group, to Acquire MSDSonline from Existing Investors

    • Sorry, Amy, that I only became aware of your comment all these weeks after you wrote it. Just want you to know how glad I am that you, too, recognize the gift that sleep is to us stressed out mortals. Also, I hope the deep yoga breathing I wrote about has indeed been an added benefit and that it’s all working to help you be blissfully stress-free and inspired!

  4. Just read the poem “Invictus” before going to bed.
    Better way, you can download the poem in voice of Morgan freeman.
    Let me know if you need the link.
    Live with Passion,
    Prashhant Misra´s last blog post ..The poem that changed my life

    • Loving your indomitable spirit, Prashant, and I followed the link to read the poem that changed your life. The last two lines are familiar to me: “I am the master of my fate. I am the captian of my soul.” Yes! Great idea to read words that so passionatley empower you right before bed. Thanks for showing up and sharing what matters and makes a difference for you.
      Suzanne Grenager´s last blog post ..Love in the face of pain

  5. Some of our best ideas and visions come to us while we’re sleeping. This is because our energy is flowing internally and connecting to our higher consciousness (self). Our higher self knows all.


  6. Sir thats a great advise atleast for me it is as I think better now after having read your article

  7. Asante says:

    Thanks so much for the reminder! Sleep…it’s almost too simple, but it’s so powerful. I am often tempted to skimp on a full night of rest, but it’s obvious that my rest (or lack of) affects the quality of everything I do. Thank you!
    Asante´s last blog post ..Our Homestead in the City: Crawlspace Cleaning, Tools I’ve Used, The First Flower Blooms

  8. hcgcanadian says:

    Hello! Do you use Twitter? I’d like to follow you if that would be ok. I’m absolutely enjoying your blog and look forward to new posts.
    hcgcanadian´s last blog post ..hcgcanadian.com/

  9. Theresa says:

    Oh yes, I remember when my children were little and I embraced naptime! Quiet time, for children or adults is a stress buster for sure. Unfortunately, most people frown upon adults taking naps, (like bosses) but it is certainly refreshing. Maybe I’ll go take one now! LOL

    • Hope you got in that nap, dear Theresa, and thanks for affirming the power of rest as a critical part of the self-care too many of us ignore. If you want more encouragement to honor your body, mind and spirit, I’d be thrilled if you’d check out my blog and, should my posts inspire you, subscribe. Thanks! Suzanne
      Suzanne Grenager´s last blog post ..Falling into fall. Ouch!

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