Sleep is a Spiritual Practice

 

In episode #006 of The Prana + Patchouli Podcast, I’m talking about how sleep is a spiritual practice that impacts your power and presence in the world. I also share a magical sleep meditation and breathing technique that will help you settle into a state of deep rest and relaxation, clearing space for your mind to reach inner peace - so you can fall asleep with ease. 


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I don’t know about you, but I need A LOT of sleep. If I get less than 8 hours, I can’t function! Without it, I’m exhausted, emotionally cranky and unable to be at my best. Maybe you feel the same? 

From a spiritual perspective, lack of sleep is a big block to our creativity, emotional freedom and intuition.

We’ve been taught that busyness and lack of sleep is a badge of honour, but sleep is a time when our bodies recharge and heal.

Without it, we often feel sick, blocked, in a sort of brain fog and it weakens our energy and presence in the world. 

Everything is energy and our bodies emit energetic vibrations. The electromagnetic field of the heart is so powerful, it can be felt several feet away from us!

When we’re not fully recharged, sort of like a battery, the energy we give out is weak which blocks our ability to receive what we desire and be of service. 

When we’re energised, we allow inspiration and ideas to flow to us, we’re happier, calmer and think more clearly. We can respond from the space of our higher selves, rather than reacting to things around us. 

And, perhaps you know this, or you get this, but you’re kept awake by stress, anxiety or worry about things in or outside of your power. 

That’s when sleep becomes about surrender - when you trust that whatever it is you’re worrying about, the Universe will work it out for you while you sleep.

Sleeping is an opportunity to clear the slate and wake up to the fresh energy of a brand new day.

But when you feel this way, how do you relax enough to fall asleep with ease? 

There are so many sleep rituals out there - epsom salt baths, lavender oil, meditation, journaling, yada yada… they’re some of mine… but what’s right for you is whatever works for you and we’re all unique. Start with what feels good and relaxes your spirit - then go from there.

One thing that can help is a short Sleep Meditation using a breathing technique called the 4-7-8 breath, which is often known as the “Relaxing Breath”.

It’s the perfect antidote to stress and anxiety, as you allow yourself to find stillness in the pause between each breath and the longer exhale is really soothing for your nervous system.

You can do it anytime, anywhere and it will help you to relax immediately but it’s often done before bed because it calms the mind - so you can fall asleep easily. 

You can practise this seated, or lying down. If you’re doing this before bed, you can even do it in your bed, so you can drift off, straight, after, into the drool-on-the-pillow kind of sleep you dream of having. 

Close your eyes and take a deep breath in and exhale completely, feeling yourself land softly in the moment. Imagine the sunlight of the day setting over your body, the warmth of the sunset melting any tension away. Relaxing deeply as your breath flows in and out.

Set your intention for the meditation by repeating this mantra silently to yourself:

My mind, body and soul are worthy of rest. I sleep peacefully and embrace my dreams. 

Now let’s breathe together. 

We’ll inhale for a count of 4, hold the breath for 7 and exhale for a count of 8. If it becomes too much, just let it go or shorten the count of the breath.

Take a big breath in to reset and release all the breath out. 

Inhale 2-3-4, hold 2-3-4-5-6-7, exhale 2-3-4-5-6-7-8. 

Inhale 2-3-4, hold 2-3-4-5-6-7, exhale 2-3-4-5-6-7-8. 

Inhale 2-3-4, hold 2-3-4-5-6-7, exhale 2-3-4-5-6-7-8. 

Try that two more times. Relax into the longer exhale to soothe your nervous system and quiet your mind. 

If you want to breathe longer, feel free to press pause and continue on your own. 

Otherwise, when you’re ready, let the breath go, so your body’s just breathing for you. 

Silently repeat your affirmation once more:

My mind, body and soul are worthy of rest. I sleep peacefully and embrace my dreams. 

Now let yourself drift off into a deep state of sleep, or you can float your eyes open to the room.



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