Sleep Yoga

Like a hundred other nights, last night was one of fitful sleep. “Monkey mind” always the culprit. Here’s how it happens: I find myself “doomscrolling” until I have to put the phone down. The world can be such a shit-show sometimes and iit’s like a train wreck you can’t look away from. 

So I climb the stairs and I crawl into bed quietly and try to find my happy place. Closing my eyes I usually find myself on a starry drive through Greenwater, and then, on the winding road to Sunrise. I arrive to a quiet parking lot in the dark. I grab my pack and head up toward the bench at Sourdough Ridge with only the light from moonbeams and the snow on the slopes of Rainier. 

Sometimes I see the tiny black fox playing in the early meadow light. Always I hear the birds.  Sometimes it is a cacophony of song from the Clark’s nutcrackers, other times, a chorus of mountain bluebirds. As I climb the ridge, light begins to slowly rise from the horizon bathing everything in a golden glow. I stand at the bench and take a deep breath. 

And then I wake up. 

When I try to drift back to my perfect day I become acutely aware of the things anchoring me to this bed: the heaviness of covers, the sounds not my own, the temperature that always feels too warm in the room. Then my mind suddenly engages with the endless lists of fear, worry and undone things. 

Tossing and turning I nod off for minutes at a time. I used to have my Fitbit on my wrist giving me graph and analysis of my poor habits. It did not help me correct the course, rather it gave me another list to obsess on in the wee hours. Last night, sometime after the new day began I woke up with a crazy thought I scribbled down so I wouldn’t forget. 

Sleep yoga. That was the thought. 

Haha … that’s pretty much what it is. The position of my body as my mind goes through mental calisthenics is fascinating. This morning I’m thinking of names. 

Maybe you can help …

There is the one where I wake in a fetal position, hands under my chin. 

Then there is the one where I am lying flat on my back with one leg out of the covers. 

Sometimes I wake up because I’m flat on my stomach, my head turned awkwardly toward the window, arms over my head. 

And I can’t forget the times I wake up spooning two of the five pillows I sleep with. 

So there it is. Sleep yoga. 

Who knew it was a thing? 

8 Comments on “Sleep Yoga

  1. Sleep… the elusive lover… the news reel that plays behind the eyelids and refuses to shut off when the lights go dark… maybe I will conjure your Queen with the golden crown and see if she entices me with more than 5 hours of shut eye…*

    • Oh yes, someday you’ll see her for real and be able to conjure your own beautiful morning walk. May she always add to our restful state 🙏

  2. It’s night calisthenics I fear. The sudden wakeups. The gasp for breath. I may have to borrow that beautiful hike.

    • Oh yes, that storied hike to Sunrise at sunrise is dream and share-worthy for sure. Thanks for reading, my friend!

  3. Welcome to the club! Sleep yoga happens here too, but not every night. The only position you didn’t mention was falling asleep while you were propped up on your elbows reading a good book. “The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu”. When you nod off while you are reading there is inevitably a nose print on the page.

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