Water, sleep…forgotten gold.
Are you getting enough?
I (Kathleen) talk to a lot of yogis getting a decent amount of yoga in their lives, but failing to get enough sleep and failing to drink enough water during the day. (Someone recently reminded me that I, too, fall in that camp.)
Google both of these and your screen will load with study after study showing the damaging effects of failure to rest and hydrate: Irritability, lack of focus, depression, suppressed immune system, stroke and dangerous weight gain are just a few of the results. (Any sound familiar?)
And if you’re looking at things from a straight up fitness aspect, we now know that rest/recovery is equally important to overall results as time spent working out. Equally important! One without the other does not add up. We also know that thirst masks itself as hunger, so when we fail to hydrate we often consume excess calories.
I love, love yoga but what is the point if we don’t respect our most basic health needs? I’m asking you…but I’m also asking myself the same thing.
Getting more water and more sleep is not complicated and doesn’t cost a dime. But it does require us to pay attention and build muscle around some new rituals. Following are a couple of things I put into place in the past few weeks. (I’m a big believer in KISS: keeping it stupid simple. Yes, that’s my personal variation.)
Two easy tips to implement:
- Water: Each night, put a full glass of water on your nightstand before bed. When you wake up in the morning, swing your legs over the side of the bed. Before standing, take a moment to come into your sense of touch and really feel the bottoms of your feet against the floor. Feel the texture of the floor against the skin of your foot and toes. Take one slow, deep breath in and out. Then reach for the glass and drink the whole thing. Tell yourself you can’t stand up until you do.
- Sleep: Set a bedtime. Commit to it. Go to bed at the same time, every night, no matter what. Train your body to be asleep by a certain time. Go to bed with the same commitment you go to yoga class. And with the same commitment to be ‘on time.’