The Deep Sleep Yoga program has been specially created for those who have sleep issues, insomnia, disturbed sleep or who just yearn for a deep, nourishing restful space. This Deep Sleep Stage 2 workshop on Sunday 26th of April at 2:30pm features many innovative ways to allow your whole nervous system to settle and rest deeply.
To take part on this workshop you do not need to have done the previous workshop – they both interweave with each other and can be taken in any order. All are deeply welcome, young, old, men and women – we can all benefit. Cost is €30.
Deep Sleep Yoga is more than what an ordinary Yoga class can offer as it combines techniques not just from Yoga, but from the worlds of somatic body based therapies such as Body Rolling, Massage and Craniosacral Therapy. It was created by Deirdre O’Connor, founder and creator of Deep Sleep Clinic, Yoga Dip, Craniosacral Therapist CST-T, DTR. This workshop draws on her 20 years experience of teaching, studying and working with clients, helping them find ways to restore and self-soothe to the core of their beings.
This time in our Deep Sleep Workshop we will explore and re-settle our nervous systems using a ‘top-down approach’, including meditative inquiries and slow, releasing asanas. Here’s what’s in store for us –
Earth Salutation – A slow, calming Yoga sequence, steadying the mind and helping us to connect with the ground of our being
Neck, shoulder and jaw unwinding – exploring craniosacral techniques to unwind areas of constriction is a powerful way to soothe and regulate the ‘fight or flight’ stress response, and to begin to ‘re-wire’ the nervous system so that it adopts a more calming response to life’s ups and downs.
Moving Meditation – Deirdre initially created these Dynamic Release Meditations in response to students working with extreme stress and trauma issues and have found them to be extremely beneficial and grounding for hyperactive and excess nervous energy
Meditative Exploratory Inquiries – helping us to address negative and repetitive thoughts which keep us ‘on alert’ and unable to settle through a method of focused inquiry. Getting to sleep doesn’t just entail relaxing – sometimes our thoughts are there for a reason, they’re perhaps trying to get the attention that we refuse to give to them during the day. These practices of focused inquiry will help sort out the chaff from the wheat and over time can facilitate insight into what needs to be addressed in order for us to settle back into ourselves
Please join us as we guide you towards the deep rest that your body and mind yearns for.
About Deirdre and her own Journey to Deep Sleep
Deep Sleep was borne out of my own frustration at spending long hours awake at night. Even though I had been practicing Yoga and Meditation for many years, I still found myself awake, typically at 4am, with a restless and agitated mind. Unable to get back to sleep, and with my body too adrenalized for a normal Yoga routine to take effect I was determined to find a way to drop to sleep more effectively.
There were a few major turning points for me along the way in my search for the best and most effective interventions. The first was realizing that often the recurring thoughts were simply calling for attention and that by turning towards them I could begin to address the real reason that underlay my state of restlessness. Through practices of Body-Based Mindfulness, my old tendency of trying to brush my life under the carpet began to break down and a new clarity and insight began to take its place.
Another and major turning point occurred during my training in Trauma Resolution as a Craniosacral Therapist. Craniosacral Therapy takes the mind away from the repetitive thoughts and encourages a more embodied exploration to our tensions and stresses. During a treatment that I was receiving it became clear to me that the adrenaline buzz that was keeping me awake at night had it’s origins in events many years earlier when I had experienced bouts of bullying and loneliness as a teenager.
The effects of bullying had left my nervous system on an almost constant state of alert in fear of the next attack. It also had a devastating effect on my self-confidence.
Craniosacral Therapy is known to have a direct effect on the hormonal and nervous system and can very efficiently calm the centres of the brain, such as the amygdala, that stimulate the ‘fight-or-flight’ stress response. It also addresses the deeper emotional layers that can keep our bodies and minds spinning in circles. With the help of this therapy the effects of the bullying gradually decreased, allowing greater feelings of ease to replace the distress at a core level.
As my nervous system gained strength and re-settled a more normal pattern of sleep emerged, and thankfully sleepless nights were becoming a thing of the past. I had also taken to using deep pressure body weights to assist my resting and these were of enormous benefit. Weighted props are often used in hospitals for people with ADD, ADHD, restless and anxiety disorders and restless leg syndrome.
The added weight causes the brain to release neurotransmitters, like serotonin and dopamine, which are the chemicals our bodies naturally use to feel relaxed and calm. In combination with the darkness that occurs during the night-time hours, our bodies convert serotonin to melatonin, our natural sleep inducing hormone.
In my work with clients I also use techniques to help with pain relief if this is a cause for sleeplessness, though thankfully it wasn’t an issue for me. Combining all of these therapeutic interventions has had a dramatic effect on my sleep patterns, and I now offer all of these techniques for you to experience, in classes, workshop, and in one-to-one sessions.
Helping you get the sleep that you deserve is my aim, and knowing through direct experience that these techniques work, makes it a satisfying and worthwhile goal to aim for.
More about Deirdre
For almost 20 years Deirdre has been exploring, training, teaching and experiencing Yoga – initially with the Bihar School of Yoga in india where she trained and lived for almost 3 years exploring many different Yoga styles – Hatha, Bhakti, Jhana and Karma Yoga.
She trained further in Meditation and Buddhist Philosoply, and during that time undertook many intensive meditation retreats over the years, including several of over 3-months duration under the guidance of teachers of the Dalai Lama.
Her deep love of movement rests on her faith in our ability to foster a natural self-balancing and healing awareness in ourselves.
My own awareness in this capacity grew exponentially through a four-year advanced training with Dancing The Rainbow. This training was the ground for all my future work and taught me more about embodiment and being present than any previous trainings had up to that point.
It taught me that Yoga is not about doing the poses perfectly but rather showed me the necessity for slowly releasing and undoing the places in my body that remained tight, painful and downright grumpy! And doing this is a way that my body loves rather than any prescriptive idea of ‘what would be good for me’.
After my training I continued to be mentored by my teacher, Lani O’Hanlon, for a further two years, while assisting on their two year training. I spent a further two years with this deep body based exploration working alongside my teacher and mentor, as an assistant teacher.
My current teachings are based in a merging of the traditional yoga teachings and the intuitive awareness of what our bodies and minds need to heal and replenish themselves. Having trained also in Massage, Homeopathy and Craniosacral Therapy I have a strong basis in therapies which promote this awareness.
Further trainings with Shiva Rea and Twee Merrigan, who both embody this way of teaching Yoga, has deepened my own experience and has shown me many ways to encourage the body and mind to come to a place of calm and deep rest.
For myself, I continue to practice and train in Yoga simply because it makes me feel happy and at ease in my body and mind. In many ways and at different times it has been a real life-saver. It has turned my anxiety into contentment, and has allowed the stiff, tight places in my body and mind to melt and release so that I feel good inside and out.