IN BED WITH: The Sleep Guru, Anandi
Anandi’s journey started in the fitness industry in 1986. A born leader and teacher, she found herself teaching others throughout her career in fitness, beauty and wellness. She now lives in Italy and runs workshop and retreats, in Italy and London.
Anandi is Alison Francis’s spiritual name given to her by her guru in India in 2007.
She has appeared in the press all the major glossies including Cosmopolitan, Women’s fitness, Psychologies and the London Evening Standard for her expertise in sleep. Anandi is the author or Breathe Better, Sleep Better released in September 2016.
She inspires people to take a breath as soon as you meet her.
1. You are a world-renowned Sleep Guru and author with your own signature style of treatment based on ancient science. What initially called you to this specialised area of healing? What is your favourite thing about your career now?
Initially, it was my own search for a sleep solution as I’d been suffering for many years. I was adamant that I was not going on sleep medication, and decided that yoga was my path. I went to an ashram in India for six weeks and it transformed my life. I found authentic yoga, breath and Ayurveda. I never looked back.
2. How does one know if they need a sleep coach? Is it just something strictly for individuals suffering from extreme insomnia, or if one classified themselves as simply a troubled-sleeper, could they benefit as well?
Changing one’s lifestyle is not easy when you have to do it on your own; someone like me is there to help you make it happen. Anyone who is stressed out, exhausted and having trouble sleeping would benefit from Sleepology. In fact, the Sleepology principles could be applied to anyone just not feeling great.
3. I see you also host sleep retreats. That sounds absolutely dreamy :). What exactly is a sleep retreat? What kind of things would one do there? What are the benefits?
Sleep retreats are an opportunity to switch off from daily drama and immerse yourself in the ancient teachings of Ayurveda and the principles of Sleepology. Having time to learn the techniques and experience applying them helps enormously if you want to do them at home. My Sleep Retreats are full of workshops and classes. It’s not a yoga retreat where you do yoga morning and night, it’s so much more than that. Here’s a sample testimonial:
“This is the most impressive retreats I’ve been to, and I’ve been to a lot. It’s four retreats in one: yoga, Ayurveda, sleep, philosophy and lifestyle. Such deep wisdom and knowledge with such an incredible amount of love. It’s life-changing for everyone or anyone who wants to improve and transform their waking life and anyone who wants to improve their sleep. I loved, loved, loved it”." --Jane Eggington
4. How is your Sleepology method of sleep coaching different from the status-quo methods? What makes this style special, unique, and, ultimately, effective?
I’ve been developing Sleepology over the last 10 years. As I went through my journey, I realised that if it’s to work, things have to be done in a certain order. I have five principles, Why, How, Mind, Body, Rejuvenate. You have to find out ‘the why’ before you start any programme. Blindly doing one thing won’t work, it should be individually tailored. The ‘Why’ is when I dig deep into the client’s history and symptoms to find out why there is a manifestation of a sleep issue. Then I create the ‘How’, all starting with the mind. The ‘Mind’ principle is all about inner stillness and emotional health. Once, we’ve made headway here, we start working on detoxifying the body and lastly rejuvenation. Both detoxification and rejuvenation are done using food and herbs. Most ‘status quo’ methods lump it all together which is why it often doesn’t work.
5. There are so many of us would love to attend one of your sleep retreats and/or workshops and learn more about your process, but, it's not always possible due to geography. Do you have any resources available where we could learn more about your style of practice from home?
Yes, I can do online consultations on my meeting software and coach people at home. I also have a brand new breath course coming out soon that will also be available online.
6. What is your secret to sweet dreams? How do you practically apply the extensive body of knowledge you have on sleep on a nightly basis?
An evening wind down ritual is essential for sensitive sleepers. I recommend:
- Turning technology off by 8 PM
- Eating no later than 6.30 PM (no more eating after 7 PM). If you eat a heavy meal in the evening, your core body temperature goes up. In order to go into a deep sleep, your core body temperature needs to go down. Many people don’t realise just how
much this affects their sleep.
- Herbal teas and calming herbal supplements really help.
- Having a 20-minute breathing ritual or meditation ritual will also really help.
“Quiet evenings with no technology and eating are light are key to sleeping well”
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