It's time to talk about getting wild. Or wilder. And while we're at, we're going to also talk about getting dirty. And getting wet.
You know, wild like nature wild.
Dirty like what happens when you sit on the ground.
Wet like you're going to get from walking in a stream.
Like what I did there?
We're going to talk about some specific ways you can restore your wild WHILE you're in bed so that you can better prepare your body to meet its outdoorsy nature hunger.
But let's be clear: getting wild is getting wild is getting wild.
So everything that follows will not only help you restore your outdoorsy wild; it's going help you restore your indoor wild, too, if you catch my drift. Or maybe it will help you take your indoor wild outdoors. Even more fun (we've all done that, right?!)!
Anyway...let's get to it!
3 Ways to Get More Wild in Bed
Tip 1: Slip Into It Earlier
When does the sun god slip over the horizon in your neck of the woods? 5pm? 8pm? 10pm? Are you burning the midnight oil? And then up at the crack of whenever to get about your day?
The body repairs itself while you sleep. The brain literally cleans itself. In a world as stressful as ours generally is, you can count on the fact that you need more sleep.
This is especially true for those of you serious about taking your movement to the next level.
When you're wanting to move beyond the mat and out into the woods, when you want better circulation and more focus and improved digestion and just generally more joy...then sleep needs to move its way up on the priority list (btw: all you parents with little ones please just disregard everything I've written because you're just IN A PHASE and/or go buy Aletha's Solter's book, The Aware Baby and/or take this course on babies and attachment and sleep by Marion Rose).
So? Connect with a more natural rhythm of slipping into bed closer to the sun's setting and then stay there. For as long as you need.
Everything in your life will thank you.
Tip 2: Swap the Surface
Does your bed feel good? Too good? Kinda like the couch?
Do you notice that your only sleep option is some version of the fetal position, even if you're on your back?
Do you wake up with a stiff back? Find that you need JUST the right mattress to sleep well?
Not very wild, eh?
It's cool. It's normal. And yet it's worth considering an alternative.
What if your time in bed not only gave you the rest you needed, but:
A) didn't put your body so wholeheartedly into the same postures you're trying to work out of in your waking life, and
B) served as a kind of cross-training program, increasing your body's exposure to and tolerance of variation in pressures and loads?
Pretty cool, yeah? You'd be ready for the wilds in no time!
Here's my sleeping surface, which is a few inches high:
We're currently using a foam pad with an organic wool mattress topper above it. Someday we'll switch out the foam pad for another mattress topper, since we're not such big fans of the VOCs from foam. For now this works.
And yes, I love the look of a bed frame. But guess what I love more? I love how my body feels!
If you want some help transitioning from your super cushy mattress to sleeping on the floor, I recommend this post by Katy Bowman.
Tip 3: Stretch It Out
Beds are used for a lot of things: sleep, sex, nursing, arguing, storing laundry, dance parties, pillow fights, watching reruns, sending email, crying, journaling, you name it!
How about making your sleeping surface a place to work out a bit, too? To unravel some of your tensions, even as you talk to your partner, or lie with your tired toddler, or read the latest New Yorker Magazine?
I keep a bunch of bolsters and movement props near my bedside for just this reason.
Especially because my sleeping surface is quite firm (see Tip 2), I can psoas release and illiacus release. I do cobbler's stretches and cross-cobbler's. And I love to do some thoracic work over the dome or on tennis balls as a little nod to my hyperkyphosis before drifting off. (If you want some of these thoracic exercises, I highly recommend the ever-popular On Top Challenge, which you can do at your own pace anytime).
Here's me opening up the inner thighs. In bed. While reading.
Sometimes it just reading a few ideas like these or making sure you have the right supplies nearby (this goes for just about anything that happens in bed, right?!) to ensure that time like this is put toward your important movement goals, that is put to restoring your wild.
What do you think about these Wild in Bed Tips? Do them already? Want more of them? Have questions?