Book Review: Breathe Better, Sleep Better by Anandi The Sleep Guru

What do you do when sleep eludes you, not just for the odd night but on a consistent basis?

We know that poor sleep can affect our health, bringing with it an increased risk of heart disease, obesity, diabetes and cancer – particularly in later life.  And, of course, the menopause can bring insomnia with it as yet another challenging symptom.

Breathe Better Sleep Better by Anandi The Sleep Guru Book Cover

With our addiction to smartphones and all things “i” many of us are finding that our sleep is beginning to suffer – even our kids are now surviving on less and less sleep in order to keep up with social media.

An interesting new book by Anandi, The Sleep Guru offers an approach to curing insomnia based on the ancient and natural therapy of Ayurveda.

She suggested that the answer to insomnia is to learn to breath better and her book “Breathe Better, Sleep Better” offers an easy to follow, systematic approach to getting a better night’s sleep.

Anandi’s journey started as a teacher in the fitness industry in 1986. 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.

Her professional credentials are:

• Ayurveda Practitioner, approved by the International Practitioners of Holistic Medicine • Ayurvedic consultant (American Institute of Vedic Studies, David Frawley)
• Qualified NLP instructor and hypnotherapist (David Shephard, Performance Partnership) • Chopra-certified Primordial Sound Meditation Instructor (Deepak Chopra)
• Registered Senior Yoga Teacher (Approved by The Yoga Alliance)
• Continued study of Pranayama with Yogi Vishvketu
• Mentee of the late Georg Feuerstein, and graduate of 800hrs of yoga history and philosophy (Georg Feuerstein, Traditional Yoga Studies)
• ‘Teaching the teacher’ internship in India at Anand Prakresh Ashram (Yogi Vishvketu)

Anandi fought her own insomnia for 15 years but found that sleeping tablets and other sleeping aids just did not work for her.

Anandi The Sleep Guru
Anandi The Sleep Guru

The book is a combination of five years of experiments with the breath. It addresses sleep problems and how breathing correctly will also balance systems such as digestion as well as improve circulation and reduce stress and anxiety.

I found the book fascinating as it introduces the reader to the various forms of Prana, or universal energy.  Anandi personalises each and gives them a character so, for example, Samana Vayu is the “warrior fire in your belly” and Udana Vayu is “the creator”.

Disruptions in these energies will result in various disturbances throughout the body and for each Vayu, Anandi suggests postures, visualisations, affirmations, goals and foods to eat to address the lack of equilibrium.

I was particularly interested to read about Udana as when our Udana energy is out of balance is can affect our thyroid.

In the book, Anandi shares her night-time ritual for better sleep and there is a five week plan for you to follow to familiarise yourself with the various types of breath so you understand how to use them.

There is also a useful chapter with tips to help you cope with situations like waking up with racing thoughts or struggling with anxiety or depression.

Anandi has also developed  “The Personal Sleep Review” (£325), which she offers on a one-to-one consultation basis from her London practice.  This is a detailed Ayurveda constitution analysis with a full report and recommendations with a follow-up call to monitor progress.

She also offers two Personal Sleep Review options. There’s a 90-day plan (£1,225) – everything included in a consultation plus a dietary analysis, an Ayurveda lifestyle plan and follow up calls every fortnight. Or the nine-month plan (£1,675) which includes elements of the 90-day plan plus other resources provided by Anandi.

“Breathe Better, Sleep Better” is available on Amazon and on Anandi’s website where she explains different methods and techniques to cure insomnia. There you’ll find a number of video demonstrations, written guides and advice to help with your development, as well as blog posts on meditation, healthy eating and stress.

The book is definitely worth a read if you are looking for a gentle, drug free approach to dealing with your insomnia – or just improving your overall health in general.

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