when you give a yogini a pillow…

i’ll admit, it’s been hard for me to sleep lately.

not for the normal covid reasons. it’s not anxiety or stress or depression. it’s my neck. and shoulders.

living massage-free for the last eight months has not done my body well. and i wake up repeatedly during the night because my neck and shoulders just plain hurt.

so, my best friend bought me a side-sleeper’s pillow.

not sure if you have seen these. they look like big pillow candy canes. though mine is blue. so, maybe one of those blueberry candy cane things you get when it’s not christmas.

it’s filled not with feathers or normal fluffy whatever stuff, but with memory foam blobs. not sure what else to call them. if you put a memory foam mattress into a shredder, this is what it would poop out.

and it comes with all sorts of instructions.

first, you need to break up the blobs and fluff it up before using. basically, it gets the deep tissue massage my body is dying for…

but then, there are instructions on how you need to sleep.

your ear has to go in the ear hole (what? your pillow doesn’t have an ear hole?). and the long candy cane part needs to be parallel to your spine. and you have to lie in a straight line, no curling. chin should remain slightly lifted. and if you turn over, you need to flip the pillow, too, so the candy cane is always at your spine.

i’m a yogini, okay? i spend my whole life aligning myself and others just right. misalignment is the eighth deadly sin. you can’t just give me a pillow like this and expect me to sleep with it.

what if i pillow wrong????

i must have read those instructions a few hundred times. ear goes here. chin there. spine here. shoulder there. ear. chin. spine. shoulder. ear. chin. spine. shoulder. rest of body…repeat.

sleeping has now become a performance art for me.

it takes me about five minutes to fluff and align my sleep-enhancing pillow before bed (hint: start from the ear hole and work your way down). then i have to will myself to keep that shape for as long as humanly possible while unconscious. it’s like lucid dreaming without the dreaming. or like those soldiers who sleep with their eyes open but with my eyes closed.

i try to coordinate body flips with bathroom runs for maximum efficiency and create sleepasana muscle memory so i can slip right back between my sheets and into peak alignment.

or…if i really want to sleep…i just use it like a pillow.

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