For professional yogi Krissy Jones, maintaining a sense of calm can itself be a balancing act. The co-founder of New York’s popular Sky Ting Yoga keeps up with the studio’s three locations—Chinatown, Tribeca and now Williamsburg—that host workshops, teacher training, community events, artist panels, and talent shows. Naturally, nights are a sacred time for Jones, allowing her to unwind from her nonstop schedule. In between serving as a Nike ambassador, traveling, launching a series of online yoga classes, and a Sky Ting clothing line, it’s imperative that Jones gets a good night’s sleep.
But how exactly does someone whose career is meditation stay grounded amidst the craziness? Here, she walks us through some of her nighttime rituals.
What are your nightly rituals before you go to sleep?
On an ideal night — if I have enough time to do the nightly ritual of my dreams, which I probably do about once a week full-out, I draw a bath. I have a vintage bathtub in my apartment. I love to spend time in the bath and make a lot of concoctions — a lot of salts. I have magnesium flakes, Epsom salts and Himalayan salts. Sometimes I put essential oil in the bathtub, depending on what’s going on. I read in the bathtub and I get out, dry off, oil myself and I do a 20-30 minute restorative yoga sequence — the poses that are very restorative and relaxing and held longer. I focus on my breath — around 100 breaths per pose and I do 4 poses. I meditate for 15 minutes and then that’s basically it — lights out. I sometimes make a tincture or some sort of herbal drink or tea. Sometimes I put on a face mask. If I can get my nightly yoga or meditation in, I’m a very happy woman.
What is your current sleeping situation?
I just got my Buffy, which I’m obsessed with. It’s so good. I have a nice, big bed. It’s a king size, which I like because I move around a lot. I also got CitiQuiet windows installed in my apartment, which blocks out the sound, because I’m on Lafayette Street (in SoHo) and it’s so loud. I recommend it for New Yorkers. And blackout curtains, so it’s pitch black in my apartment. I’m obsessed with the French brand Merci. I go to Paris once a year and I always pick up sheets there — it’s the softest, nicest cotton.
Do you have any favorite products that you use?
I am a big fan of Sun Potion for herbs. I make a mixture of coconut butter and herbs — right now, I’m playing with Astragalus. I put it in the Vitamix with hot water and blend it up with some honey. For salt, I change them all the time, but I’m into the CAP Beauty Captivator Love Bath Salts. It smells amazing. I also like Pursoma.
Let’s say you don’t have the full time to devote to your bedtime routine — what does a non-ideal night look like for you?
I take a bath or a shower every night. I see a lot of people and touch a lot of bodies. Sometimes I teach 60-80 person classes. I’m always around sweaty people. I love to do my cleansing ritual at night. I put coconut oil all over my body and I wrap myself up in a towel and I read. I try to read 30 pages a night. I’m a big fan of reading, I think it’s the best thing you can do for your brain. I don’t use my cellphone at night — I have an app that turns off my blue light around 7pm. I try to keep my phone on airplane mode and don’t look at Instagram before bed. I try to put my phone away when I get home. At night time, it’s either reading or a podcast and then I go to bed. I try to get a lot of sleep — if I don’t get more than 6 or 7 hours, I can barely function.
How do you wake up in the morning?
I have this sleep tracker app called Sleep Cycle — you can use it with your phone on airplane mode. I use that as my alarm and you give it a 30 minute window that you need to wake up in. It wakes you up in the lightest state of your sleep. It senses your breath to know when you’re in a deep or light state of sleep. It tells you in the morning your quality of sleep. I’m kind of a secret bio-hacker — I enjoy getting my body chemistry optimized. I can tell if a glass of wine or eating a meal late at night fucks with my sleep. When I turn my alarm off, I take a few moments to not look at my phone and space out. I enjoy that in-between state where you’re barely conscious, and try not to shove a cellphone in my eyes too quickly. I just started doing a dream journal, so I take out a pen and paper and write down everything I can remember from my dreams. I’m a big dreamer. I get out of bed and I dry brush my skin — that’s the one thing I’m consistent with. If it’s a good morning, I do a bit of Pranayama (breath work) and then I make my coffee. Hopefully I have time to make breakfast and then I’m out the door.
Do you ever have insomnia? What are your remedies?
I’m the type of person that can fall asleep anywhere. It’s staying awake that’s really hard for me. I’m such a morning person. Don’t look at your screen too late in the night because your eyes have photoreceptors on them, and your eyes tell your body when it’s time to start producing the hormone for sleep. I would say to try to ritualize your nighttime routine. There’s also a lot of herbs you can take.
What podcasts are you listening to right now?
My favorite ones are the bio-hacking type podcasts — cutting-edge research on various things and ways to optimize your life. I like Bulletproof Radio and I also listen to The Daily in the morning. Sometimes I have to take breaks from it if I feel like my state of mind is getting too negative. Super Soul Sunday, Oprah’s podcast is so good. Fresh Air with Terry Gross is so good too.
Dalya Benor is a writer and editor working in Los Angeles