To those of you familiar with the Sleep Aid feature in Sleep Cycle’s app, you will most likely have come across some of our most loved meditations and sleep stories. Kina Nyman is the fascinating voice behind some of our most popular guides and meditations. Her personal experience moving between a career in music to teaching mindfulness and yin-yoga has helped create a distinctive voice that our users and listeners to the meditation guides within Sleep Aid have come to love. We join her for an afternoon to find out more about Kina and her voice work for Sleep Aid.
Q: So you must tell us about your name? (Kina translates to the country China in Swedish and it piqued our interest)
Kina was a nickname given to me earlier on in my career and it actually is just short for Kristina, it sort of stuck with me and is now the artist name I go by.
Q: Tell us more about yourself!
I have worked with song and music composition for years and was signed with EMI for a while to write songs. I’ve worked with everything ranging from music production to songwriting and editing voices in music programs. However, when streaming came, many of the songwriter’s jobs became redundant. I had also decided to stay in Gothenburg and chose not to do a career move to Stockholm. So I went back to school and re-trained within sports science and health. That has led me on to a path involving teaching and instructing and eventually mindfulness.
Q: What inspired you to do voice work?
I have done voice work and still do for jingles and ads. However, as I started to incorporate more yoga and mindfulness practice into my everyday life and felt the intense satisfaction of sharing and teaching the practice, the move towards doing voice work with the specific goal of letting people tap into a guided meditation seemed like the stars were aligned.
At one point, I held stress and mindfulness guided meditations for Sleep Cycle employees and then moved on from that to now doing voice work for the app.
Q: Was there a specific life event that got you into yoga and meditation?
I have practiced yoga since I was 20 years old and have always enjoyed it. However, when I became a parent, the need for stillness and self-care intensified. I had four children within a short space of time, including twins. During this time I began to specialize in meditation and yin-yoga.
At one occasion as I was practicing, I sat still for 15 minutes, and something just happened. I believe stillness and meditation allow the body to heal. As I stood more still as I got older, I realized how important and healing the quiet moment is. When you know what stress is, it’s so clear when the body ends up in stress, how hormones, the immune system, and your pulse are affected. Working with your system is the backbone of it.
Bringing this insight to a wider audience through Sleep Aid in Sleep Cycle’s app, is a wonderful way to communicate this learning.
Q: Speaking of Sleep Cycle, which is your favorite feature in the app?
Personally, I love the music and the sounds of nature, the guides, there is something for everyone in Sleep Aid. The Body Guide is a good, practical way to approach meditation, especially if you’re a beginner. Allowing yourself to reflect upon your different body parts and relaxing as you prepare to fall asleep. This guide demystifies the approach to meditation. If you are an experienced meditation practitioner, you might prefer the guides that are a little freer. Such as Mind Relaxation, where you visualize in more of a free-association style.
Q: Any sleep tips that you’d like to share?
I’m grateful for the fact that I tend to find it easy to fall asleep. Although I am a highly sensitive person and take in people’s feelings and emotions, so if I’m at a big party or event, I can have a difficult time after such occasions to fall asleep. And I also have two children who generally find it difficult to fall asleep and suffer from anxiety around bedtime. It makes you realize how closely connected stress is to poor sleep and how learning to manage stress is a good start to finding good sleep.
Q: When you apply your voice for Sleep Aid’s guides, what’s important to come across, considering you’re not practicing with a room full of people?
It’s important for the listener to experience the feeling of security, that they almost feel held. My voice should convey calmness. Usually, it can be more intense in the beginning, but the further you get into the guide, you should have space to sail away and nod off. The listener should feel trust and not judge themselves if thoughts appear or disappear. I also am keen to convey these guides are for everyone, whether you work in an office, a plant, have little or a lot of experience with meditations – anyone can listen and practice.
Q: Any last words from our users who have listened to your guides?
I have received messages from people who’ve thanked me for being able to fall asleep – keep the love coming. I am grateful that I get to do two things I love at the same time, teaching people to work with stress and guiding people to better health through sleep – such voice jobs are far and few between.
‘Pausing in the Present’ is Kina Nyman’s latest inspiring installment in the meditation Guides. If you’re interested in exploring further sleep meditation to promote better sleep, you can listen to Kina Nyman’s soothing meditations within Sleep Aid under Guides.