Yoga & Sleep
Yoga is a pre-historic implementation of exercise that may have been discovered in India. Yoga is a form of exercise which includes physical postures, deep breathing, meditation and concentration that encourages physical and mental health.
Yoga practice can nurture strength, stamina, calmness and flexibility for overall well-being. Yoga has several mental and physical health benefits. It helps in stimulating inner peace, mental health, physical health and spiritual energy.
Some of the potential benefits of yoga can be reduced stress and depression, anxiety relief, reduced lower back pain and prevents other health diseases. It also improves the overall quality of life.
There are many more positive effects of Yoga on fitness and one of them is improved sleep. Regular yoga practice can improve sleep and reduce stress. It also focuses on sleep quality and quantity and overall well-being. Yoga helps and assists all age groups, from children to the aged. It contributes to many health and sleep benefits besides improved sleep.
Disturbed sleep and sleep disorders are very common in all age groups. Yoga practice can reduce stress and improve mental health. It can also help sleeping complexity. Sleep disorders and sleep disturbances can affect an individual’s overall quality of life. Hence, practising yoga regularly can improve both sleep quality and quality of life.
Yoga practice before bedtime can help in stress and tension relief and you can more likely get a great good night’s sleep.
There are numerous ways that Yoga can help improve sleep quality as yoga poses are about physical movements, breathing and mindfulness. These elements are very important for better sleep.
By regular Yoga practice, sleep disorders can be positively impacted.
Yoga can be beneficial for Insomnia and mood disorders as well. It can also benefit in managing sleep difficulties and the inability to fall asleep.
Yoga is a constructive aid to improve sleep, stress and overall mood.
Insufficient sleep at night can cause ageing faster. By practising Yoga regularly, one can help ease several ailments and unusual sleeping patterns.
Yoga practice helps in developing the mind and the body. Yoga poses helps you relax and relish a peaceful night’s rest.
Many types of Yoga render health benefits. Regularly practising Yoga stretches before bedtime can help you reduce stress, improve mood and you can sleep better at night.
The following Yoga postures are most commonly recommended by medical practitioners and Yoga instructors.
1. UTTANASANA (Standing forward bend pose)
This posture starts from a standing position
- First, inhale deeply and exhale.
- From that position slowly bend forward in front of your legs, as this brings your forehead closer to your knees.
- Keep your forehead as close as possible to your knees by stretching your back(this elongates the spine)
- With your knees straight, you can rest your hands on your shins or hold onto your elbows by crossing your forearms.
- Do not strain yourself to rest your hands on the floor.
This pose can be held for up to 60 seconds while breathing well and deeply.
BENEFITS OF THE POSE:
This posture stretches your back muscles and lengthens your spine by making it lithe. This pose also relaxes your shoulder and neck. Standing forward bend pose benefits health and wellness by
- Relaxing your neck tension by loosening your neck muscles
- Strengthens nervous system by increasing blood regulation
- Stretches hips and calves
- Helps in stress relief, depression and anxiety
- Strengthens knees, calves and thighs
- Relieved headache and improves sleeping disorders
- Keeps the liver and kidneys stimulated
- Reduces fatigue and improves digestion
2. BALASANA (Child’s pose)
This pose starts from sitting on your heels,
- Keep your hips on the heels by bending forward
- Lower your forehead to the ground
- Lay down your arms by the side of your body with your hands on the floor
- Slowly keep your chest on the thighs.
- Gently come back to sit on the heels and relax.
This pose can be practised for more than 60 seconds according to your comfort without stressing your back.
BENEFITS OF THE POSE:
- This Yoga stretch relaxes your back
- Soothes the nervous system
- Improves digestion
3. BADDHA KONASANA (Butterfly pose)
This pose starts by sitting in staff pose,
- Keep your arms by the side of the body with palms on the floor
- Inhale and exhale deeply
- By folding your knees, rest your heels closer to your pelvic region
- Gently press together the soles of the feet
- Hold onto your toes of the feet with your hands
- Extend your torso to the sternum and relax
You can stay in this position for 60 seconds or more.
BENEFITS OF THE POSE:
- This yoga posture stretches the lower back by reducing lower back issues
- It also released the tension of the neck and head
- Headaches and anxiety can be relieved with this posture
- It stretches your knees, thighs and ground.
- This pose also releases the tension and stress stored in the shoulders
- It increases blood circulation to the reproductive organs and reduces chances of infertility.
4. NIDRA YOGA (Yogic sleep)
This Yoga pose is a closing yoga asana.
Start this pose by resting your back straight on the floor
- Relax your body and close your eyes
- Inhale and exhale by taking slow and deep breaths
- Slowly take your attention to your right leg and hold on there for a few seconds
- Move all your attention to your right knee, thigh and hip. Repeat the same for the left leg
- Likewise move all your attention gently to the right hand, right shoulder, palms and fingers. Repeat the same on the left hand
- After this, gently move your attention to your face and head
- Take all your attention to each part of your body
- Relax in this pose for a few minutes and take deep breaths
- Slowly turn towards your right side and lie down in that state for a few minutes
- Carefully sit up and open your eyes gently.
BENEFITS OF THE POSE:
- This pose cools downs the body and restores body temperature
- Manages blood pressure, reduces anxiety and stress
- Relaxes the body and mind and encourages a restful sleep
Yoga simply brings deep relaxation to the mind and body. It strengthens your body and recreates your mind.
Yoga practice increases energy levels in the body and relaxes every part of the body.
Yoga stretches before can help the body and mind relax and improve sleep quality.
Doing regular yoga and adding it to your night regime can do wonders for your mind and body. The body heals and repairs itself while you’re asleep and you wake up the next day feeling rejuvenated and refreshed.