How Can Yoga Help You Sleep Better?
Often when speaking about getting a good night sleep we sway our thoughts towards material products that improve upon our posture and comfort. Yoga is an alternative to this train of thought. It is a physical exercise routine that improves the quality of our body and mind. Yoga is a very diverse field with over 100 different kinds of approaches to practicing it.
Yoga has exercises that include breathing, posturing and meditation with a set goal to stretch and flex various muscle groups. Numerous people already reap the benefits of yoga by removing insomnia, muscle spasms or general discomfort when trying to fall asleep. Below I will expand upon yoga as a discipline with some tips and poses you can use.
A brief history of yoga
Understanding yoga from a historical standpoint makes us realize how it got to the point it is in today. It was influenced by numerous cultures and philosophies throughout the millennia. Yoga originated in India without a clear source as to when exactly it came to be. Historians claim that the Indus Sarasvati civilization practiced it first about 5000 years ago. Others claim it is old as 10,000 years but that is far from relevant for our story.
Yoga branched out from its original cradle by combining various beliefs, ideas and techniques. The widespread effect yoga had on the Indian Subcontinent was culturally impactful. This ushered in the first written compendium that introduced the reader to Taja Yoga (classical yoga).
A couple of centuries later, yoga practitioners removed the religious aspect of the craft inspired by Vedas (Holy Scriptures of Hinduism). The goal of this change was to focus on two very important things at that time (at any time to be fair) – rejuvenating the body and extending life. This is the core objective of Tantra Yoga that resulted from that split.
During the 20th and early 21st century yoga started to emerge in the West due to the travelling masters. This is when yoga started to slowly apply itself to the western way of life. The transformation was rapid and well accepted – yoga is considered a global thing in today’s world, enjoyed by all.
Exercises for slumber
The benefits of yoga nurture the body and mind. Relaxing in such a manner improves upon both the physical comfort and mental calmness. Experimenting with positions is necessary for finding the right ones that work for you. The most commonly used positions are:
Easy forward bend (Sukhasana)
This position is beginner-friendly (as the name suggests) and great for stretching and calming your body down before a bedtime rest. The position is even more relaxing by sitting on a pillow for extra comfort.
Child's pose (Balasana)
The bread and butter of most yoga classes. This pose hits the essential notes necessary for complete comfort. The torso should be folded over the legs while arms are extended and the forehead is resting on the ground. Long breaths and turning the forehead left to right at brow point maximize the effect of this position.
Legs up the wall pose (Viparita Karani)
This pose restores circulation to the torso area by transferring blood from the legs. The name is pretty much self-explanatory. Closing your eyes and spreading arms improves upon the relaxation and stress relief. The recommended time for remaining in this pose is 1-5 minutes. Don’t remain in this pose for too long as your legs might start feeling numb due to the blood transfer.
Supine spinal twist (Supta Matsyendrasana)
This can without much of a stretch be performed in bed before going to sleep. Rests on your back and bring the right knee into your chest and after that over your left side. Extend the right arm out and look towards it, taking a few full breaths and after that repeat on the opposite side. Your legs can be slightly lifted together opposite of the arm you are extending – completing the full spinal twist.
Corpse pose (Savasana)
Achieving the state of sleep is troublesome for a lot of people. This very simple pose is pretty much what it says. Resting your legs and arms in alignment with your torso switches the focus towards breathing, similar to meditation. Great for easing stress and restlessness – this pose is will help with issues when falling asleep.
Yoga certainly has a great deal of advantages with regards to sleep time. It can help support your digestion, diminish pressure, treat insomnia-related problems, and it can enable you to soothe some of those strained muscles. You can do it whenever amid the day to turn stress into comfort. We recommend beginning simple on the off chance that you are a novice and working your way up to the harder poses. Keep in mind, even though the poses seem easy to do – the benefits they provide are quite noticeable.