Sleep Like a Baby with Yoga
“The pleasures and benefits of yoga are widely understood: yoga can improve physical strength and flexibility, improve breathing, reduce stress and enhance mental focus... What may be less well-known are the positive effects that yoga can have on sleep.”
- Michael J. Breus, PhD, shares in Psychology Today
Could Yoga Really Help Improve My Sleep?
According to new research, 8 in 10 workers in Ireland are experiencing poor performance at work due to lack of a good night’s sleep. Findings from the study also indicate that 34.3% of Irish workers begin each day already exhausted.
With the proper breathing and poses, practising yoga before bedtime is scientifically proven to balance your hormonal system and ease stress on your nervous system, providing you with the relaxation that you need to support your sleep. I could write a million blogs on the benefits that yoga brings, but this particular benefit happens to be one of my favourites.
If you have difficulty getting to sleep at night… if you find yourself constantly waking at odd hours, or are tired and fatigued in the morning even after a full night’s rest… Here are a number of poses I encourage you to try right before turning in.
I hope you have a good night’s sleep. 🌙
1. Happy Baby (Ananda Balasana)
On the topic of sleeping like a baby, what better way to begin than with a Happy Baby pose? You don’t have to reach all the way to your feet, but reach as far as you could to release tension in your lower back… allowing it to expand, soothing the spine. Set yourself in this position and take deep breaths to calm your mind, and release stress and fatigue.
2. Supported Reclining Twist (Supine Twist)
Many who have 8.5 hour desk jobs, love this yummy stretch. From Happy Baby, slowly transition into this pose - use a bolster or pillow between your legs for added support. A yummy supine twist releases tension in your entire back area, particularly the lower back, upper back, and neck. If you have been sitting all day, this is the best pose for you.
3. Child’s Pose (Balasana)
Maintaining steady breath, transition into Child’s Pose. This is a wonderful way to continue the release of body fatigue by enhancing the circulation of blood in your body. Better circulation means that more oxygen is distributed around the body. The increase of oxygen helps optimise the function and healing of your various organs, improving well-being.
4. Reclining Goddess Pose (Supta Baddha Konasana)
Slowly transition into Supta Badda Konasana and breathe into your hips. If you wish, massage your stomach or place gentle pressure on your hip muscles to encourage the release of tension. This posture allows your blood to circulate in your digestive and reproductive system, highlighting self-care. It is proven to encourage positive mental health and cure depression.
Remain here as long as you wish before transitioning to our last pose.
5. Corpse Pose (Savasana)
If you have been practising yoga for some time now, this pose will be the most familiar. Corpse Pose brings your entire body into a state of surrender and rejuvenation. Usually done at the very end of your yoga flow (like now!), this posture encourages you to reach a deeper level of body and mind so much so that it has been proven to repair tissues and cells.
Now, to be honest, these poses would not work for you if you do not take this practise seriously. Dedicate time for yourself, switch-off or silent your phone, and be expectant of the renewal that will come through this intentional practise.
Take your time. Take as long as you wish. Maybe even fall asleep in this pose…
If you are looking for a more in-depth practise to aid your sleep, join us at the studio this Saturday, 9th of February 2019, for our Yoga for Better Sleep workshop. Discover how yoga can support you to get more and better quality, undisturbed sleep. Discover tricks and tools from yoga to use if you wake during the night. Discover simple changes you can make during the day and with your diet to support you get a more restorative rest each night.
The workshop will cover:
• Why sleep is important, and how to get a restorative rest, even if you can’t sleep
• The impact of stress on sleep and learn relaxation techniques
• How the physical environment can effect you and how small changes can make a big difference
• The effects of food and exercise
• How to develop a supportive bedtime routine
•Some herbal & homeopathic tools which may help break the cycle