One of the primary causes of lifestyle diseases is stress. One such disease is insomnia, where people find it very difficult to sleep at night even after lying in bed for a long time. Yes, it has a lot to do with what you have eaten throughout the day, but yoga also helps beat insomnia to a large extent. Yoga often adopts a scientific method of doing exercise and relaxing to ease stress. It also helps in enhancing memory, quality of life, and sleep.
Yoga has a calming effect on your nervous system. If you do deep breathing, long stretches, and some relaxing poses, yoga helps induce a good night’s sleep so that you feel rested and ready for the next day. There are some simple yoga sequences that you should do right before going to bed. Get some pillows and look for a wall with some space around it. Before starting the session, you can put on some soothing music, dim the lights, and put on your nightdress. A lot of yoga schools in Rishikesh give training on all these poses.
Benefits you get by doing bedtime yoga.
1. Helps in alleviating insomnia:
Practicing yoga on a regular basis helps in managing insomnia. You might be able to sleep quickly, for a long time, and also go back to sleep quickly even if you wake up at night. Many kinds of research have shown the effectiveness of yoga and related mind-body therapies in treating insomnia and promoting good sleep. Other than yoga, whoever practices meditation also experience good sleep patterns.
2. Losing weight:
Practicing yoga on a regular basis helps in maintaining a good weight and in improving good quality sleep. If you do yoga before going to bed, it helps you to sleep better, which positively affects weight management. It also assists you in being mindful of your eating habits.
3. Enhances quality of sleep and life:
Yoga acts as an excellent alternative to some of the pharmaceutical sleeping aids that are primarily given to adults. There are long-term effects of practicing yoga as it helps in enhancing sleep quality.
4. Helps in getting relaxation:
Yoga helps in putting your body into a calm state called relaxation. It helps you to enter into a low state of arousal. This causes low blood pressure and low amounts of stress hormone. Regular practicing helps in alleviating stress-based concerns like weight gain, insomnia, and anxiety.
Here are a few poses that you can practice just before bedtime for good quality sleep:
1. Nadi Shodhan Pranayama:
At first, bring in your dominant hand up and then fold your index and the middle fingers into your palm. Keep your thumb in the nearest nostril and then close off the air. Breathe in using the other nostril. Now make use of the other two fingers, close the open nostril and lift up your thumb from the first nostril and start exhaling. Now breathe in using the same open nostril, close it with your thumb and exhale on the other side. Repeat this method, changing sides while exhaling for a minimum of 10 rounds, taking deep breathings with every inhalation and exhalation. Benefits: It balances your prana or the life force, calming and balancing your body. You become aware of breathing in a whole new way, focusing on the present moment, and remain away from all distractions that might lead to anxiety or restlessness.
2. Balasana or child pose:
While in a seated position, fold on your legs so that you are sitting on your knees, keeping the top of your feet under you. Now bow in a forward direction till your forehead touch the ground. It is often a good idea to spread your knees to allow the upper body to deepen. If you do not find this position comfortable, then you can tuck a pillow in between the calves and hips and also another pillow under the head. Look for a position that is comfortable for you. Your arms should stretch out on your front side with your palms facing downward direction or resting alongside with palms facing up. Stay in this position, and take deep breathing for some minutes. Focus on breathing, and pay much attention to both inhalation and exhalation. Notice on length of every breath and stop your mind from wandering.
3. Supta Matsyendrasana:
Lie down and bring in your knees towards your chest. Slowly start lowering both of your knees towards the left side, keeping an aim to keep your shoulders attached to the ground. Then, look towards the right side. To enhance your level of comfort, keep one pillow in between your knees and one pillow under your left knee. Stop here and breathe while bringing in your focus towards your lower back and hips. Hold on to this position for about 10-15 breaths, then change sides.
4. Supta Baddha Konasana:
Lie down on your back, and bring your feet towards the ground, keeping your knees bent. Now part away your knees and bring in the feet soles together. You can keep one pillow under each knee if you want extra support. Allow your shoulder and jaw to relax, and then close your eyes. Keep one hand in your heart and one in your belly while you exhale. Try to take long breathing, such as gentle waves that roll in and out of the shore. Stay in this pose for about 10 – 15 breaths.
5. Viparita Karani:
It’s an inversion with support. This yoga pose helps in making your blood flow back to the heart and sometimes gives so much relaxation that you will fall asleep at once. For little elevation, keep a pillow under your hips and bring your hips close to a wall. Then stretch your legs up on the wall. Before settling down in this pose, you may have to play with maintaining the distance between hips and wall. Maintain a comfortable distance that you can hold on for several minutes.
How to bring changes to your routine?
Always make minor and simple alterations in your nighttime habits. Set your yoga practice across a few attainable goals depending on the amount of time you have and the primary enhancements you want to make. At first, decide what offers you that incentive to follow a routine such as rewarding yourself, having a liable partner, etc. If you are living with others, you must tell them about your nighttime routine. Remain easy on yourself if, by any chance, you slip the routine. Then, you can commit to starting the other day.
If you are someone who is having a lot of sleeping issues, then bedtime yoga can help you. Whether you want deep sleep or more than that, regular yoga practice before going to bed helps in getting precisely what you want. Try the above relaxing yoga poses for loosening the muscle tension, unwinding, and relaxing. Maintain constancy in your yoga practice, and keep in mind that it will take a few weeks to see the outcomes. Maintain a journal to observe your progress and determine which part of the routine gives you maximum benefit. It’s better to do these poses under the guidance of a yoga instructor who has completed training like 200 hour yoga teacher training in Rishikesh.
Angela is a senior editor at Dreniq News. She has written for many famous news agencies.