Between keeping up with household chores and maintaining the right work-life balance, stress has become the norm for many of us. Unfortunately, high levels of stress and anxiety can have a negative impact on our physical and emotional well-being and even impact our quality of sleep.
One holistic approach to managing sleep cycles is yoga. For many years, yoga has been a well-respected practice to connect with the body and mind. However, it can also be a powerful aid in overcoming sleep disturbances. But can yoga help with sleep disorders like insomnia? Read on to find out!
Yoga for better sleep — four relaxation techniques to try
Does yoga help you fall asleep? Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned yogi, practicing yoga before bed can give you a better chance of a more restful sleep. There are many ways you can incorporate yoga for relaxation into your nightly routine. Yoga is a practice that can accommodate all flexibility, spiritual, and fitness levels. Let’s explore some of the techniques and yoga poses for better sleep:
- Deep breathing exercises (Pranayama)
One of the fundamental elements of yoga, pranayama, an ancient breathing technique that originated from India, focuses on controlled and conscious breathing. Deep breathing exercises, such as diaphragmatic breathing, can activate the parasympathetic nervous system, promoting a sense of calmness and reducing stress hormones. By incorporating deep breathing exercises into your nightly routine, you’ll have a better chance of easing your mind and preparing the body for a restful night’s sleep.
- Mindful meditation
Yoga for relaxation doesn’t just involve dynamic physical movements. Nightly mindfulness meditation can also work wonders for combating insomnia. Our lives are constantly moving, giving us little time throughout the day to stop, pause, and reflect. Guided meditation sessions that focus on breath awareness or body scan techniques help redirect attention away from intrusive, overwhelming thoughts and induce relaxation. Meditation helps the mind to let go of stressors and can help contribute to a more serene sleep environment.
- Restorative yoga poses for better sleep
Restorative yoga involves gentle, supported poses designed to relax the body and calm the nervous system. These are poses that you perform and hold for five minutes or more. As restorative yoga focuses more on stillness, relaxation, and deep breathing, you only perform a handful of poses each session.
Poses such as Child’s Pose, Fish Pose, Legs Up the Wall, and Corpse Pose encourage deep relaxation by releasing tension from various muscle groups. These restorative postures alleviate physical strain and encourage a tranquil mental space, conducive to quality sleep.
- Yoga Nidra
Often referred to as “yogic sleep,” Yoga Nidra is a guided relaxation technique that brings the practitioner to a state between wakefulness and sleep. This practice involves a systematic process of body awareness, breath regulation, and visualization, leading to profound relaxation. Incorporating Yoga Nidra into your bedtime routine can promote a sense of calmness and reduce insomnia symptoms.
One of the major benefits of Yoga Nidra as a method to combat insomnia is that it is highly accessible and achievable for all fitness levels, as all you need to do is lie on your back. If you cannot lie on your back, you can also do it seated. Many of us tend to get in our heads with the more traditional yoga practices as we worry about getting the poses right — Yoga Nidra is a kind of yoga for relaxation that cannot be done incorrectly, helping you achieve the ultimate form of calmness.
Begin your yoga journey and feel empowered with Yoga Holmes
In the quest for better sleep and improved well-being, the power of yoga cannot be overstated. By integrating one or more of these relaxation techniques into your nighttime routine, you can make a positive difference in the quality of your sleep. But for those looking to begin their yoga journey or deepen their practice, Yoga Holmes stands as your trusted guide.
With talented and dedicated instructors possessing over 24 years of teaching experience, Yoga Holmes provides a nurturing and inclusive online environment for individuals to explore the transformative power of yoga, ultimately paving the way to a more peaceful and restful night’s sleep. With new weekly content and more than 350 existing yoga classes available, yogis are spoilt for choice for their daily practice.
Welcome the union of body and mind through yoga, and let the path to better sleep unfold naturally. Start your journey with Yoga Holmes by contacting us today to learn more about our free trial or online classes.