4 Ways Yoga Can Help You Sleep
‘I slept amazingly for the first time in ages!’ said a student recently a week after she’d taken her first yoga class. Actually, I hear that a lot. But why? Why do people find that they sleep more soundly after yoga? Here are just a few of the reasons…
1. Yoga reduces stress levels by relaxing the body AND mind. Lower stress levels make it easier to drift off.
2. Yoga can ease physical discomfort. Gentle movement before bed can help ease stiff or sore muscles allowing you to get more comfortable and drift off to sleep.
3. Yoga can help you redirect your attention. Instead of lying in bed thinking through the things you need to do or things you haven't done or rehashing anxiety or frustration from your day, yoga can help you learn to redirect your focus. Try this at bedtime: Lie down in bed in the dark and get comfortable. Close your eyes and take 5 deep breathes, in through the nose and out through the mouth. Let your breath return to normal and silently say to yourself ‘I am calm and relaxed’ over and over. You don’t need to attach meaning to the words. You don’t need to believe them. Just think them over and over to help you move away from the noise and into a quieter headspace which will allow you to fall asleep.
4. Yoga gives you something better to do. Rather then staring at a screen before bed, try a few gentle stretches instead. If you spend time on your phone before bed every night, rather then calming yourself, you are stimulating your brain which is hindering your ability to fall asleep. Try some of the gentle stretches below instead.
3 Yoga Poses To Practice Before Bed
Legs Up The Wall
Supta Baddha Konasana