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Bedtime Yoga, Anyone….?

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In 2019, “Sleeping well” should be on everyone’s to-do list. As sleep deprivation is one of the biggest reasons for increased stress and anxiety. On the other hand, a regular yoga practice helps people in sleeping better. As the parasympathetic nervous system is stimulated and there is a chemical-hormonal balance in the body.

Bad Time Yoga

First of all, we need to know that certain yoga practices energize the body. Thus, it may interfere with your sleep cycle. On the other hand, there are asana and pranayama practices that help in sleeping better.

Asana practices to sleep better

If you’ve had a tiring day and your muscles feel tight. You can practice basic asanas that will relax the body and the mind. Thus, improving sleep quality.

  1. Vipareet Karni (Legs up the wall)
  2. Supta Bhada konasana (Sleeping bound angle posture)
  3. Sharnagat Mudra (Child’s pose)
  4. Ananda Balasana (Happy baby pose)
  5. Jathara parivartanasana ( supine spinal twist)
  6. Matsyasana (Fish Pose)
  7. Marjaryasana (Cat-cow pose)

Pranayam practice

There are pranayama practices to calm the mind and relax the nervous system. In fact, doctors are suggesting these breathing exercises, to people suffering from insomnia.

  1. Ujjayi Breath: Deep breathing while using the larynx is effective in relaxing the body and the mind.
  2. Sahaj Pranayam: If Ujjayi breath does not come easily to you. Practice 21-mindful-breaths to slow down the nervous system.
  3. Anulom-Vilom Pranayam: to balance the energy in the body, to improve sleep quality.
  4. Tratak: Whenever my mind seems everywhere. I get off the bed, practice candle-light meditation. It always helps me to clear my mind and go back to sleep.

Besides, if your right-nostril breathing is dominating. You can shift the breathing practice to the left nostril, as it helps you sleep better.

Yoga practices to avoid 90 minutes before Bed

Power yoga, Vinyasa, Hot yoga and Surya Namaskar should be avoided. As it increases brain activity while energizing the body. Thus, it deters the sleep cycle.

Skip energising pranayama like Bhastrika, Kapalbhati, Brahmari before bedtime. And asanas that activate the sympathetic nervous system like hand stand and pinch mayurasana.

Finally, use restorative yoga asanas and breathing exercise in your Bedtime yoga practice. And if you want to sweat it out, keep a minimum of 2-hour window before your bedtime. Happy Yoga practice!

posted Feb 4 by M.s.prathiksha

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A little over a year ago I began a strength training program. After bilateral hip replacements, and the years of dysfunction that led up to them, I needed to regain strength. I'm now working out with weights at least once a week on my own. It feels good and has improved my strength and agility by miles.

I've begun tweaking my workouts recently to include a longer stretching period after my workout. As I expected, making my cool-down period more like a mini-yoga practice has benefits far beyond simple stretching. After I finish my workout now, my mind is clear, smooth and alert—like after a yoga practice. Who would have thought?

6 Yoga Poses for Cooling Down

Of course, there are lots of yoga poses for cooling down after a weight-training session. What you choose can depend on the focus of your weight training. Below are the poses I’ve found to be helpful. Bring along a yoga mat, a yoga strap and an eyebag, and make sure you approach your practice with an attitude of ease rather than one of aggression. Keep your breathing long, slow and relaxed.

  1. UnwindAdho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose) is a great way to begin the unwinding process. Begin your Dog Pose by moving around—twisting, flexing and extending your spine and moving through all your joints. The intention here is to “liquefy” your joints and soft tissues before stretching. Downward Facing Dog Pose is the perfect transition pose for moving into stretching.
  2. Stretch Your Quads: There are a number of ways to stretch the quads. My favorite way is to practice Supta Ardha Virasana (Supine Half Hero’s Pose). However, this pose can be out of reach for people whose knees don’t flex all that far. If this is the case, simply flip over onto your belly. Lie flat on your abdomen and then bend one of your knees. Reach back and grab your foot and draw the foot in toward your body to stretch the quads. You can use your yoga strap if your hand doesn’t reach your foot.
  3. Stretch Your HamstringsSupta Padangusthasana (Supine Big Toe Pose) is a classic way to release hamstring tightness after a workout. Be sure to place a strap around your foot so that you can keep the rest of your body in a supine Tadasana (Mountain Pose).
  4. Stretch Your Outer ThighsSupta Ardha Padmasana (Supine Half Lotus Pose) is a great way to release tension in the glutes and outer thighs. Make sure to keep your shoulders relaxed as you draw your legs toward your torso.
  5. TwistJathara Parivrttanasana (Revolved Belly Pose) is a great way to further release tension in the shoulders and core. Be sure to breathe deeply into your abdomen as you relax into the pose.
  6. Let It All Go: As with any asana practice, Savasana (Relaxation Pose) helps smooth out agitation and help you integrate your practice. Give yourself at least 5 minutes. I’ve found 10 minutes to be the minimum amount of time my body needs to benefit from Savasana after a workout. The lights in most gyms and weight rooms are pretty harsh. An eyebag makes a big difference.
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