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.
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.
- Vipareet Karni (Legs up the wall)
- Supta Bhada konasana (Sleeping bound angle posture)
- Sharnagat Mudra (Child’s pose)
- Ananda Balasana (Happy baby pose)
- Jathara parivartanasana ( supine spinal twist)
- Matsyasana (Fish Pose)
- Marjaryasana (Cat-cow pose)
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.
- Ujjayi Breath: Deep breathing while using the larynx is effective in relaxing the body and the mind.
- Sahaj Pranayam: If Ujjayi breath does not come easily to you. Practice 21-mindful-breaths to slow down the nervous system.
- Anulom-Vilom Pranayam: to balance the energy in the body, to improve sleep quality.
- 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!