It’s no secret that sleep is crucial for our health and well-being. There is more and more research coming out about the effects of sleep depravation being linked as a causative factor to many of our modern day illnesses. We all know the feeling of lacking vibrancy and vitality from poor sleep. Whether you toss and turn all night or sleep like a log, there are many simple ways Yoga can benefit your sleep.
There are many different types of Yoga and practices, some are more energizing than others. In order to wind down and drift off into a state of blissful sleep, here are 5 Yogic practices the Morning Light team recommend.
Also known as ‘Yogic Sleep’, Yoga Nidra is an immensely powerful guided meditation practice. Yoga Nidra is great tool to wind down after a busy day. The best part is anyone can do this practice. While the practitioner rests comfortably in savasana (lying on the back), the meditation guides you systematically through the koshas (layers of the body). Yoga Nidra brings awareness to the body and promotes deep relaxation and is the perfect practice to calm the nervous system before bed.
Legs up the wall
Viparita Karani is deeply relaxing and calming for our nervous system. After just 5 minuets most people report to feel calm and at ease. Paired with some gentle belly breathing, this pose will have you asleep in no time. The benefits don’t stop there. Viparita Karani is also extremely beneficial for reducing swelling in legs, relieving sore muscles and encouraging lymphatic drainage, purifying the body of toxins.
Alternate nostril breathing
Nadi Shodhana Pranayama literally means ‘cleaning of nerves’. It is an incredible practice to bring mental clarity and to restore balance to our nervous system. To practice Nadi Shodhana find a comfortable seat, keep the spine long, using your right hand take your pointer and middle finger and place them lightly on the third eye (in between the eyebrows) using your thumb close the right nostril, inhale through the left nostril for 4 seconds, close left nostril exhale out of right nostril for 4 seconds, repeat for at least 10 breaths exhaling out of the left
nostril to finish.
A beautiful restorative practice that emphasises on unwinding tension from the body. Yin targets the facia (connective tissue) which holds a lot of stress. As we unwind tension from the physical body, we unwind tension from the mind.
The ancient Vedic texts speak of Vastu Shastra ‘The Science of architecture’, essentially think Inidan Feng Shui. Keep your space tidy, open and airy, no technology in your bedroom and no devices past 9pm, declutter make your space somewhere you actually want to be, absolutely nothing in your room that reminds you of work, avoid heavy scents, instead use calming scents such as sandalwood, jasmine, rose and ylang ylang.