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Enjoy the benefits of adding yoga to your bedtime routine

We understand if sleep doesn’t always come easily because your mind is occupied replaying the day’s events or your neck and shoulders are tight from hours spent hunched over a computer. We’re right there with you. We’re always looking for ways to release the mental and physical stresses of the day so we can get the sufficient, quality sleep we need. When we find something we add to our own bedtime routines such as yoga, we like to share that information.

Yoga not only complements a healthy lifestyle; it provides a soothing addition to a bedtime routine intended to help you fall and stay asleep. It’s “a gentle and restorative way to wind down your day.” Consider gentle yoga at bedtime for its benefits to your mind, body, and sleep.

1.    Yoga Relaxes Your Body

If you feel that every muscle is clenched by the end of the day, yoga might be for you. There are many different yoga poses and stretches that can help relax the body’s muscles.  By slowly stretching and holding different poses, the muscles begin to relax and lose their tension. While physical activity is beneficial to sleep, in general, yoga and stretching exercises are particularly suitable for “evening workouts because they naturally encourage relaxation,” according to the National Sleep Foundation. Your breathing while in the poses is key to relaxing your body.

2.   Yoga Eases Your Mind

Without distractions, your mind can escape the thoughts of your busy life. The calm that accompanies the breathing and meditative aspects of yoga brings mental benefits, including “reduced anxiety and depression.” Let go of the day as you prepare for sleep.

3.  Yoga Enhances Your Sleep

Now that your muscles are relaxed and your mind is clear, you can rest. A national survey found that more than half of those who did yoga found it helped them sleep better. There are some poses that, when accompanied by slow and steady breathing, are particularly suited to be done right before bedtime. We offer some suggestions of where to begin in this article.

4.  Yoga Sharpens Your Brain

If you’ve reached the age at which you would feel lost without the rainbow of sticky notes or the reminder apps, you might be interested to know that studies using brain imaging technology have found that older yoga practitioners showed less brain shrinkage compared with nonpractitioners, which “suggests that yoga may counteract age-related declines in memory and other cognitive skills.” We’re all for staying sharp.

5.  Yoga Improves Your Day

In addition to improving sleep, yoga can work wonders for your posture, flexibility, and strength the next day. Working at desks or over laptops and scrolling on cellphones can wreak havoc on your posture. Yoga can promote relief of low back pain caused by poor posture through relaxation of the muscles and the improvement to core strength and stability. Without that pain, it will become easier to sit and stand up straight.

Find the right yoga and poses for your bedtime routine

There are many different types of yoga and yoga poses, which can seem intimidating. Although yoga is an approachable form of exercise, if you are new to yoga, you may want to take a class from a credentialed teacher so that you feel comfortable before going it alone. However, it is quite possible to practice in your own home with the available YouTube yoga channels. One that we found early on was Yoga with Adriene.

A popular resource, Adriene Mishler’s videos include an array of options for bedtime yoga practice. These short practice videos let you incorporate yoga into your routine without becoming overwhelming. If you’re interested in further exploration of yoga channels, consider this listing of the “21 Best YouTube Yoga Channels for When You Need Some Gentle Movement.”

Move through poses at your own pace to reap the benefits of relaxing into sleep. You want bedtime yoga to be gentle and relaxing. Leave the power yoga for another time of day.

-The Team at down etc

 

Read more:

Bedtime Rituals for Better Sleep

Breathwork for Better Sleep

 

DISCLAIMER: You should not rely on any of the foregoing as a substitute for, nor does it replace, professional medical or health and wellness advice, diagnosis, or treatment by a healthcare professional. If you have specific concerns or a situation in which you require professional or medical advice, you should consult with an appropriately trained and qualified specialist, such as a licensed physician, psychologist, or other health professional. Never disregard the medical advice of a physician, psychologist, or other health professional, or delay in seeking such advice, because of the information or content offered or provided on the Site. The use of the Site and all information and content contained thereon is solely at your own risk. 

Photo by Ivan Samkov from Pexels

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