By Faye Martins
When we think about deep relaxation after Hatha Yoga, we might visualize students practicing a stage-by-stage relaxation sequence after asana practice, and at the end of a typical class. Many of us do not consider practicing deep relaxation in our daily lives. Additionally, our sleep cycle is the best time to practice deep relaxation after Hatha Yoga practice. So, this may be hours after our Yoga session has finished. One obvious solution is Yoga Nidra practice at home in bed. If you reach a state of Yoga Nidra – great! If you fall into a state of sleep, who cares? Either way, you win, because the objective is deep relaxation.
The Yogic Mindset for Inducing Sleep
Insomnia can cause problems with concentration and emotional well being. A good night’s sleep is important to physical and mental health. Lack of sleep can lead to anxiety, depression, and low energy. You will find that yoga and a yogic mindset help with lack of sleep.
Yoga exercises, of all kinds, promote well being between the body and the mind. It is said practicing yoga gives you more energy. It calms the nervous system and balances the hormones in the body. Before practicing yoga these are some tips to use in addition to the exercises.
Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. This establishes a routine. Try to engage in some form of exercise, such as: daily walking, cleaning the house, or working outdoors. Don’t drink beverages with caffeine or alcohol too close to the time you go to bed. Try to relax before bed, read, watch relaxing videos, or have a cup of chamomile tea.
One exercise to do before bed is lie down in Shavasana (corpse like pose) and tense your muscles, and then, relax all areas of your body. This means forehead, arms, hands, feet, legs, tummy, and back. Do this on the floor, or in bed, and breathe deeply until you are completely relaxed.
Try the Cat Stretch: This is an exercise that reduces stress and promotes deep relaxation. It promotes deep breathing and flexibility in the limbs. Get down on your hands and knees. Exhale then lower your head. Tuck you hips down near your back. Hold this position for 10 seconds. Breathe in deeply and go back to the original pose. Inhale and tilt your head backwards while raising one right leg out. Hold this position for 10 seconds. Go back to staring position. Repeat by tilting head backwards and raising the left leg. Again hold for 10 seconds. Breathe deeply and resume starting position.
Lower your head again and bring your right knee near your forehead. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat with your left knee. Again hold 10 seconds and release. You can practice other poses called Fish Pose, Plough Pose, Puppy Pose, or Seated Forward Bend. Creating a calming environment and doing these exercises will promote sleep naturally. All of these postures can be practiced before bedtime.
The Yogic Path to a Good Night’s Rest
The great thing about yogic practices is that they are relaxing. This is why yoga proves itself as a powerful ally when it comes to aiding better sleep habits. When practicing yoga, we should be comfortable, and avoid pushing the limits. This type of pace will relax you. Not only that, but it will make your body feel amazing. After you have finished yoga for the day, your body feels different. Your body is relaxed and will be prepared to go to sleep.
Why Yogic Practices Help with a Good Night’s Rest
The reason this helps with a good night’s rest is for multiple reasons. The one reason is because it helps to gently use nervous energy in your body. For the second reason, it helps to calm your mind, and that is the prime time where people go to sleep. Have you ever tried to go to sleep while thinking a lot? It is nearly impossible to go to sleep with so much going through your mind. However, when your mind is calm and willing to let go of the day, you find that you sleep better and that you fall asleep faster. Yogic practice is partially about learning how to let go of nervous energy in your body and mind.
Get Healthy Sleep
When it comes to yogic methods, find one that works for you and stick with it. Wait until after you have seen the results over a period of a few weeks before you move on. It is crucial to take your time with a consistent and complete practice, because if you move on from one method to the next, then you will never have given yourself enough time to decide what works the best for you.
Look for Poses that Aid Sleep
Different poses help with different tasks. There is yoga for anger, sadness, depression, sleep, and much more. These types of yogic practice were established in order to help with a certain problem. The poses have a way for calming that ailment.
The great thing about yoga is that it can help you with a wide variety of different things. Part of the reason why yogic practices work so well for sleep is because they help to put the mind at ease. It is difficult to sleep without having a mind that is at ease.
Practicing Yoga for Better Sleep
Sleep is such a crucial element to one’s well being. Sleep allows the body to recuperate and reenergize. We need sleep to help us face another day, another situation, and enjoy life’s experiences.
Struggling to fall asleep and stay asleep will disrupt that much needed rest the body craves. While prescription or over-the-counter medication may seem like the only option, there are other options. Options that don’t involve medication at all and offer health benefits while promoting a restful sleep is just what you need.
By simply adding yoga to your day, you can help your nights become more restful. This is especially true if the lack of sleep is due to stress. Yoga will de-stress the body, relax the mind, and allow you to fall asleep.
Yogic methodology along with a healthy diet and lifestyle can assist in falling and staying asleep. The yogic practices do not need to be lengthy; a few simple poses a day may be all that is needed. Incorporating stretches to release tension in the body will help relax the body. Follow poses and stretches with breathing techniques and meditation will help relax the brain. Allowing the brain to focus only on the breathing and present situation helps the brain unwind and stop stressing. In fact, when the mind is calm, you might find a solution to your problems, which could end your worries.
To attain a state of deep relaxation after Hatha Yoga, you must choose mild methods. While heavy exercising before bed can make it difficult to fall asleep, choosing to do a few mild breathing exercises, moderate stretches, and gentle poses indicates to your body that it is time to unwind and sleep. This will be especially true if gentle methods are integrated into the bedtime routine.
Many of the poses that promote sleep are done in bed or on the floor while lying down. Poses like Happy Baby, Legs-Up-the-Wall, and the Corpse Pose offer modest stretching that can be modified based on personal preference. During the routine, focus on the body, the muscles, the present moment, and allow your body to soften.
Yogic methodology lets the body release the day’s stress and troubles. It helps the body mentally and physically prepare for rest. Allow your mind to take a moment from life’s constant chaos and settle down before resting for the night. Add yoga to your bedtime ritual and begin to experience a restful and sound sleep.
Why Yoga Will Help Your Sleep Improve
Yoga is an ancient method that helps the mind and body to learn to relax and focus. It is only fitting that this type of exercise could be beneficial for sleeping. Actually, Yoga is one of the best ways to relax the body, while making falling and staying asleep easier. This art focuses on the central nervous system and learning to relax every muscle in the body, all while using controlled breathing.
Practicing Yoga To Improve Sleep
If you want to find a state of deep relaxation after Hatha Yoga, you need to sleep better at night, and meditation during the day is the key. While so many people are quick to try sleep aids and prescription medications, they need to turn to more natural methods to get to sleep. Many studies have found that passive methods of yoga, like pranayama, mantra, mudra, and meditation, are very beneficial in helping us to sleep. This specific branch of yoga is all about meditation. It helps the mind to not only focus, but to calm down. Many people who suffer from panic and anxiety practice meditation and find that it works wonders. Those who have ventured into pranayama, mantra, mudra, and meditation have found they are no longer tossing and turning during the night, but sleep more peacefully. Since meditation uses what is known as talk therapy, or cognitive behavioral therapy, it is a drug free way to conquer sleep disturbances.
Those who suffer with chronic insomnia have found the vast benefits in yoga. There is a general belief in medicine that many people suffer with a sleep disorder. The older a person is, the more likely they are to have problems falling or staying asleep. Though many people suffer, few will seek medical treatment for their condition. It is also believed that only a small percent of those suffering with insomnia seek medical attention, leaving many people taking over the counter sleeping pills or surviving with untreated chronic insomnia. Most people don’t think it is a problem that warrants seeing a doctor, but poor sleep can cause severe problems within the entire body and mind.
Not getting enough sleep can be linked with obesity, cognition problems and overall issues with the brain. By utilizing deep breathing exercises and certain positions in yoga, many have found it easier to go to sleep faster. Some poses can be done while in bed to help further stimulate the sleep cycle. Trying positions like the Child’s Pose, easy spinal twist and other basic poses are said to be just what a person needs to fall and stay asleep. Our objective to find a state of deep relaxation after Hatha Yoga is accomplished and we can start a new day with a song in our hearts.
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by B.K.S. Iyengar
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More About Deep Relaxation After Hatha Yoga
By R K S Rathore
When we do Yogasana, a lot of energy is released from our body and we feel tired if we do not relax our body properly. A quick method of relaxing yourself is located below.
Lie down on your Yoga mat in Shavasana keeping one and a half feet distance between your legs. Keep your arms 6 to 7 inches away from your body, the half-open palms facing upward. Close your eyes gently.
Now follow this command without interacting or reasoning –
BE AWARE OF YOUR RIGHT LEG AND BE AWARE OF YOUR LEFT LEG
BE AWARE OF YOUR RIGHT ARM AND BE AWARE OF YOUR LEFT ARM
BE AWARE OF YOUR TOUCH WITH THE MOTHER EARTH
BE AWARE OF YOUR BACK AND BE AWARE OF YOUR NECK
BE AWARE OF YOUR FRONT, FACE AND REST OF THE SKULL
BE AWARE OF THE SPACE WITH IN YOU AND BE AWARE OF THE SPACE OUTSIDE YOUR BODY
WITH THIS INCREASED AWARENESS, OBSERVE WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WE BREATH IN AND WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WE BREATH OUT
FILL THE AIR IN YOUR LUNGS BY CHANTING ‘SO’ MENTALLY AND RELEASE THE AIR BY CHANTING ‘HUM’ MENTALLY
IMAGINE THAT WHEN YOU BREATH IN, FRESH AIR OF MILKY COLOR GOES TO YOUR LUNGS AND ALONG WITH THIS AIR YOU INSTILL THE NOBLE IDEAS WITHIN YOURSELF, YOUR BLOOD GETS PURIFIED AND YOU FEEL REFRESHED
WHEN YOU BREATH OUT, THE FOUL AIR OF DARK COLOR GOES OUT WITH ALL THE FREE RADICALS, AILMENTS, AND ILL WILL
CONTINUE CHANTING MENTALLY ‘SO’ AND ‘HUM’ WITH EACH INHALATION AND EXAHALATION FOR FOUR TO FIVE TIMES
NOW RAISE YOUR HANDS AND RUB YOUR PALMS TOGETHER AND PUT THEM ON YOUR CLOSED EYES FOR A FEW SECONDS.
RAISE YOUR BODY FROM LEFT SIDE AND SIT DOWN.