The practice of yoga is about a mind-body connection, referring to an embracing awareness of emotions, thoughts, and physical surroundings of your body.
The benefits of yoga extend beyond your time in the studio stretching out your sore muscles. The principles and values embedded in yoga can function as life lessons and practical guidelines for everyday life, both when you are awake and when you are asleep.
Why You Should Practice Yoga Before Bedtime
In fact, yoga is often recommended as a key component to a wind down routine before bed.
Practicing yoga before Bedtime comes with many benefits for your sleep quality and your daily life. It eases pain and discomfort, reduces stress, regulates your nervous system, helps you establish a normal bedtime routine, and helps your mind shut down. With consistent practice, yoga can even help cure insomnia.
The main benefits of a nighttime yoga routine are based on the following:
Yoga reduces stress by improving mindfulness. Stress is reduced by lowering cortisol levels in the brain, enabling you to simply be instead of do.
Yoga can help alleviate symptoms of chronic pain issues. Yoga relaxes your brain while also putting your body to ease as well. Yoga could be the answer if you experience sleep disturbances caused by back or joint pain or muscle stiffness.
Yoga, as any discipline, helps you establish a routine surrounding bedtime. Developing a regular routine or nighttime ritual through a nightly yoga sequence at bedtime helps your body realize that it is time to go to sleep.
Learning how to effectively breathe is a core principle of yoga. You will learn how to breathe in order to enhance the connection between mind and body. In fact, breathing is often more important than the physical movement itself.
Such breathing also helps you turn your mind off for meditation and mindfulness purposes. This breathing and mindfulness triggers the relaxation response, a conditioned response that is necessary for quality sleep.
How to Practice Yoga Before Bedtime
Once you decide to try yoga at bedtime, think about the poses you will try and how you will do them.
Slowing down to stay in one pose helps you identify the tension in your body that you can then release as you sit and breathe through the pose and stretching itself has a calming effect. Pick poses that work best for you. Some of them you may even be able to do in bed.
Yoga is all about your relationship with yourself, so listen to your body if something feels too uncomfortable – you may not be ready for it. Remember there are modifications for any pose, and you can consult one of our yoga instructors for suggestions.
Consider the following poses for a regular night time routine:
- Pascimottanasana (seated forward bend)
- Matsyasana (fish pose)
- Kapotasana (pigeon pose)
- Adho Mukha Svanasana (downward dog)
- Padmasana (half lotus twist)
- Krounchasan (heron pose)
- Parsva Balansana (thread the needle)
- Viparita Karani (legs on wall pose)
Considering the benefits of yoga at bedtime – it is worth a try! According to the National Sleep Foundation, 45% of all Americans say that a lack of sleep or sleep deprivation has had an impact on their lives.
Renew your body, calm your mind, and improve your breathing, all through taking time out for you at night to become fully present in your body and relax as your head hits the pillow.