The current trend is to be night owls. If it’s not work, it’s late night parties! Have you ever wondered to change your lifestyle with age? As we age, the bodies ability to handle lack of sleep and to perform better without proper sleep goes down. This does not mean staying up late in the night is good for kids or for young adults. We all know that kids need to sleep for a minimum 10 hours and adults at least 8 hours. A lot of us don’t give it enough importance but here are some pointers that you need to sit and take notice. Most basic and commonly known effects of lack of sleep;
- You perform tasks at much lower efficiency. So while you might feel you have been working for hours, a rested you would have managed to perform this in a much shorter time span.
- Lack of sleep drains you and puts you at a health risk.
- You will see weight gain and experience weakening of the immune system.
- Loss of memory and more.
I don’t need much science to prove these to you. I am sure if you have not been sleeping well for a few days, you would have noticed some or many of these symptoms. What you may have noticed that some of you claim you don’t need to sleep more than 4-5 hours a day as your body has gotten used to an insomniac pattern. The post today shares how yoga can help induce sleep.
How yoga can help you unwind
Below you can find five yoga poses to help relieve tension in the body and the mind. You just need 10 minutes and can even extend to 30 minutes to practice them, depending on your interest but they will ensure a relaxed sleep.
Savasana – Corpse Pose
Usually, it is done at the end of all yoga practice to calm down all senses and this is also the best way to end your day. You can listen to a relaxing music while doing this.
Just lie down on your back. Spread your feet little wider than shoulder distance apart. Hands spread out palms facing upwards. Relax your back and shoulders, shut your eyes and observe your body as you exhale and inhale deeply. Try relaxing every part of your body.
Anuloma Viloma – Alternate Nostril Breathing
In our day to day life, we do not use both our nostrils to breathe. Also at times when we get lost in something deep we stop breathing, this causes anxiety. Breathing consciously helps release tension and energizes us. Anuloma Viloma is a yoga breathing technique which can be practised any time of the day. Sit in any comfortable position, cross-legged or in with knees folded.
- Place your right thumb on your right nostril and breathe in through your left nostril now close the left nostril with your index finger and exhale through your right nostril releasing the thumb. Repeat this for at least 5 counts.
- Inhale deeply from both nostrils. Close both nostrils and hold the breath for as long as you can. Release your thumb and fingers and breathe out all the air from your tummy.
- Now close your nostrils and hold for as long as you can.
- Finally breathe in and relax.
Keep your focus on your breath. This exercise slows down the breath and the heartbeat. Since you use both your nostrils, both sides of your brain receive oxygen.
Shashankasana – Child’s Pose
Sit in vajra asana ie knees folded and hips resting on your feet, back straight. Now bend forward, without raising your hips(hips should keep touching your feet) and try to touch your forehead to the floor. Stay in this positions for five breathes(deep inhales and exhales). Now slowly raise your limbs one by one till you are back to the sitting position. This will release any tension in your body.
Supta Baddhakonasana – Lying Butterfly Pose
Baddhakon asana is a very good yoga pose to increase hip flexibility. This asana releases tensions in the hip joint which also helps remove emotional tensions.
- Place the soles of your feet together and let your knees drop
- Gently lean back and lie down on your back, keeping the soles of your feet together
- Arms are relaxed by your side, palms facing up. Use each exhalation to release the tension in your hip joints, and try to relax completely.
After a whole day of standing on your feet, this pose helps release tension from your lower limbs.
Just lie down on your back and touch your hips and lower limbs to the wall to form a 90-degree angle. This makes sure that there is improved blood circulation in the lower limbs.
Don’t undermine the benefits of a good night’s sleep. A relaxed mind and body function more efficiently than what you may give it credit for. I practice Shavasana and Anulom Vilom whenever I can, for my kids before they sleep and they love it. Not only do they sleep more soundly, they also wake up brighter. These can be used by anyone irrespective of age, playing a relaxing music helps. It’s high time to give sleep its due credit.
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