The benefits of yoga are universally recognised and with more people getting increasingly interested in mindfulness and adopting new healthy habits, it’s no surprise that so many people are incorporating this ancient practice into their day-to-day lives.
The benefits of practising yoga for bedtime
Insomnia or agitated nights are not uncommon to anyone, and such sleepless nights are often due to stress. Yoga can help you overcome insomnia by soothing your mind and releasing the stress from the day. Yoga combines mindfulness, meditation and physical activity to benefit your physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing.
Learn how to breathe
In yoga, breathing is essential and flows in harmony with every movement of the physical practice. It will teach you to control your breath and help to purify, strengthen and energise your body. Having better control of your breathing rhythm will also help you calm the mind and unwind when needed. Moreover, by breathing deeply, the brain but also the blood, tissues and muscles are better oxygenated.
A moment of physical relaxation
When practising the physical aspect of yoga, you’ll be able to focus on your breathing rhythm, while concentrating on your posture. It is important to pay particular attention to any parts of the body where you feel tight and release any tension in the muscles, through stretching and breathing deeply. Repeated stretches have a calming effect on your body and mind, helping you drift off peacefully afterwards.
Practising yoga regularly will allow you to get rid of negative emotions, allowing you to set aside any stressful experiences you may have had during the day and relieve any accumulated anxiety. Learning to ‘let go’, to live fully in the present moment to bring the mind back into the ‘here and now’, allows you to empty your head and evacuate everyday worries or unpleasant thoughts. As soon as you include yoga in your daily bedtime ritual, you’ll manage stress differently, you’ll learn to distance yourself from the strains of every day and unwind ready for bed.
Create the perfect environment for your yoga session
For your pre-bedtime yoga session, create an atmosphere that favours relaxation. So turn your room into a cocoon of tranquillity, comfort and intimacy.
Start by closing the curtains in your room and opt for a soft and dimmed light. To complete this atmosphere, why not light a few candles with pleasant scents such as lavender, chamomile or vanilla. Then put some music on, maybe simply the soothing sound of waves or rain, or you can opt for some soft classical music. Finally, wear a comfortable and cosy outfit in which you will be able to practice the different positions, but also that will remind you of the comfort of your bed.
Some yoga methods for a good night’s sleep
There is a multitude of yoga poses, however, some of them are more effective than others to relax you efficiently before bedtime. So, here are 3 of our preferred methods that will relieve your mind and body and help you drift off to sleep peacefully.
The Sukhasana pose – Easy pose
Sit on your yoga mat, or on your bed, and keep your legs stretched out in front of you and your torso upright and spine neutral.
First bend your left leg, with the sole of your foot facing your right thigh.
Then repeat the same movement symmetrically with the right leg and find a comfortable seated position.
Finally, slowly place the back of your hands on your knees.
Close your eyes, take a deep breath and exhale. Hold the pose as long as you want until you feel completely calm.
This easy and accessible pose will help relax your core and soothe your mind. It will appease your nervous system and mind in preparation for a deep and restorative night’s sleep.
The Upavistha Konasana pose – Wide angle seated forward bend
Sit up straight and extend your legs forward, opening them in a V-shape.
Place your hands behind your buttocks to maintain balance. Then, gently widen your legs, but make sure to remain in a comfortable position by respecting your flexibility threshold.
With your knees facing upwards, take a deep inhale and bent at the waist, bringing your torso forward, with the hands in front of you. Focus on your breathing and relax into the posture with each exhale.
This pose will get better as you practice it because you will gradually become more flexible. Even without being really flexible, this position will help you deeply stretch the inside and back of your legs, strengthen your spine and empty your mind of any negative thoughts.
The Shavasana pose – Corpse pose
Sit down on your mat, or bed, with your legs bent, then lie back slowly. Notice how your body feels at this moment.
Place your arms by your side, with palms facing upwards – notice the connection of the backs of your hands and shoulder blades on the mat, or bed. Keep your legs slightly apart and feet turned outwards.
Close your eyes and empty your mind. Focus on your breathing by inhaling and exhaling deeply and slowly. If any thoughts creep in, push them away and come back to the breath. Relax…
This pose will relax your body effectively preparing you for sleep. It lowers your blood pressure, reduces muscle tensions and it’s such a relaxing posture, you may even fall asleep. Consider practising this pose on your bed rather than on the floor, so you are ready to drift off to sleep.
Give yourself time to soak up the benefits of yoga to help you unwind and reconnect before drifting off to sleep. If you experience difficulties falling asleep, the idyll mattress should do most of the work for you.