In case you missed it, yesterday was International Yoga Day — a holiday established by the UN in 2014 with a goal of promoting physical, mental, and spiritual peace. Yoga is easy to integrate into your daily routine and can quickly make a real difference to your life.
Among the many positive effects it can have on your life, yoga has been proven to act as a powerful sleep aid. Yoga can help you work out your physical and mental stresses, putting your mind at ease just in time to wind down for bed and can help you experience better sleep night after night.
Three yoga poses to practice before bed
From a seated position, bend forward from the hips, keeping your hands outstretched on the floor in front of you. Keep your weight back in your hips as you lower yourself to the ground, moving first down to your forearms, then to your forehead, and eventually to your chest. Stretch your arms out as far as they will reach.
Beginning in the downwards-facing-dog pose, move your right foot to the outside of your right hand. Keep your front bent knee stacked over your ankle and both arms inside of your front bent knee. Staying on the ball of your back foot, extend it as far back as possible, drawing your kneecap up. Try to distribute your weight evenly across both of your hips, and if you are comfortable, lower down. Hold and repeat with your left side.
Lie face up with your knees bent. Keep your feet flat on the floor, with your arms extended along your sides, palms up. Keep your shoulders down and engage your abs by pressing your heels into the floor to lift your hips and back, forming a diagonal line from your shoulders to your knees.
These three stimulating poses will target a range of muscles in your body and focus evenly on the noticeable and unnoticeable stresses you carry around each day.
Yoga helps you to adopt relaxed and rhythmic breathing patterns. Letting your breath flow smoothly through your nostrils, you can time your breathing to maintain steady, deep breaths that will help to lower your heart rate, reduce your blood pressure, and ease your muscles — exactly what’s needed for a good night’s sleep.
Three yoga poses for waking up
Standing straight in the mountain pose, place your hands on your lower back and engage all the muscles in your legs. Press your hips forward and slowly arch your back backwards, keeping your head facing forward the entire time.
Kneeling on the floor with your toes together and your knees hip-width apart, rest your palms on your thighs. Lower your torso between your spread knees. Extend your arms alongside your torso with your palms facing down, relaxing your shoulders towards the ground.
Begin in the child’s pose with your arms extended in front of you, hands shoulder-width apart. Press down with your hands, lifting your forearms away from the ground. Rotate your shoulders outwards and draw yourself up to your hands and knees. Making sure your feet are parallel, press your hips back and up and let your head hang.
These three simple poses will relax your muscles and regulate your breathing, helping you to welcome a new day with a positive and healthy outlook. As yoga decreases stress and anxiety, it clears your head of the morning fog that can slow you down.
Yoga is a vital part of a healthy daily routine. One session in the morning and one session at night are enough to bring you a lasting sense of calm and focus throughout the day, and a deep and satisfying sleep at night.
Here at Naturepedic, sleep is our speciality. That’s why we make all of our organic mattresses and pillows with the highest-quality materials to promote a healthy, non-toxic lifestyle that gives you the best night’s sleep.
To learn more about our commitment to healthy living, read how we’re starting by caring for the environment.