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Yoga dates back thousands of years as a tried and true method for connecting your mind and body in a way that promotes your ability to be present, mindful, and relaxed. Practicing yoga helps you be in tune with yourself and your surroundings, for a deeper awareness of the now, including awareness of your present emotions, thoughts, and physical environment.
Through simple, relaxing yoga movements before bedtime as a regular routine, you can reap significant benefits from this ancient practice. Not convinced? You will be soon once you take a look at these three reasons you should be practicing yoga each night before bed.
A classic benefit of yoga is the reduction of stress. Yoga reduces stress by improving mindfulness first, whereas stress is reduced by lowering cortisol levels in the brain, enabling you to simply be instead of do.
While practicing yoga, you can shed layers of worry and concern off of you from your daily stressors by taking the time to focus only on yourself and taking care of you. Deep breathing techniques associated with yoga sends signals to your body that you are in a safe environment and helps stress levels decrease. You can be present and stress-free at the same time.
Some choose to remedy their stress in the evenings with socializing or watching television, but these activities are not ideal for your evenings as they can make it difficult to fall asleep at night. Yoga presents an alternate, natural remedy for your stress. Practicing yoga as a mind-body activity is an excellent method for releasing tension and reducing cortisol levels.
Yoga stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, which sends the ‘rest and digest’ signal. Through inducing deep rest and reducing stress, yoga also stimulates the production of serotonin, which is the primary ingredient of antidepressant drugs, making yoga the perfect concoction and natural remedy to your stress.
Mind chatter, or monkey mind, refers to ruminating, or thinking about the same thing over and over to the point that it prohibits you from going to sleep. Yoga breathing techniques and associated physical movements help calm and reset your mind before bedtime.
It is so easy before bedtime for your mind to still be at work, thinking about deadlines and money issues, what you said to who during the day, and what you may be planning for tomorrow, causing all this tension to build up right as you are trying to shut off your mind for the day so you can go to sleep. Yoga stops the chatter and helps you focus inward on yourself instead of all the external stressors.
Your sleep is critical to your mental health and wellbeing, and yoga can be a solution to help you maintain your sleep quality. Through easing pain and discomfort, reducing stress, regulating your nervous system, and helping your mind shut down, these benefits of yoga culminate in order for you to experience deeper sleep that promotes quality of waking and sleeping life.
Yoga can even help cure insomnia, which in turn promotes mental health wellbeing. Also very important is that yoga, like any routine or discipline, helps you establish a bedtime routine that signals to your mind and body that it is time to shut down and go to sleep.
You will reduce the chance of lying awake thinking and waking up during the night due to sleep disturbances if you begin your relaxation process well before the time by which you are trying to fall asleep.
Yoga has been shown to significantly help people suffering from insomnia, helping people to sleep longer, fall asleep faster, and have less sleep disturbances waking them up in the middle of the night.
So the writing is on your bedroom wall - try making yoga part of your nightly routine and ritual! In addition to the three benefits above, yoga has numerous other benefits, like curbing weight gain due to not sleeping enough; soothing tension, aches, and pain; improving circulation and cardiovascular health; and improving vitality. The sky’s the limit, and you have nothing to lose!
This article was written by: Laurie Larson