Yoga For Good Sleep
On the days that I have gone to my yoga class or practiced yoga at home I find I sleep better. The benefits of yoga are many. It strengthens our bodies and makes us more flexible. It calms our nervous system and minds down. We become more aware of our breathing. We often connect with our higher or more spiritual selves.
A few ideas that work for me in my yoga practice that really relax me:
1. Start off my yoga session with a specific intention (to be more relaxed, good health, world peace, prosperity, etc.)
2. Begin my practice with a strong feeling of gratitude.
3. Be very conscious of my breathing: when inhaling, really feel my lungs and belly fill up with air (Buddha belly); when exhaling, really breathe that air fully out. Out of habit, most of us are shallow breathers. It is amazing what a few minutes of real deep breathing can do for us!
4.Be present. Be in the Now. This is a special time I am gifting to myself. This is not a time for worries or problems.
5. Find a good instructor. I have been practicing yoga for over ten years now. There is such a variety of Yoga styles and the instructor truly sets the tone. Try some different classes and find one that works for you. There are two different classes that I attend at my local gym. They each have a different focus. One is more athletic and one is more relaxed and focused on gentle breathing. I enjoy both classes very much.
6. When at home, I find even a few minutes on the floor doing some light stretching and breathing exercises does wonders. For many of us who are busy we need to not get discouraged if we feel we don’t have a lot of time for our yoga practice. Just slip in a few minutes here and there and we will benefit!
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