How Yoga Can Help You Sleep Better
We all know that stress has an impact on our sleep. If we’re stressed, the duration and quality of our sleep is negatively affected, which in turn can lead to problems with both our physical and mental health. But in a hectic modern world, it can be difficult to know what we can do to calm the mind and relax the body. Enter yoga – the 5000-year-old practice that is getting a new lease of life in the 21st century.
The evidence emphasising the link between a regular yoga practice and stress relief is compelling. According to Psychology Today, yoga has been shown to “enhance social well-being through a sense of belonging to others, and improve the symptoms of depression, attention deficit and hyperactivity, and sleep disorders.” But what’s so special about this practice? And why is it considered more beneficial for stress management compared to other forms of exercise?
A key principle of yoga is that the mind and body are connected, so the ancient practice is unique in its union of physical movements with full body awareness – something you don’t get in your average spin class. Having awareness of the body and breath helps your mind to stay in the present moment and let go of the impending to do list. This awareness is an important mindfulness practice which has been proven to help relieve stress and improve sleep.
Another fundamental principle of yoga is compassion. The practice teaches you to be compassionate to both yourself and others. A leading course of stress is self-criticism and negative thoughts about ourselves and the people around us, so exercising non-judgement during your practice (and when you step off the mat) can help to reduce stress and give you a more positive outlook.
There are lots of fantastic yoga classes in the local area. We love Warrior and Wild in Nailsworth, who offer yoga classes for a range of interests and abilities. They are currently offering 30 days of unlimited classes for £30 so it’s the perfect time to start your yoga journey. In Ross and the surrounding area there are also lots of great yoga opportunities. Click here to find a teacher near you.
Or, if you’re looking for an online yoga resource, Yoga with Adrienne has a comprehensive YouTube channel full of videos, including yoga flows specifically related to sleep.
There’s lots of ways you can start your yoga journey, both from the comfort of your home and in some fantastic local studios, so why not give it a go and see how your sleep health can benefit.