By Devinder Kaur, Owner and Director of PranaShanti Yoga Centre
Sleep is the time for the body and mind to rest, reset, detoxify, and rejuvenate. However, sometimes life interferes with our internal biological rhythms, which can result in too little sleep or not very good sleep. A balanced sleep cycle is important for our health and well-being on a number of levels. Good sleep improves our brain performance, mood, and health. Not getting enough quality sleep regularly raises the risk of many diseases and disorders and can affect our ability to concentrate, to think clearly and process memories.
Yoga is a gentle and restorative way to help wind down at the end of the day. These three yoga poses relieve tension and stress to help prepare for sleep. The more that you practice the poses, the more they can help in a good night’s sleep.
Practice these poses before bedtime and stay in them about 3 to 5 minutes each.
1. Wide-Knee Child’s Pose...
In your yoga practice, are you “paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgmentally, to the unfolding of experience moment by moment”? Are you at least striving to do that? If so, you are practicing a form of mindfulness as defined by Jon Kabat-Zinn. I call it mindful meditation.
There is a growing body of research that demonstrates that yoga as a mindful meditation can actually alter certain structures in your brain, including structures responsible for feelings of love, peace and well-being.
Let’s use peace as an example, which I define as the absence of stress. The stress response is a complicated trigger system governed by the amygdala, the small but vital portion of your brain responsible for memory, decision-making and emotions. When presented with a stressful stimulus (in modern life anything and everything can be a stressful stimulus) there is often an immediate reaction. We know this as the flight, fight or freeze response. It is automatic and often without...