Yoga for better sleep August 3, 2021 – Posted in: Uncategorized

Did you know? An estimated 30-50 %of the UK population will experience insomnia symptoms. Insomnia can be caused by a factor of things, such as stress, anxiety, room temperature, uncomfortable beds. But the good news is Insomnia can get better by changing our sleeping habits. One great way to relax and improve your sleep naturally is through yoga.

Clare’s story

My yoga journey started due to an injury, I fractured three vertebrae in my Thoracic spine due to a violent seizure. This left me in a back brace and temporarily, I lost the use of my legs. Having previously been an exercise class addict, this was very difficult for me to come to terms with. In the pursuit of finding some form of exercise that I would be able to partake in, I discovered yoga.

The deeper, spiritual side of yoga has huge benefits to all who practice. The true essence of yoga is to remove the fluctuations of the mind. Using both movement and breath, the aim is to quieten the continual whirring of thoughts to create a state of tranquillity.

Bring one of your shins towards the front of the mat and lengthen the other leg down the mat behind you. Fold the upper body down and relax into the pose perhaps resting down onto a cushion if preferred. This pose aids opening to the hips plus also lengthens the psoas muscle, the major hip flexor muscle. The hip flexors can get so tight with the amount of sitting we do in our society. Shortening the psoas muscles can create issues in the lower back. Relaxing into this pose, using the weight of the upper body can deepen the stretch.

Sit with your ankles lined up, elevating the hips by sitting upon a block or cushion. Softly close your eyes and start to tune into the rhythm of your breath and become aware of your heartbeat. Inhale and lengthen your spine; exhale and ground down through your sit bones. Rest your hands on your knees or into your lap.

As you lengthen out each inhalation and exhalation, bring your mind’s focus onto the breath detaching from the constant chatter that goes on in the mind. Work towards discovering a period of total calm and tranquility whilst just observing your breath.
This posture, together with Savasana (gradually relaxing one body part at a time, one muscle at a time, and one thought at a time) allows you to truly connect with your body and breath to connect with your inner calm. For Savasana, lie down with the feet separated and toes rolling out whilst the hands are down by your side with the palms facing up. The closing posture of all asana practice.

There are so many different options in yoga that once you start practicing you will find that your yoga finds you. With the right instructor, it is possible to develop a regular practice that provides all the benefits yoga has to offer.