Why You Should Include Yoga into Your Wind Down Routine
While yoga is proven to provide significant health benefits such as balance, flexibility, and exercise, it may surprise some people that yoga is a great element to add to your nightly winddown routine.
For most people a winddown routine will avoid any activity which promotes increased heart rate and blood circulation because of the concern that this extra boost of energy may result in difficulty sleeping. However, yoga has some unique qualities that not only aid in sleep, but actually can help people who suffer from chronic sleep deprivation.
Here are a few reasons why you should include yoga as part of your nightly wind down routine.
Improves sleep for people who suffer from insomnia
A recent Harvard Medical School study identified improvements in sleep for people who suffer from primary and secondary insomnia. Primary insomnia is a condition in which sleeplessness is independent of any other sleep disorders, and secondary insomnia is a consequence of another medical condition. The study showed improvements in multiple areas of sleep such as sleep efficiency, sleep time, awake time, the time it takes to fall asleep, and wake time after falling asleep.
Yoga is well known for its ability to reduce stress and anxiety by focusing on personal awareness in a state of being. This enables a person to focus on the now and put aside thoughts of the past which cannot be changed and the future which is highly unpredictable. Yoga also helps to reduce cortisol levels in the body which can trigger the immune system to increase blood flow and heart rate as a reaction to stress and the body’s fight or flight mechanism.
Helps in pain relief
Yoga incorporates focus on breathing, along with stretching, exercise, and posture in a variety of movements. These movements aid in creating a full range of motion for your joints as well as strengthening muscle tissues and bone density. When it comes to relieving pain, yoga is especially helpful for people who frequently suffer from back and joint pain, tight muscles and other kinds of physical pain.
Your breath calms the mind
In yoga your body movements will mimic your breathing. As your breathing slows your movements also slow and become more fluid. The relaxation that comes from fluid movements and gentle, focused breaths helps to soothe your mind, reduce heart rate, lower blood pressure, and relax your body.
Limits head chatter
Mindful meditation enables your mind to focus on a single thought. Yoga teaches you to identify when your mind is wandering and how to gentle coerce your attention back to your breathing. This aids in improved sleep as people who suffer from stress, anxiety, and depression frequently become caught in thought-cycles that prevent their mind from relaxing thereby resulting in wakefulness.
Yoga is a full-body form of meditation which incorporates mindful meditation and a focus on breathing to fluidly move your body into different poses that embrace posture. Yoga can aid in sleep by managing your stress-inducing thoughts, reducing stress and pain relief while calming the mind.