The practice of Yoga is slowly taking over the western world, and this is a wonderful progression! The practice provides a multitude of benefits for the mind, body, and soul without being too harsh on our fickle shape. It actually preaches inner peace, self-love, and acceptance, and it opens the eye towards a happier world where spirits are less congested, and we live more fulfilling lives.
But today I want to share one of the most important benefits of Yoga: better sleep. Before I started, my sleep pattern was erratic, and I used to feel increasingly tired throughout the day. But now I sleep full-length cycles and wake up filled with energy and purpose.
So, if you need to work on your sleep habits, here are five reasons why you should give Yoga a chance.
#1: It Reduces Stress
Being under constant stress is no way to live! When you’re continuously expecting to put out fires and everything around seems to fall apart, stress levels skyrocket. As a result, your heart will be under tremendous pressure, the eating habits will become a mess, and you’ll speed up the aging process. You’ll end up a shell of a man, forced to fight horrible diseases in your golden years.
Now, even if your life is indeed a series of stressful events, through Yoga and the practice of mindfulness, you will be able to keep the production of cortisol in check (proven scientifically). The practice teaches you how to slow down and enjoy every second instead of rushing from one piece of life to another.
And when you relax while you sleep on a comfortable mattress, the time spent in slumber will become increasingly better.
#2: It Deals with Back Pain
Another aspect of Yoga, also proven with the help of science, is that each pose is helpful for relaxation, muscular strength, and stretching. For instance, there are poses known to alleviate back pain, which is one of the most popular afflictions in the modern age.
Back pain can be caused by a wide range of factors from sitting down too much to sleeping on the wrong mattress, so it’s best to include these poses in your daily practice.
#3: Listen to Your Body
The practice is extremely diverse, which is why the main encouragement you receive is ‘listen to your body’. You are asked to only work with the poses that help and avoid practices that don’t feel good. As a result, you’ll come back every day, because you’ll get a huge dose of ‘feel good’ after each round.
This leads to establishing a routine, especially if you practice a few minutes before bed. And it is scientifically proven, that routine before going to bed is what creates healthy sleeping patterns.
#4: Regulates the Nervous System
You know those nights when you want to sleep, but your brain finds new and creative ways to stay awake? Maybe you’re thinking about work or maybe you just can’t stop thinking about that embarrassing moment that happened a few years ago. Regardless, you’re wide awake and more tired than ever!
Yoga teaches mindfulness and acceptance. So, when you can’t sleep, get up and do something else. I find meditation helpful, but it’s not mandatory – read a book, do the dishes, work on something.
#5: It Helps Digestion
One of the reasons why I feel like flying after a round of Yoga is because it stimulates the digestive flow. It doesn’t happen on your first practice, but it does happen when you do it regularly. So, if you feel stuck and heavy, I strongly recommend doing some of the poses that keep the juices flowing.
The result will be completely liberating and your sleep (and mood in general) will only benefit from this!