How your usual bed time affects your yoga practise

Why Your Bedtime is Important for Your Yoga Sessions

Yoga has been proven to be beneficial for a wide variety of health concerns, explains Dr. Marilynn Wei of Harvard Health Publishing. One important benefit of yoga is that it is one of the gentlest and most restorative activities to end your day and prepare you for sleep. Certain types of breathing, such as the Ujjayi or Ocean Breath, as well as some poses make yoga extremely beneficial for good sleep. However, an interesting thing to note is that the same can be said the other way around.

Fitness expert Jim White explains in a blog post published on Leesa that a good night’s rest maximises the effects of exercise and helps you power through your busy days and regular workouts. White explains that while both sleep and exercise are important in leading a healthy lifestyle, the former is ultimately more needed for the latter.

We’ve laid down seven tips for yoga success in a previous blog post here on Yoga India Foundation, but it seems like we need to add an eighth – get enough sleep. Whether you’re a beginner just learning the basics, or a trained yogi looking to further expand your knowledge, here are some reasons why your bedtime is crucial towards having better yoga sessions.200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training India

Sleep keeps your mind in shape.

Not getting enough sleep deprives your brain of the opportunity to rest and recharge itself, leading to a myriad of mental and psychological problems associated with regular lack of sleep. For instance, PsyBlog explains that sleep-deprived brains tend to work harder in order to overcompensate for its lack of rest, resulting in less efficiency and difficulty in accomplishing even simple mental tasks.

The cumulative effect is that those who have less than the recommended seven hours of sleep per evening have difficulties in concentration, mindfulness, judgment, and decision-making. Even neurological functions like physical movement, eye muscle control, and focus are compromised, making it difficult for sleep-deprived people to function well – much less complete a yoga session successfully.

Sleep helps you perform better physically.

Because yoga is an activity that unifies and engages mind, body, and spirit, the quality of yoga sessions decline when your body is compromised. On top of letting your brain recharge, sleep also plays a role in muscle repair, as discussed by the National Sleep Foundation.

This research study published in Current Biology elaborates on how the physical and mental performances of athletes significantly improved once their sleep cycles and circadian rhythms were optimised. It is for this reason that White goes on to discuss that those serious about fitness and exercise – yoga included – cannot hope to be successful without enough sleep.

Last but not least, sleep keeps you happy and motivated

If you lack sleep, you might find it harder to get on your yoga mat or attend yoga classes with other people.One study conducted by the Hult International Business School found that people who experience chronic tiredness and lack of sleep suffer from irritability and frayed nerves, along with high levels of stress, anxiety, and frustration.

Conversely, regularly getting a full night’s rest has been linked to optimism about the future and more motivation to learn new things and accomplish tasks.

With all these reasons to prioritize sleep to improve our yoga sessions, don’t be surprised to find us spending more time on our beds and on our yoga mats!

Hatha Yoga for modern lifestyle

Hatha Yoga – A traditional yoga technique for modern lifestyle

The Hatha yoga is the foundation of all yoga forms. It is the ancient, traditional yoga practice that was introduced thousands of years ago. In Hatha yoga, we aim to balance ida and pingala, the left and right energy channels (nadis) of our body to awaken the shushumna nadi, the main and central energy channel. This can be achieved through asana and later on pranayama.The asana practice in hatha yoga is very gentle and soft. By describing it as soft, we don’t mean “easy”. The postures can be very challenging, however, the approach to master them comes step by step. In the Hatha practise, we always begin with a good warm up to prepare our body for the more advanced poses and prevent injuries and overstretching. A good warm-up is 10-15 min long and smoothens all joins, muscles, and tendons. After the warm-up, a class often begins with sun salutations and then goes over to 4-7 asanas with modifications. In the Hatha practice, the postures are often held over longer periods to improve the flexibility and adjust the body in the various asanas. A posture can be held for approximately 1-3 minutes. This does not only help to get into the posture but also aims to focus the mind, make it more steady. Asana means “steady posture”. At the end of a class, you will be laying in shavasana for 10 minutes, flat on your back with eyes closed. During shavasana, your body gets time to fully relax, let go of any tension and fully sink into the ground. Overall, we can say that Hatha Yoga is the most effective, smoothest and most balancing type of yoga.

 

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7 Important Tips for Success in Yoga

Yoga has been proven to relieve stress by using exercises that unify the mind, body, and spirit. If you are new to yoga, these seven tips will start you on the road to a more centered life.

 

  1. Talk to your doctor and explain what type of yoga poses you intend to practice. Show your doctor pictures of the poses for illustration. Your doctor may rule out specific poses if you have high blood pressure, glaucoma, a history of retinal detachment, or heart disease. Make sure you follow your doctor’s recommendations.
  2. Find a yoga class that best fits your abilities. Talk to prospective teachers, and decide whether of not you can handle a program before you sign up. It’s very important to take it one step at a time. Try a few beginner classes before you attempt more vigorous classes. Don’t move ahead too quickly. Allow your body to adjust to your exercises.
  3. Listen to your body and be aware of your physical abilities. You don’t want to hurt yourself. Make sure the instructor understands your level of experience and any limitations you may have. Don’t allow anyone to push you ahead too quickly. Remember, this is supposed to be fun and relaxing.
  4. If you can’t find a class that meets your needs, you can always practice yoga at home. There are many books, programs, and tapes available to help you get started. Search for the best products on the Internet and read reviews. Talk to others for recommendations.
  5. Why not try private lessons? You can book some one-on-one sessions with a teacher in your area. Most yoga instructors offer private classes or can help you design your own program. This is a good way to get started. You can always take group lessons or practice at home after you’ve had private lessons and learned the basics.
  6. Find a yoga buddy. It’s nice to practice with someone and it will help reduce injuries. It’s also a great way to keep up your enthusiasm and interest.
  7. Eat lightly before practice. Wait at least two hours after meals before yoga class or practice. An empty stomach is best, but don’t let yourself get too hungry to think. You won’t be able to focus on the poses or enjoy yourself during the relaxation or meditation exercises.

 

Now it’s time to grab your mat and a towel and get the most out of your yoga exercises.

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