Yoga is an extraordinary discipline that offers a state of wellness, not only to our body but also to our mind.
Have you ever heard of Hatha Yoga? Find out in our article how it can help you regain calm and promote sleep!
Yoga is a holistic method now approved also by several scientific studies to fight insomnia, sleep apnea, teeth grinding, and irregular sleep rhythms.
What is Hatha Yoga? The secret is breath control
Hatha Yoga has come down to us from the ancient Hindu tradition. It is the current of yoga best known and most practiced as a sport in the western world. Its practice involves a series of dynamic body positions called āsanas, and breathing exercises called pranayama. In fact, it is the control of our breath during movements that gives us benefits, both physically and mentally.
The Sanskrit word Hatha is composed of 2 syllables: “ha” which means sun, and “tha” which means moon. According to the Hindu tradition, the balance between these 2 energy channels allows our wellbeing.
When should yoga be practiced? In the evening for better sleep!
The best times for practicing yoga are in the morning and evening. In particular, if practiced daily and in the evening, it helps us fall asleep faster, sleep longer, and fall asleep more quickly if we wake up in the middle of the night.
Benefits of Hatha Yoga
Hatha Yoga offers many psycho-physical benefits, and this is why the discipline is so widely spread in our society. But let’s take a closer look at its strengths!
1. It rejuvenates our body
The practice of yoga and pranayama, or breath control techniques, increases the circulation of oxygen in the blood and promotes the release of toxins stored in organs and tissues.
2. It increases muscle strength and tone
In addition to improving and preserving the elasticity and tone of muscles, stretching every day and in particular, before going to bed, is recommended to prevent nighttime muscle and joint pain.
3. It increases lung capacity
Not only! The typical breathing techniques in yoga offer excellent support to people who usually snore or suffer from sleep apnea. Find out more about sleep apnea in our article!
4. It calms our mind
There’s no denying, yoga offers a deep sense of calm as it lowers cortisol levels and stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, which helps us feel relaxed.
Furthermore, those who suffer from insomnia often have a lot on their mind: work, finances, relationships, and daily schedules. Practicing yoga before bedtime helps “turn off that chatter” we have in our mind.
3 Hatha Yoga positions that help you sleep better
Practicing yoga at home is an excellent habit. Since you are already in a relaxing environment, once your session is over, you can immediately jump into bed and slip into dreamland.
In Sanskrit, “sukha” means “simple”, while “āsana” means “position”. Come into a sitting position with your legs crossed and slightly suspended knees. Your hands should rest on your knees, while the shoulders remain well relaxed and the spine straight. With your eyes closed, focus your attention on the air that reaches your chest as you inhale through your nose, and on the air that leaves your mouth, taking your thoughts away.
Baddha Konasana pose
This position is also called “throne pose” or “butterfly pose”. From a comfortable sitting position, keep your back and neck well aligned. With the soles of your feet touching, rotate your pelvis and torso forward, bringing your forehead as close to the floor as possible. Finally, stretch your arms in a prayer position over your head and breath slowly and steadily.
This final position prepares you for a restful sleep. Lie on the bed or on the floor and, with your legs slightly apart, stretch your arms along your sides and keep your palms facing upwards.
Even in this position, breathing is essential: slow the rhythm and keep your attention focused while you inhale through the nose and exhale through the mouth.
Practicing yoga, as well as choosing the right mattress, is a gift to yourself!
Hatha yoga is undoubtedly a valuable aid against insomnia. It helps ease all those emotional and mental tensions we build up every day. But the benefits of yoga also need your contribution, choosing the best bed system for you!