In an article for the Huffington Post, mystic and yogi Sadhguru states:
“Yoga is not an exercise; it is an ancient technology towards wellbeing and ultimate liberation.”
While downward dog and other classic poses are believed to have been established in the early 1800s, many yoga philosophies that guide one down a personal path of self-realization have been passed down from nearly 5,000 years ago.
Yoga has seen a tremendous boom in the Western world in recent times. This ancient practice has many of us striving to reap its numerous benefits. In fact, the number of Americans practicing yoga grew by 50 percent between 2012 and 2016. And one of the driving factors that encourage people to take up yoga is stress relief.
As a culturally mainstream activity, it’s important that we stop, at times, to remember that yoga isn’t designed for torching calories or improving our physical physique. Though these benefits might accompany our practice, yoga is meant to bring attention to the breath while encouraging relaxation, focus, self-inquiry, and meditation.
This practice is embarked upon to calm the mind and connect spirituality with physicality. In fact, research shows that yoga decreases anxiety, stress, and even helps with insomnia. If you have ever taken a yoga class, then you know the feel-good effects are almost immediate: a refreshed mind and body, a more serene state of mind, and a general detachment from the pressing problems life seem to serve up continuously.
But, wouldn’t it be amazing to tap into that sense of serenity just before going to sleep? Instead of laying awake for hours with a head full of thoughts, employ a bit of yoga to disconnect from your daytime troubles and to prepare your mind for the impending peaceful sleep that awaits you.
It’s typical for our daily stressors and those cyclical, negative thoughts to creep up just as we close our eyes to sleep. As it turns out, a nightly yoga session right before hitting the hay can help assuage your nighttime woes and worries.
Unlike breathing exercises and meditation that usually takes place within yoga practice, asanas are the physical poses that make up our modern-day practice. The blending of body and mind is hard won, but by following these simple asanas, you can tap into a deeper serenity for sounder sleep ahead.
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Yoga has some of the best relaxation techniques, and for anyone feeling stressed by the chaos of modern life, there’s nothing like it. The combination of breathing and asanas help to create a calmness that our minds desperately need to handle life’s daily affairs and sleep without interruption.