Gentle Yoga Exercises for Relaxation
Developed in India over 5000 years ago, Yoga is an old system of exercises and development of the body, mind, and spirit. It consists of gentle movements, long stretches, and deep breathing is perfect for a method of relaxation before going to bed. The stretches remind you of an animal preparing to bed down. The gentle form of Yoga is not strenuous so it doesn't overstimulate your body and keep you awake. It does promote the slowing down of your body and mind and prepares both for a good nights sleep. Practicing the Asana, poses also help strengthen the nervous system and relieve anxiety.
Asana poses have an affect on both the mental and the physical works of the body.
Physically they heal, strengthen, stretch, and relax all parts of the body. This includes the digestion system, cardiovascular health, glands, and muscles. Mentally the poses help cultivate a quiet and peaceful mind, increase alertness, and increase concentration. They help spiritually by preparing your mind for meditation and letting you connect with God.
Whether you suffer from chronic insomnia or only occasionally can't go to sleep, Yoga might be a way of overcoming insomnia without drugs. If you problem is falling asleep when you go to bed, try doing some gentle stretches and meditation for about 30 minutes before crawling into bed. This will enable your mind to rest and get rid of the worries and anxieties you are feeling.
If you, on the other hand, wake up during the night and not be able to go back to sleep, try deep breathing exercises. Listen and concentrate on the sound of your breathing. Listen to the rhythm, feel your chest moving up and down. Start at your head and relax each set of muscles. Don't go to the next set until you have finally managed to relax the ones you are working on. Another idea is to use a chant to block everything else out of your mind. OHM is the chant of choice for many Yoga enthusiasts, but your chant can be anything that is simple. A word or phrase will be fine. Concentrate on that one word or phrase until everything else has been erased from your mind.
A regular 30-minute practice session each day, maybe 30 minutes of practice will be a big help to your body, mind and spirit. After practicing for a time, when it becomes a habit for you, you will find you have a new peace of mind. You will also see an improvement in your body and get in touch with the spiritual side within you.
Many poses are difficult in some styles of Yoga. Choose the ones that don't require you to twist your body into any position that doesn't feel comfortable for you. The breathing exercises help clear your body of toxins and to relieve stress, depression, and other mental or physical problems. If you have the time and to do so, search for a Yoga class or a teacher that will teach you some of the Asana poses. If there aren't any classes or teachers in your area, find a good book or video. Do the poses that seem suitable to you, and remember, never strain, always relax.
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