Focus on your transition in and out of sleep with this mindful yoga routine.
Whether you’re a night owl or a morning person, getting good quality sleep is essential for any productive and positive day. Around 40 per cent of Australians have said they struggle to get at least 7 hours of sleep per night and 38 per cent are dissatisfied with their sleep. With such poor sleep statistics it’s time for Australians to begin looking at their morning and night routine, and see how they can be improved. Slow, mindful movements such as yoga and breathing practise is a great way to get your body prepared to sleep and will ultimately help you get a quality sleep.
Yoga can be traced back to around 5,000 to 10,000 years ago, developed in a long, rich and diverse history. With its slow and calming nature, yoga focuses on the breath, mind-body connection and how these can be used to ground the participant. Practising different yoga poses can help you to become relaxed and calm, which in turn, reduces blood pressure and stress levels. A 2013 study also found that practising yoga long-term improved the quality of sleep and the quality of life for the participants. To get you started, try practising these five yoga poses when you wake up and before you go to sleep.
Happy baby (Ananda Balasana)
Lie on your back either on the floor or on a yoga mat and bring your knees towards your chest. With the soles of your feet facing the sky, grab the outside of your feet and breathe in and out. If you want some more movement, try gently rocking from side to side, using your breath as a rhythm guide.
Feet up the wall (Viparita Karani)
Lying either on a mat or the floor, bring your legs up to rest against the wall. You can place your hips as far away or as close to the wall as you want and begin to slowly breathe in and out. If you want to make it a bit easier you can bend your legs.
Childs pose (Balasana)
Starting on all fours on either a yoga mat or the floor, move your knees out so they are around shoulder width apart. Sit back and bring your chest towards the mat while reaching in front of you with your hands. With your forehead on the floor or mat, breathe in and out, focusing on using your breath to relax into the pose.
Pigeon Pose (Kapotasana)
Beginning on all fours, slide your right knee forward and place that foot between the left hand and hip, facing outwards. Gently straighten the left leg and come down to your elbows. Using your breath as your guide gently relax into the pose and you can bring your chest to the floor and reach your arms up if you want to make it harder.
Cat and cow (Bitlasana Marjaryasana)
Starting on all fours and using your breath as an anchor, slowly breathe out and pull your belly to the floor while tilting your head up and looking at the sky. On the next breath in, pull your ribs up to the sky and arch your back. Repeat for as many times as you want.
With a range of quick and easy yoga poses to add into your day, how will this change your morning and night routine?
By Zoe Moffatt