Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Yoga for Better Sleep

If you aren't a regular reader of Boston Magazine's Hub Health blog, you need to be. They have a fresh mix of health stories and advice columns that are always updated on the regular.

Here's the latest yoga article where I feature the best poses to help you ease into a night of blissful sleep:

5 Yoga Poses for Better Sleep

Try these yoga poses for better, more restful sleep.

What is one thing that everybody wants more of, and nobody seems to be getting enough? No, not that. But we did cover how to have better sex through yoga last week. Now we are talking about sleep. Harvard Medical School conducted a study in which they taught 20 people yoga breathing and techniques. At the end of the study, researchers found that participants had significantly improved sleep efficiency, total sleep time, total wake time, sleep onset, and wake time after sleep onset.

Stacey Allaire, instructor at Rasamaya yoga studio in Newburyport suggests trying these five poses for better sleep:

1. Legs up the wall
This pose is for full body relaxation and detox. Allow your body to melt into this pose and just breathe and relax. Your mind will begin to shift towards the present moment, helping your muscles, joints, and mind to relax and prepare for a deep snooze.

2. Forward fold/bend
In this pose your hips are above your head and heart, forcing your blood flow to shift directions. In forward fold, the tension in your hips and backs of your legs (which is a common place for people to carry tension) begins to melt away.

3. Child’s pose

Breathe deeply in this pose to create a calming sensation. Try to stretch your spine longer with each exhale. By doing so you’ll be blocking out any distractions (whether you realize it or not).

4. Spinal Supine Twist
Perform this gentle twist on both the left and right side. Close your eyes and settle into the twist. Twisting postures help relieve toxins from your organs.

5. Savasana
The key to enjoying a deep savasana is to keep your focus on your breath. Allow your focus to be all about the inhale and exhale of your breath, and the rise and fall of your belly.

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