I see so many of the same faces early in the morning at The Worx in Alexandria, VA. Many of you have told me how you love that early workout to jumpstart your energy for the day. While building your energy is important, if you don’t get enough rest, it will never happen. Even though working out can help you sleep better, sometimes you need a more right before bed to calm you down, and that’s where nighttime yoga can help.
A lot of things can keep you awake at night and cause a multitude of sleep disorders.
Do you have trouble going to sleep or simply poor quality sleep, waking up several times throughout the night? No matter what the problem, getting adequate and a more restful sleep is important to both your physical and mental health. Even if you normally sleep well, sometimes, stressful events can throw it off. During the pandemic lockdowns, recent studies showed that insomnia increased. Part of it was a change in routine, part was lack of exercise and some came from stress or depression.
Try this quick five minute yoga stretch to relax your body and sleep better.
What’s keeping you awake? Is it lower body aches and pains or those thousands of thoughts running through your brain? Stretching the muscles can help and so can deep breathing and meditation. Always breathe in through your nose, hold and breathe out through your mouth, doing each to a count of five or more to slow it. Start by sitting with legs outstretched, exhaling as you bend your body over your legs, grabbing your toes. If you prefer to stand, breathe out as you bend forward and allow your arms to dangle. Lift your arms parallel to the floor with palms downward facing as you exhale and stand up straight or sit up straight.
The key is calming the mind and breathing, but adding the cat-cow can help.
If you work at a desk all day, this exercise will release the tension you hold in your spine, shoulders, back or neck. Start with the cat part of the cat-cow position by beginning with knees and palms on the floor, your shoulders directly above your wrist and knees right below your hips. Inhale through your nose and as you exhale, round your back, pushing it toward the ceiling, attempting to get your belly button to touch your spine. Your head should be dropped with your chin tucked in toward the chest. Inhale deeply through your nose, hold and as you exhale, lift your head and tailbone as you drop your middle toward the floor with your body forming a U. You’re now in cow position. Alternate between the two.
- You can do the happy baby pose laying in bed. Lie on your back, bending at your hips and your knees, lifting the soles of your feet toward the ceiling. Grab the big toe of each foot, attempting to put your knees in your armpits. Breathe deeply as you do and rock from side to side for a more relaxed feeling.
- A yoga child pose can also relieve lower back and neck tension. Sit on your calves with your shins touching the floor and breathe in deeply. Fold forward and as you do, exhale, bending at the hips.
- Just rolling your head and stretching your neck can help relax muscles. Try other stretches before bedtime to lower your blood pressure and relax your body.
- Your personal trainer will be happy to create a relaxation routine you can use before bedtime. No one stretch works for everyone, so trying different ones can help.
For more information, contact us today at Team Worx Fitness