Relaxing our nervous system can be a tricky task at any given time - life is full of little (and sometimes giant) bumps in the road. And when you're feeling stressed, it's difficult to get a good night's sleep that leaves you feeling refreshed and bursting with energy in the morning. This then becomes the cycle of stress, anxiety, exhaustion, etc., etc...
WE SAY - NO THANK YOU!
Especially during the holiday season, you'll probably find yourself in need of a little more sleep and relaxation than normal. The trick is, how to fit it in when part of the reason that you're feeling stressed is that you don't feel like you have enough time to complete all the tasks on the list...
We've got a few tricks up our own sleeve to help you out. We're sharing some yoga poses for sleep and relaxation as well as some other Ayurvedic relaxation techniques you can try out.
Sleep and Relaxation
We probably don't have to tell you the negative impacts that stress and lack of sleep can have on your health, daily life, etc.. If however, you are unfamiliar with these issues then we give you a big digital hug and cheer you on to keep doing what you’re doing.
The majority of us, unfortunately, do deal with stress and sleep issues at a very high rate. According to the Sleep Foundation.org, over half of Americans are affected by sleep loss or reduced sleep quality due to stress.
Jeeze! Let’s take that down a notch, shall we... We don’t like that statistic at all, and other polls quote even higher rates of stress related sleep disruption, like Sleep Health.org
So let’s all take a deep breath and focus on some easily implemented solutions to assist is sleep and relaxation. Starting with yoga, of course!
Yoga Poses for Sleep
There are a variety of yoga poses that can assist in a good night’s sleep. We’re going to list our favorite yoga poses and then link to some videos if you prefer to follow along. The yoga community is a great place to reach out for support and while we are not affiliated to any yogi or yoga company, we just hope that we can help you discover the ones that connect with you, near or far.
How to Start?
Once you’re getting ready for bed, you may still be feeling some jitters or some lingering energy trapped from the stress of the day. This is completely normal and by getting it out we can lay down and actually rest without tossing, turning, cursing the sleep gods, kicking blankets on and off, etc..!
Sounds heavenly, right?
So we start with some slightly more active poses to shake that energy loose before settling into the nice passive poses which will help us drift off to dream land...
Not a pose exactly, but start by standing up straight, letting your arms go limp by your sides, and twisting side to side letting your arms hang heavy and moving across your body. You can go a bit faster or slower, raise your arms up to shoulder height or keep them down at waist level – it’s all about what feels good for your body. Don’t be afraid to let your hands go loose and give yourself a little 'beating' massage as your arms swing from front to back – trust us, it feels really nice!
Slowly come back to standing still, taking a few deep breaths, and then SHAKE IT OFF!
Shake it all out - your arms, hands, legs, feet, shoulders, head (careful with your neck) and shake off all of the day’s stress! Let out a big loud sigh, AAAGGGHHHHHHH, and then return to stillness.
Now we’re ready for some traditional yoga poses!
Top 10 yoga poses for sleep
1. Standing Forward Bend
2. Downward Dog
3. Cat – Cow
4. Child’s Pose
5. Legs Up the Wall
6. Reclining Butterfly
7. Happy Baby
8. Supine Twist (both sides)
9. Knees to Chest
10. Corpse Pose
We recommend these positions, more or less in this order, taking long deep breaths as you go. Let the thoughts of the day come and go without grabbing onto them. Don’t worry, they'll still be there in the morning so you’re not missing out on anything! Sad, but true...
Take this precious time before bed to create a bubble of peace and calm around yourself, committing to that goal with each and every breath.
Video for Sleep Yoga Poses
Thanks https://yogawithadriene.com for your awesome flows!
Yoga for Stress
Stress needs no explanation, so let’s dive right into what we can do to alleviate, manage and get rid of some of the stress we’re caring around with us on the regular. Yoga helps with stress and anxiety through a variety of ways such as focusing, whether it’s on your breath, a smell, a sound or your drishti point, focusing can help a great deal when dealing with anxiety and feelings of stress.
Best Yoga Poses for Stress Relief
Adding on to the yoga poses for improved sleep, we can also add a few more specifically to help in stressful, overwhelming or anxious situations. Yoga poses that open up the heart and throat chakras can have a big impact on decreasing your stress and anxiety levels. We recommend trying these ones:
- Bridge pose
- Cobra pose
- Upward plank
- Shoulder standing
- Camel pose
You may also find it helpful to end your de-stressing yoga sesh with poses that help activate your root chakra energies which will leave you feeling grounded and safe. Who doesn’t need a little more of that? All day, everyday please!
- Garland pose or Goddess pose
- Mountain pose or Chair pose
- Low Lunge, Warrior 2 or Triangle pose
All are great yoga poses to alleviate stress and anxiety! Try one, try all – whenever and wherever you need. Listen to your body and honor what it needs. Remember, even during the holiday craziness, you’re not a machine. Give yourself some love and kindness first, then move on to spreading the holiday cheer everywhere else!
Ayurvedic Tips for Stress & Anxiety
Stick to a sleep schedule
Fill your space with calming scents such as lavender, rosemary, chamomile and eucalyptus
Skip the nap and instead choose an earlier bed time
Deep breathing techniques such as pranayama
Video for Stress & Anxiety Yoga Poses
Thanks Spotebi.com for your awesome flows!
When it comes to dealing with stress and anxiety, yoga can be an incredibly helpful tool. Right now, during the colder/darker winter months and emotional holiday season, it is important to check in and take some time for yourself. Yoga poses for improved sleep allow you to get the rest you need to vibrantly take on whatever the next day throws at you! Yoga poses for stress and anxiety give you a secret weapon you can utilize throughout the day when you’re feeling overwhelmed and adrift in the chaos!
We hope that you find some stress relief and get an awesome night’s sleep tonight with some of the tips above. And remember, we’re here when you need us. If you’d like to book a retreat to completely reset and relax in the jungle or if you’d like to try a Reiki session with Catlin to balance whatever funky, stale or intense energy you’ve got going on, just reach out.
Contact us directly with any questions or to make a reservation, and in the meantime we wish you a wonderful holiday season and send you all the light and love!