At the end of a busy day of work, it often doesn't matter how worn out we feel, sometimes sleep just does not come. The minute we lay back and close our eyes in the evening, all our work anxiety, to do lists, nephew's birthday party plans and a myriad of other stresses decide to invade our thoughts and keep us awake.
Taking some time away from our screens to focus on our physical self in the evening can have an amazing effect on our sleep. While yoga is great for waking us up in the morning, equally, it can be used to slow down our thoughts and relax us at night.
This sundown meditative routine from YogaCarrot can be used every night before bed to focus the breath and slow down the body and mind . Take five minutes at the end of the day to try this on your yoga mat, before cuddling up in your duvet for a good night's sleep.
The food we eat can also have a huge effect on our body's ability to sleep. Caffeine stays working in the body for over six hours, so curbing your coffee after lunch is always a good idea. Foods that are naturally high in melatonin on the other hand, encourage our natural sleep cycle and help us get some shut eye. Cherry juice is a great source of melatonin, try drinking a couple of glasses throughout the day, to see the effect it has on your body's ability to unwind when the sun goes down.
Pose By Pose | A Guide To Our Balance Session
- Come to a cross legged seated positions
- Take a half lotus, or a full lotus if it’s in your practice
- If you’re sitting with your knees high, elevate your position with a yoga brick
- Allow your spine to be long and find which position you’re most comfortable in.
- Go into a twist, inhale while lengthening through the spine, then exhale and twist through the spine, looking over the right shoulder
- Breathe in and out
- Inhale and return back to centre, exhale and twist to the left
- Breathe in and out
- Take nadishana, alternate nostril breathing
- Thumb to right nostril, ring finger to left
- Inhale through the left nostril, exhale through the right nostril
- Inhale through the right nostril, exhale through the left nostril
- Bring left hand to heart and right hand to lower belly, focus on your breathing
- Inhale for 1, 2, 3, 4, and then exhale for 1, 2, 3, 4
- When ready, go into your meditation, palms up for lightness, palms down for a more grounding effect
- Either stay seated in your meditation, or go into savasana, making yourself cosy and warm
- Stay in savasana for as long as you want
- When you’re ready, take a full body stretch and come mindfully to a seated position