Sleep is the best meditation.
The Dalai Lama
I would have to agree.
Poor sleep can contribute to:
- Weight gain
- High blood pressure
- Impaired immune system
- Attention deficit disorder (ADD)
An estimated 70 million U.S. adults suffer from chronic sleep problems according to the CDC.
If you are having a hard time getting up in the morning, it could be a sign you are sleep deprived.
We don’t need science to tell us that when we're tired, we're often moody and irritable. We react more intensely, our emotions skyrocket, and as a result a lack of sleep can seriously stress our personal relationships. Sleep deprivation causes emotional and mental clutter. As a result, we can also make poor food decisions in an attempt to gain energy and alertness.
When our sleep hygiene suffers, our physical hygiene suffers.
Yoga = Better Sleep
Better sleep has been touted for years as one of the benefits of yoga.
Practicing yoga for sleep improves emotional well being since there is a link between inability to sleep and anxiety. Here are some key pointers for a better night’s rest.
- Set a regular sleep schedule
- Create a soothing bedtime routine
- Tonight and for the next 20 nights, go to bed one hour earlier than you have been
- Unplug from technology 30 minutes prior to going to bed
What is Anxiety?
It is how we manage stress.
What is Stress?
The opposite of relaxation.
One of the most important things you can learn from yoga and meditation is that your thoughts have the ability to affect your overall contentment and health.
During conscious reflection, thoughts are experienced more as an energy. When we create positive visualizations, our thoughts trigger a positive feeling and our brain state, emotional state, and physical experience is enhanced.
All I’m saying is that to liberate the potential of your mind, body and soul, you must first expand your imagination. You see, things are always created twice: first in the workshop of the mind and then, and only then, in reality. I call this process "blueprinting" because anything you create in your outer world began as a simple blueprint in your inner world.
–Robin Sharma in The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari
When you harness the power of your own understanding, then negative thoughts no longer take over your body and mind at large, short-circuiting the normally triggered tension, anxiety, or other responses your body may have. You have the right to see your life from the inside, influencing what you experience outside of yourself. You create your reality.
To hold an image in our mind increases the possibility it will materialize.
Bedtime Mantra: I know it will work out.
Meditation for Relaxation Before Bedtime
A very effective method to relax the body is by systematically stressing all the muscles, holding that for 5 to 10 seconds, and then releasing the tension.
- Sit or lie in a relaxed way.
- Put an extremely tense expression on the face, straining as many face muscles as possible. Take a deep breath and forcefully hold it. Now slowly release the breath and the tension of all the face muscles, like you’re breathing out all the stress.
- Inhale deeply again and stress all neck and shoulder muscles, then let go.
- Inhale, make fists and stress the arms...let go.
- Inhale, stress chest, belly, and back..let go.
- Inhale, stress buttocks, legs, and feet...let go.
- If you still feel tension at some places, just stay relaxed. Don't hold the breath now, but release all the tension while breathing out.
- Enjoy your relaxed body.
Sweet dreams, sleep well.
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