Sometimes we think that the hours of sleep are only a mandatory break between the hours of activity. However, a good rest is not only essential to get the most out of the productive hours of the day, but also has a decisive influence on our health. Let’s look at how some breathing and relaxation yoga techniques can help you get the most out of your sleep hours.
How to slow down our day to day
The current rhythm of life that we are imposed (or perhaps we accept to impose) does not give us many breaths, which is not surprising that we drown at the end of the day. Normally our day to day is full of ups and downs like a roller coaster and pretending that we will automatically relax when we decide is like waiting for a spinning top to stop when it is in full swing. The human mind has its secrets and when it has been active (surely in excess) throughout the day, it will not stop easily at night.
Therefore, the first step, if we want to be able to relax in the moment of rest is to control our thoughts throughout the day. Let us avoid repetitive thoughts that consume our senseless energy and take advantage of the small pauses of the day to regain strength and revitalize us.
No matter how busy our schedule is or very fast that is our daily program, surely we will be able to detect the small oasis that gives us the day. From waiting time on public transport, to the journey by private vehicle or walking, to the coffee break or food. As in so many things in life we can choose whether to use that time to turn to issues that we can not solve at that moment, chatting wildly to avoid thinking or dedicate or even a small portion of that oasis to refresh our mind.
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If we choose the latter option, there are many possibilities, but a simple good is to breathe. “Just that?”, You will say. Well yes, only that, something so simple that sometimes we forget. We can be standing at the bus stop or if it is feasible to look for a space where we can close our eyes. In any case, the main thing will be to direct all our total attention and capacity of concentration towards the breathing. Inhale and exhale naturally through the nose, if possible breathing from the abdomen. We will notice how that area of the belly fills and empties softly and rhythmically. We will do it gradually. The first few days we can do it for 3 breaths. A week will increase up to 7 breaths and, if we catch the taste and pauses allow us, we can get up to 21 breaths over time. The most important thing, however, will not be to take long breaks, but try to make the most of them throughout the day. The more times during the day we are able to connect with our breathing, or for a few seconds, the greater the benefits. We will notice clearly at the end of the day, because we will arrive with less fatigue and at the same time we will be easier to lower the revolutions, since our mind instead of running without brake will have trained to decelerate when we require.
Yoga Techniques for When to Go to Sleep
At the same time, in the moments before going to sleep we can practice yoga exercises of breathing, interiorization and relaxation that can help us to sleep more placidly, to improve the quality of sleep and to reach the seven or eight hours recommended by all specialists.
Breathing: This first step, if we have practiced the simple breathing exercise, will be much easier and will prepare the ground for the next two steps. When we have finished all the activities of the day and want to go to sleep, we will sit in a comfortable position on the bed or in a chair next to the bed, we will close the light and the eyes. We will observe our breathing trying to balance the inhalation and the exhalation. To last the same we will count up to 4, 6 or 8 in both inspiration and expiration.
Interiorization: Afterwards , we can make a brief mental balance of our day and if there is something that worries us we will write it down in a notebook or paper to put aside that thought and take it back the next day. Then we will reconnect with the breath, feeling as the air enters and exits through the nose. We can bring our hands to the abdomen to make sure this area works during breathing.
Relaxation: We will stretch ourselves face up, separating a few legs and arms from the body to release all joints and feel as the whole body is let go, as if it were lead. Inhale gently and with each exhalation we experience as the weight falls completely on the mattress. It may be that the dream arrives in this position or that it is necessary to look for another position that is more comfortable for us to sleep.
In this way, by becoming aware of breathing at different times of the day and spending a few minutes on simple yoga techniques when going to bed, we can sleep more easily and have a better sleep.