As well as strengthening your core and increasing flexibility, yoga could also give you more restorative sleep…
Amidst all the wellness trends of cold pressed juices, almond milk flat whites and Lululemon leggings, yoga is being shown to be incredibly useful for those looking to achieve optimum human performance. Whether you’re looking to combat sitting at a desk for several hours each day, or trying to achieve stronger mental focus to deal with complex business decisions, adopting a yoga practice can help with it all.
Of course, one of our main priorities here at Masters of Mayfair, is sleep. Quality sleep is what enables us to function at such a high level and anything that aids that is a worthwhile investment. The Telegraph reports that two thirds of Britons suffer sleep problems. We already know that lack of sleep has been connected to Alzheimer’s disease and equally as worrying is the fact that sleep deprivation can cause synapses in the brain to be ‘eaten’ by other cells in the brain.
Once we understand how important decent shut-eye is to other aspects of our lives, we can begin to shape how we get there. With the aforementioned sleep problems plaguing the masses, finding ways to destress both physically and mentally should not be shunned or seen as indulgent luxuries.
Restorative yoga practices like hatha and nidra are both known for their calming and restfulness, while ashtanga and vinyasa can often have the opposite effect, making us feel energised.
So how does it work?
The physical postures of yoga help to release toxins in the organs and tissues of the body, while the breathing exercises improve the circulation of oxygen. As well as working through any tightness and soreness, an evening yoga practice will allow you to realign your breathwork and maintain long, deep breaths to expel all the carbon dioxide from your lungs.
Mindfulness plays a big part in yoga where you are aiming to focus on the present. Most postures, although they might look simple, require you to engage a wide number of muscle groups while simultaneously focusing on your balance and alignment. Throw in some corresponding breathwork and it becomes increasingly difficult to concentrate on today’s presentation, or the stack of proposals you need to sift through tomorrow.
Moving your way through your yoga practice, your mind becomes quiet as your attention is given to your flow of postures. Your breathing relaxes the muscles and allows your body to be more supple and comfortable, relieving tension. In fact, Harvard Medical School has found that a national US survey revealed 55% of people who do yoga enjoy better sleep, while 85% confirm that it reduces stress.
Whether it’s to prevent delayed onset muscle soreness, relieve lower back pain and muscle tension, reduce stress and anxiety, or simply to quieten the mind and get some better slumber, yoga is a tool that can allow you to operate to the very best of your ability.
The Telegraph reports two thirds of Britons suffer from sleep problems.
• Harvard Medical School says 55% of people who do yoga enjoy better sleep
• CNN says it takes only six minutes to leverage your body's natural sleep-facilitating processes
Thank you to: