We all know the benefits of a good nights’ sleep. Sleep is when the body carries out vital maintenance work, in theory leaving you refreshed and full of beans for the next day. Insomnia (difficulty getting to sleep) is often caused by stress – when the mind feels that it can’t cope; it’s just too busy. Lack of sleep means that you have problems dealing with life the next day because of exhaustion and that leads to more stress and so more insomnia. According to statistics from the Government’s Health and Safety Executive, 70% of visits to doctors are triggered by stress and 85% of serious illnesses can be linked to it.
When we take time out to relax our heart rate reduces, the oxygen in our blood is regulated, the muscles relax, and digestion, metabolism and sex drive are all improved. The result of a relaxed body and calm mind is a great nights’ sleep. You begin the new day feeling refreshed and able to cope with all that life throws at you. The benefits of a good nights’ sleep can be transformative not only for you but for the people you live and work with.
Yoga offers a great way to relax and unwind the body and mind. A typical class will offer 1/3rd of the time doing relaxation practices. A guided relaxation can take many forms – seated in a chair, on the floor or laying on the back of the body. Visualisations, breathing practices and muscle tense and release sequences are some methods commonly used by teachers to help you relax.