Please welcome to the Yoga Living Project first time guest-author Krista Harper and her ideas on winding down your days with yoga. Whether you're looking for improved quality of sleep or evenings filled with introspective self-care, there's much to be gained the insights she shares. Do you have ideas that will help your fellow yogis that you'd like to share on Yoga Living Project? Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with your content and ideas!



Why You Should Include Yoga into Your Wind Down Routine



It’s recommended that adults get between 7 and 9 hours of sleep per night, however, its estimated that nearly a third of Americans don’t get adequate amounts of sleep and as many as a quarter suffer from at least acute insomnia sometime during the year. Adequate sleep helps our bodies cycle through multiple phases of REM and non-REM sleep to organize emotions, thoughts, and memories, as well as help regulate the body’s hormones and repair any damage. So, when you hear that sleep is important, that could easily be a vast understatement. 


Luckily for you, and others suffering from sleep loss putting yourself into position for quality sleep isn’t as hard as you might think, even if you do suffer from insomnia. In fact, yoga may be your key. 


Here are 4 reasons why yoga should be added to your nightly winddown routine. 


Reduces Stress

Yoga is a mindful form of full-body meditation that reduces stress by focusing on one’s self-being or building awareness. By focusing on the awareness of now, you are able to set aside the fears, anxiety, and concerns of what happened in the past and what may happen in the future. After all, the past cannot be changed, and the future is highly unpredictable.

Awareness is important to help induce sleep as one of the leading reasons for people who suffer from insomnia is anxiety over that past and future. By focusing on now, you can build awareness of your surrounding environment, your maintained breathing, your posture, and the calming effects of yoga. 


Helps manage pain

Yoga is not just a means of meditation. Yoga combines breathing exercises along with body positions designed to stretch your body and strengthen your muscles, joints, and bones. This helps your body become more flexible while limiting pain in areas such as your back, muscles, joints, and any other physical discomfort you may experience at night. In addition to creating strength and flexibility, the body position movements help to improve blood flow to carry adequate oxygen and nutrients throughout your body’s system.


Improves breathing

Do you snore or suffer from sleep apnea? Do you know if you breathe too fast or too slow? Breathing is at the core of meditation and yoga and can help regulate proper breathing while not meditating.

Proper breathing from yoga can help to reduce snoring causes such as stress, sinus problems, lack of blood circulation, and can even support weight loss


Develops routine

Have you ever noticed that when you go to bed with the television on or your iPhone in hand you tend to stay up much longer than you expected? Routine in life is good, especially so when you are wanting to have a good night’s rest. However, if you are starting out on the wrong foot you will always have a difficult time sleeping. Take your technology for example. The blue light that is emitted from your television, tablet, or smart phone actually prevents your body from releasing melatonin, thus allowing you to stay up later than you’d like. Putting your device aside and adding yoga will help to promote melatonin production as well as ease your body into the mindset of sleep through routine. 


Yoga can help relieve the pain and stress that prevents adults from getting the recommended 7 to 9 hours of sleep they need each night. By introducing yoga to your nightly routine, you can ease your body and mind while focus your breathing into stress-free awareness needed for good rest.

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