We love yoga and if you’re reading this blog, chances are you do, too. Yoga is great for increasing strength, flexibility and reducing stress. But did you know that yoga can help you sleep better, too? The smarties at Harvard Medical School researched the affect of daily yoga on sleep for people with insomnia and the results showed improvements to both sleep quality and quantity. That’s something we’re willing to go to the mat for!
We asked our favourite globetrotting yogi, Lauren Imparato, founder of IAMYOU studio, to give us the stretching sequence she uses to help her fall asleep quicker and stay asleep longer.
Follow Lauren’s RETOX stretching sequence as best you can without straining*. Just move your body as far as it will naturally go. The goal is not necessarily to improve flexibility; it is to compress and release your body from the inside, activating vital organs and stimulating your immune system. All of the body’s important repair work happens during sleep and this sequence helps prepare your body for it so you get the most from those hours of kip.
Standing upright, bend forward to touch your knees or your toes if you’re that flexible.
Sit on the floor with your legs outstretched. Lean forward with your back as flat as possible. Move your arms down your legs towards your feet.
Lie down on the floor. Lift your legs up and over your head as far as is comfortable. Support your lower back with your hands as needed. For some of you, your toes will easily touch the floor behind your head. For others, your feet might hang out in the air. Don’t strain and don’t worry about how far you are stretching. Just move your body as far as it will easily go.
Slowly roll your back and hips down to the floor. Keep your legs straight in the air with your hips at 90 degrees and your feet flexed. Support your back with your hands if needed. Breathe slowly in and out through your nose. In for a count of 5 and out for a count of 7.
*Be responsible. Listen to your body and don’t push yourself too hard. If you are concerned, do check with your doctor. You will understand that we do not take responsibility for any injuries, but we do really care!