Yoga has long been established as an effective method for improving sleep. The Telegraph even reported recently that yoga can help treat insomnia and severe sleep deprivation.
However, the relationship between sleep and yoga isn’t one-way; sleep can also affect yoga sessions. So with that in mind, this article highlights some of the ways how proper rest can improve your yoga sessions.
1) Sleep hastens muscle recovery
Although most forms of yoga are not as strenuous as workouts such as HIIT and CrossFit, executing poses, or ‘asanas,’ can still take its toll on the body. First-time yoga practitioners can attest to how their limbs may feel sore or tender after their workout. This occurs because the muscles are still not used to the varying motions involved in yoga. Fatigue Science explains that sleeping can help hasten muscle recovery, due to the fact that it’s the best time for the body to regenerate cells. This is a vital part of the process to repair the damage caused by hyperextending various muscles.
2) Sleep gives you energy
Fitness expert Jim White pointed out in a post on Leesa that lack of sleep can mean you get easily fatigued. Sufficient rest, in short, allows you to perform the ‘asanas’ to the best of your ability. Furthermore, the energy that you get from getting enough sleep means you won’t tire as easily and will find it easier to execute the poses with adequate sleep under your belt.
Another benefit of getting enough rest is that you are also less likely to gain weight. In the aforementioned interview with Leesa, White explained that fatigue can increase your chances of weight gain, and in turn make it more difficult to execute the more advanced yoga poses. Additionally, this will also help you to work on other functional exercises such as squats, burpees, and tricep dips to improve strength. These were identified previously on All Yoga Training as effective in strengthening the muscles you need in yoga.
3) Sleep allows you to achieve balance in life
Stress is an inevitable part of life but by getting the right amount of sleep it provides you with the opportunity to regain balance, both physically as well as mentally, and this is especially important for instructors. One of previous posts ‘Getting Started as a New Yoga Teacher’ talked about how important rest is, even for yoga teachers. Resting allows you to find your way back to the center instead of feeling as though you are being pulled in all directions by the different factors in your life, such as work and family commitments.
4) Sleep improves mental clarity
People often focus on the ‘asanas’ when they talk about yoga. However, what some do not know is that mental clarity and focus are equally important. Lack of sleep can make thoughts fuzzy, which can hinder your concentration. Better Humans states that a full night’s sleep helps enhance mental clarity and improves memory. Both of these variables can have a positive effect on your yoga in the short and long-term.
5) Sleep boosts mood
Sleep can enhance your mood in the same way as it improves mental clarity. Yoga practitioners are often perceived to have an open mind and welcoming hearts. Still, even the most placid yogis may find themselves snapping when sleep deprived. Health Ambition states that sleep helps make people feel calmer, happier, and more relaxed. These positive effects make it easier for yogis to live out the principles of yoga.
5) Bonus tips
According to nutrition experts, there are certain foods that can potentially improve your sleep quality. There is a list of products, rich in botanical compounds, recommended eating before going to sleep, for example, almonds. It was detected a high level of melatonin in almonds which helps to regulate the sleeping and waking cycle. It’s also recommended to eat kiwis, white rice, tart cherries, and walnuts.