Sleep is perhaps the most overlooked component of health. Gym rats meet friends for a drink or movie after dinner. Busy professionals fall asleep in front of the TV. When asked how you slept last night do you stop and think about the quality as well as quantity of your sleep or do you have an automatic reply? Pay attention to the quality of your sleep. Pay attention to the quantity of your sleep. Sleep is the time when your body regenerates and rejuvenates itself. Stubborn belly fat can melt away if you get adequate sleep. To improve your quality of sleep starting tonight create a bedtime routine. Incorporate the below yoga poses. Do them right on top of your mattress while breathing deeply or listening to some soothing music. Get in touch with your body and notice where you feel tightness or which part of you is relaxed.
1. The Vajrasana. Fold your legs under you and sit on your heels. If your ankles hurt just place a blanket under them to give a bit of support for the asana. Keep your back straight and relax your shoulders. The Vajrasana is great for the digestive system. Close your eyes and breathe deeply.
2. The Pigeon Pose. Once you’re done with the Vajrasana try the Pigeon Pose (Kapotasana) to ease stretch out your hips and thighs. A lot of tension that your body has to deal with during the day is stored in the hips. This explains stiff thighs and even lower back issues. Just staying in this pose for a few breaths will enable your tense muscles to relax and ease the stress away. Over time you’ll start to appreciate how powerful this pose is for stress relief.
3. Vipirita Karani. Once you’re done stretching out the hips lie on your bed with your legs supported by the wall and just relax. You’ve been on your feet the whole day and it’s only fair that you get a chance to put your feet up! The Vipirita Karani also allows the blood to circulate back towards the heart. So this is your answer to aching soles and painful varicose veins. Take a few deep breaths in this pose with your eyes closed.
4. Anulom-Vilom Pranayama (Alternate-Nostril Breathing). Now for a little TLC for your mind. This breathing technique helps in balancing the brain and slowing down the thoughts which keep you tossing and turning in the nights. To know how to do this watch: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_eBQFeGB7FE
5. And finally, right before you go to sleep write stuff down. Stuff about how grateful you are about the wonderful life you have. About the great people you know. And about how awesome things will happen to you. A little positivity before your shut-eye will go a long way in ensuring great sleep.