In these unprecedented times, you might be hearing the term “self-care” more frequently. These days, it is more important than ever to take care of yourself and get adequate sleep. Rest and sleep are vital elements in staying healthy. We’ve got a three-week evening wind down yoga program designed to help lower your stress levels and quiet your mind so you can slip off into dreamland to rejuvenate.
According to yogic philosophy, the world is comprised of three universal elements: the gunas. An excellent way to relax is through balancing the three gunas, which exist within each one of us as well as all around us in nature.
The three gunas are: Sattva (balance, luminosity, harmony), Rajas (the state of energy, action, change, and movement), Tamas (the state of heaviness, darkness, inertia, inactivity, and materiality). Usually, we seek to find balance in a sattvic state, but if you need help winding down at the end of the day, it’s important to encourage more tamas through yoga, pranayama, and meditation.
One of the biggest causes of insomnia occurs when we can’t shut off the busy, repetitive thoughts playing in an infinite loop in our minds. We might be physically exhausted, but the moment our heads hit the pillow, boom––the brain is off and running a marathon. With the global pandemic taking over the news and our day-to-day lives, many of our nervous systems have switched into “fight or flight” mode. Winding down seems like an unachievable state. Yoga helps you settle the rajasic energy.
This new program is designed specifically to help you quiet your mind and calm your heart. Each class offers a unique approach to relaxation and encourages you to shut off the endless reel replaying your current day and projections of the future. With the right type of yoga practice, including specific pranayama or breath techniques and particular postures, you WILL be able to relax. The key to a restful night is to tap into your parasympathetic nervous system or relaxation response.
We’ve got three weeks of classes for you, between 25 to 50 minutes. If you need to create more tamas right now before you have time to practice, try one of these poses for five minutes.
Any of these postures encourage relaxation. Vipariti Karani (Legs up the Wall) or Suptha Baddha Konasana (Reclined Butterfly) help you calm down. Forward folds are cooling, calming poses, which bring your focus inside and help you counteract stress. Paschimottasana (Seated Forward fold) and Balasana (Child’s pose) are two excellent ways to bring you into a Tamasic or heavy state.
Remind yourself that the rest is just as important as the work. By ensuring you have adequate and restful sleep, your body, mind, and heart have the chance to recharge, leaving you stronger for the days ahead. Have a lovely night!
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