Benefits of Yoga and How to Get Started

Tara Youngblood Feb 25, 2022

Benefits of yoga and how to get started

At sleepme, we offer a variety of yoga routines. That's because we know yoga can help with overall health and sleep, whether you incorporate it into your daytime or pre-bedtime routine. Yoga is one of the habits that can help you relax, relieve stress and unwind. Think it's not for you? We want you to know that there are different types of yoga and varying skill levels and adjustments, making it a great fit for anyone.

What Is Yoga?

Ultimately, it comes to us from ancient India and has changed into different forms over time. While some modern forms of yoga have a fitness-based bent or put emphasis on physical poses, ancient yoga had a lot more focus on meditation and spirituality.

Nonetheless, many modern Western yoga classes still have roots in these aspects, as classes often incorporate a combination of deep breathing, meditation and poses.

You probably have some idea of what it is, even if you've never tried it. It involves people winding their bodies into weird poses, right? Yes, in general, it's a practice that involves entering poses, holding them and moving from one pose to another within a session.

Yoga Poses

What exactly is a yoga pose? It's simply a way of holding your body. If you stand straight with both feet together, your shoulders back and your arms down, you are in Mountain Pose. From there, you could put both arms up, tip forward at the hips and lift one leg up to be in Warrior III pose.

A yoga routine can include numerous poses one after the other, potentially repeating some throughout. Nonetheless, yoga is not only about poses or physical exercise.

Read More: The Supple Leopard Stretches. You too can learn to incorporate stretching throughout the day and into the night.

Who Can Benefit from Yoga?

Many poses can be done with the support of a chair or a wall. Also, you can pick poses to fit your body, choosing from at least the traditional 84 options. Good instructors will tell you that if you can't perform a pose or it hurts, either skip it or find a variation.

You can aim to work up to it if possible or avoid that one in your routine altogether. It's best to follow what your own body tells you.

As a company focused on sleep, we can't help but point out the benefits of yoga in relation to sleep. Research has found yoga beneficial for the sleep of elderly people [1] and for improving the sleep quality of women with sleep problems, [2] just as a sampling of research on the subject.

Why is yoga good for you? Well, it can help with various aspects that can lead to improved sleep, such as reducing stress, [3] helping to clear and calm thoughts in mind and providing exercise.

The Purpose of Yoga:

  • Build Strength
  • Build Awareness
  • Build Harmony in both the body and mind.

Health and Wellness

  • Added aerobic activity and circulation, strength, flexibility, range of motion, and balance
  • Eased body pain
  • Improved mood and mental health
  • Weight loss and healthier eating
  • Better energy levels
  • Improved health markers, including cardiovascular health and inflammation
  • Better posture

Read More: What is the Best Sleep Position

How to Get Started With Yoga

Yoga incorporates different levels, from beginner to expert. It's best to get started with a beginner-level routine that helps you learn poses, get used to them and gain strength, flexibility and balance that are necessary for properly performing more advanced poses.

Popular Yoga Poses

While it might be tempting to jump right into some advanced poses, this could increase your risk of injury and ruin the calming aspects of yoga. To get started, consider taking a beginner's class in person, so you can have a qualified teacher guide you.

Sleepme Yoga Exercises

Below are various routines performed by our Yoga expert, Talei Allen; she provides numerous routines perfect for all skill levels.

Whether you're looking for gentle movements or heart-pounding intensity, you'll find the yoga classes and stretches that work for you.

Talei's Top Beginner Yoga Poses

Not sure where to start? Here is a list of Talei's beginner's poses you may want to look up and try:

  • Mountain Pose
  • Child's Pose
  • Cat-Cow Pose
  • Warrior I Pose
  • Warrior II Pose
  • Corpse Pose

Types of Yoga

One of the reasons yoga is so approachable is that it has different types. Try not to let this overwhelm or confuse you. Instead, it can be fun to try different teachings and instructors to find the best fit for you.

Yoga Nidra:

This type keeps you in a resting pose as you practice a meditative state. Yoga Nidra is one of the types that emphasizes meditation, breathing and spirituality over physical poses.

Read More: Yoga Nidra for Sleep; Beginner's Guide

Yin:

This type of yoga is a deep stretch class. You hold the postures for at least a minute or two to really stretch out not just your outer muscles but the deeper layers, think connective tissue. Props are used to help access the stretches, and it is a great beginner class or addition to your regular workout routine.

Hatha:

It generally includes a mix of poses, deep breathing and meditation. This is a good place to start and become acquainted with yoga.

Flow:

Rather than holding a pose for a period of time, you flow from one pose to another, providing more aerobic activity, movement and circulation than a typical Hatha-style class.

Power:

This is the type you might find in a gym, as it focuses on giving a good workout with extra aerobic, strength and flexibility training. It may or may not incorporate some meditation and spirituality.

Iyengar:

This type puts extra emphasis on performing each pose in exactly the right form. You tend to hold poses and work to improve your form or adapt the pose, including through the use of props like a chair, block or belt.

Hot Yoga:

It takes place in a hot studio, and the specific type of Bikram yoga incorporates a series of 26 poses.

Restorative:

This gentle type puts the focus on relaxing, releasing tension and resting. You use restorative poses and props to get into comfortable and meditative positions.

As you get into it more, you'll discover endless variations that you can try if you choose to.

Improve Your Health and Sleep with Yoga

It's a great practice to add to your life for better health, wellness and sleep. This ancient practice offers a natural, drug-free way to reduce stress, calm your mind and dose off into a higher quality slumber.

Try adding some breathwork, meditation and beginner's poses to your routine on a regular basis to see how it impacts your sleep.

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