I want to introduce you to my fantastic co-presenter for my event this Sunday September 17th Jenna Carpenter and share with you some of her amazing health wisdom.
Jenna is a yoga instructor and health coach and has a wellness business based here in San Diego and hosts international yoga retreats. So if yoga is your thing, check her out.
Here's a little piece of Jenna's wisdom:
(For pictures of how to do the yoga poses visit her site, here: https://jennacarpenter.org/restorative-yoga-better-sleep/)
Who knew that restorative yoga is good for sleep? It makes sense right? Re-stor-a-tive: having the ability to restore health, strength, or a feeling of well-being. That definition fits like a glove when it comes to restorative yoga. This style is typically slower, holding poses 2-10 minutes at a time. Similar to yin yoga but not the same. Restorative yoga was designed to help relax and slow everything down. In result, it can leave you feeling like butta! You will wanna melt all over the place!! So practice in the evening or even better before bed. I have found, the most beneficial piece to practicing restorative yoga is how much it helps with sleep.
Whether you are new to yoga or have been practicing your entire life, here are a few poses that instantly help with dropping into your body. Keep in mind, the most important component to this practice (no matter what style) is the breath or prana, in Sanskrit. Here are a few restorative yoga poses that I recommend before bedtime. If you are looking to sleep better, try these asanas (poses):
Legs Up The Wall a.k.a. Viparita Karani
You need a wall for this pose. So pick one and sit close to it. Lean down onto one elbow, move the legs up. If you have tight hamstrings, move the hips a little bit further away from the wall and bend the knees. This pose helps gain flexibility in the backs of the legs, relieves low back pain, stress, tension.
Pigeon Pose ~ Eka Pada Rajakapotasana
Start in down dog or on the hands and knees, pull the right knee forward behind the right wrist at a 45 degree angle, placing the foot in-front of the left hip and straighten the left leg back. Draw the right hip back and the left hip forward. Walk the hands away from the body and place the forward on the ground if possible. If not, use a pillow or bolster and place the forearms down additional modification, lean onto the right hip to relieve intensity. Hold this pose for a minimum of 30 seconds up to 5 minutes. Do the same on the second side. This pose stretches the hip, glutes, low back, impinged piriformis, groins and psoas.
Child’s Pose ~ Balasana
Kneel on the ground with your knees open wide, point the feet back and take a seat on the heels. Walk your hands all the way forward, rest the elbows on the ground, drop your forehead on the ground and close your eyes. Take 30 seconds to a few minutes to gently stretch the ankles, thighs and hips. This pose can help relieve back and neck pain, calm the mind, relieve fatigue and stress.
Corpse Pose ~ Savasana
Everybody’s favorite! Lay flat on the ground, take up as much space as you need with your arms and legs, close your eyes. Rest for a minimum of 1 minute or until you feel complete. This pose helps reduce stress, fatigue, insomnia, lowers blood pressure and relaxes the body. It can help calm the brain and help with mild depression. If uncomfortable on the low back, bend the knees and place a bolster or pillow underneath the knees.
Most yoga classes end with corpse pose, and it’s definitely one of my favorites. Regardless of what style of yoga you do, take a few minutes before going to bed and unwind with these poses.
Here are some benefits to practicing yoga:
- calm the mind & body
- allow you to be more present
- builds awareness
- prevents injury
- enhances happiness and clarity
Lastly, what you may not know is, this practice can be an extremely healing for folks that suffer from health issues such as cancer, chronic pain, depression and sleep disorders (Breus). With several different styles of yoga to choose from these days, it can be hard to know which one will work for you. I recommend trying it all and if you really want to unwind at the end of your busy day do a slow flow, yin or restorative yoga.
Hope these poses help with getting better sleep, I know they have had a huge impact on me and my yoga practice. I promise it will help with transitioning from a busy day into a more restful, deeper, and better sleep. Enjoy!
A little more about Jenna:
Jenna Carpenter's journey into wellness started in 2009 when she taught her first yoga class in San Diego. The mindfulness cultivated on her yoga mat eventually started to spread into other areas of her life. After facing some health issues while traveling in Central America, Jenna went back to school at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition based in New York. She now helps her clients get closer to their health goals via a holistic cleanse program and finding balance in their lifestyle choices. To find out more, go to her website jennacarpenter.org
So here's a little secret, I'm headed to Paris in a little less than two weeks and I'm unsure of when I'll return.
So I'd love to see you at our event on Sunday! So please join us! Links for the details and how to register are below!