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Five meditation and yoga techniques to calm your soul and help you sleep better

Since most of us spend much of the day sitting at a desk, these exercises could help loosen up various joints and muscle groups

Training your mind to focus on pleasant imagery helps you to actively move away from negative thoughts and emotions, inducing a feeling of tranquility.

It is a well-known fact that most people suffer from sleep-related issues. In the last few months, as the pandemic has assailed, people have been all the more anxious and sleep-deprived. The daily stress of handling a job, taking care of personal responsibilities, planning for an uncertain future has taken a toll on many lives, also causing some physical and mental health issues.

Mindhouse, a mental wellness service offering platform — providing a variety of guided meditation sessions and techniques — stresses on the importance of adequate sleep. It says that over a period of time, insufficient sleep can take a heavy toll on the immune system, potentially setting you up for a number of different illnesses and ailments.

As such, the platform suggests five simple meditation and yoga techniques to help induce a state of deep calm; read on.

Progressive muscle relaxation

This exercise has been used by doctors since the 1930s to treat insomnia and to provide symptom relief for conditions like headaches and digestive disturbances.

The technique involves tensing and releasing various muscle groups, one after the other, based on the premise that the physical relaxation induced by PMR can lead to a calmer state of mind, and in turn, better sleep.

Body scan meditation

As the name suggests, this technique is centred around meditatively scanning your entire body, to identify sensations of pain, or discomfort. This helps increase awareness of our own body, allowing us to develop greater insight into the causes behind these uncomfortable and unwanted sensations.

Visualization

Arguably the most expansive technique on this list, visualization is only limited by your own imagination. Training your mind to focus on pleasant imagery helps you to actively move away from negative thoughts and emotions, inducing a feeling of tranquillity, and significantly enhancing your overall mental well-being.

4-7-8 breathing

Also known as ‘Ratio Breathing’, it is one of the many different rhythmic techniques that help put your mind and body in a relaxed state. The basic concept involves inhaling through the nose as you count to 4, and then to 7 — and then exhaling as you count to 8.

Mindhouse recommends starting off with 4 cycles of this pattern and slowly working your way up to 8.

Yoga positions

There are various restorative yoga postures that help relieve stress, such as the ‘reclining bound angle’, the ‘wide knee child’s pose’, and the ‘reclining hero pose’, which can set you up for a good night’s sleep. They help diffuse tension that’s accumulated in various parts of the body, such as the hips and hamstrings, and help to improve blood circulation in your feet.

And since most of us spend much of the day sitting at a desk, these exercises could help loosen up various joints and muscle groups.

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