Saturday, 6 June 2009

Yoga And Natural Sleep

We know about the wonderful benefits of yoga—relaxation, better circulation, increased energy, and so on. We have heard of people getting up early to practice yoga; hopefully, they are also going to bed early so they’re not cutting their sleep short. That’s because sleep has its own benefits, which are different from the benefits of yoga. Enough sleep and good-quality sleep make possible things that yoga and meditation cannot accomplish, and vice versa.

Deep stages of yoga and meditation provide access to energy and consciousness that sleep alone cannot provide. Yoga can be relaxing, energizing, peaceful, and deeply fulfilling all at the same time. It is a unique daytime experience unlike any other.

Sleep never feels like that. Unless you’re into conscious dreaming and the like, sleep rarely gives you a ‘wow’ experience. First of all, when we fall asleep, we don’t really know its happening. When we wake up, it just feels ordinary, unlike the exhilaration one can feel during yoga or meditation. So, as we do with many of the good things in life, most of us take sleep for granted.

What’s different about sleep? During deeper stages of sleep we secrete growth hormones that promote cell healing. That doesn’t happen during meditation. The body produces a dazzling array of chemicals during sleep that researchers are only beginning to uncover. It seems that the more we learn, the more questions we have.

However, there is one more important similarity between yoga and sleep. In western culture, the practice of yoga has become solely a willful practice. You use your will to practice poses. Among advanced yogis, their practice is more about grace and experiencing the flow of chi or prana (energy) in the body. Falling asleep is similar in one aspect to an advanced yoga practice. You cannot will yourself to sleep. It’s impossible. If you have insomnia, you know what I mean; or you can ask one of your wakeful friends. In order to fall asleep, you have to relax. You have to let go of your conscious mind, or sleep cannot happen.

At Savvy Rest, we think sleep is one of the most beneficial and important daily activities. Our line of organic mattresses and natural mattresses are made from the most natural materials. After all, shouldn’t your sleep be just as relaxing and healthy as any other aspect of your life?

By: Michael Penny

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