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Yoga can be what you want it to be. It can be vigorous and can work on your core like no other exercise. However, it can also be restorative and relaxing, calming your mind and body, and therefore, putting you to sleep.
If you are looking for a yoga posture that can help you unwind, then this is it. Ardha Matsyendrasana not only calms your mind; it helps detoxify your body. It alleviates stress, and even mild depression and anxiety.
These twists squeeze and massage your internal organs, which, in turn, helps you get rid of the toxins from your body, while regulating the circulatory as well as digestive systems. All of this results in better deeper sleep.
How to perform the Ardha Matsyendrasana?
To begin, sit cross legged on your mat.
Place the right hand on the left knee while twisting your torso to the left side.
Twist from the base of your spine to the shoulders.
Make sure you are not lifting your body off the mat. Also, while stretching, be careful that you don’t hurt your lower back.
Your left hand will be placed on the mat, just behind your hips.
Untwist and repeat the exercise for the other side.
Make sure you are very slow while performing this asana since fast movements can hurt your neck or your lower back.
Another thing to keep in mind when practicing the seated twist is the breathing.
When you twist the body into the final pose, make sure you breathe out. Exhaling will help you bend more.
Once you have exhaled completely and have found your balance in the twist, start breathing normally.
When untwisting and coming to the original posture, inhale slowly and deeply.
What are the benefits of the Ardha Matsyendrasana?
It helps in the agility of the spine.
The posture helps elongate the spine.
It restores the natural alignment of the spine.
The asana releases the lower back muscles, and provides relief from lower back pain.
It aids you to maintain normal rotation of your spinal cord.
This yoga posture helps calm the mind. As a result, you feel de-stressed and can sleep better.
It also regulates your digestive system, thus improving your digestion.
It helps those with sciatica.
If you have a slipped disc, then this asana might be helpful.
It strengthens your shoulders, neck, and hips.
It gives your inner thighs the stretch they need.
Precaution to be taken while practicing the Seated Twist?
Here are a few words of caution to remember when performing the seated twist.
Make sure your back is passive so that you can reap the maximum benefits out of this yoga asana.
You should twist your spine according to its flexibility. Your body knows what is best for you. Make sure you are listening.
While performing the last stage, your shoulders should be on the same level.
Your shoulders should be relaxed and not strained while practicing this asana.
The Ardha Matsyendrasana aids in strengthening our muscles. This, in turn, protects our muscles from arthritis. Elderly people who practice yoga are less likely to fall. Strength building is done in other forms of exercise too, but when done with yoga, it is complemented with flexibility.
“When the Breath wanders, the mind is unsteady, but when the Breath is still, so is the mind.”
– Hatha Yoga Pradipika
Very often, sleep eludes us when we’re stressed or anxious. Our mind races with a multitude of thoughts, leaving sleep far behind. Breathing well is the first step toward self-healing. Learning to breathe correctly can positively affect our thoughts and moods. While we’re aware that each thought can alter the rhythm of our breath, few people know that by altering the rhythm of our breath, we can change our thoughts too.
The word pranayama comes from Sanskrit. It literally translates to, “extension of breath”. Prana is the life-force that infuses our bodies with energy. It forms a strong association between the mind and the consciousness.
Before you sleep, it is important to calm your mind. Bhramari Pranayama teaches you to keep your breath still so that you can steady your mind.
What is the Bhramari Pranayama?
The asana finds its name from the Black Indian Bee, Bhramari. The sound we make when we exhale while practicing this asana resembles the humming sound of a bee and so, it is called Bhramari pranayama.
Whether you’re anxious or angry, this breathing exercise can help you release the negative emotions, while breathing in freshness and joy. A simple technique with miraculous benefits, the Bhramari Pranayama can be practiced anywhere to de-stress yourself. How to perform the Bhramari Pranayama?
Begin by sitting in a comfortable position. You can either sit cross-legged on a mat, or sit toward the front of the chair. Remember, it is important is to keep the spine straight. While on the mat, if it is difficult to stay straight, sit on a cushion to elevate your position.
Close your eyes and keep your lips and your teeth slightly apart.
Now bring your thumbs to your ears, and gently close them. The other fingers will rest on the crown, spread out over it.
Breathe in slowly through your nostrils, and then exhale slowly emulating a steady, low-pitched ‘hmmm’ sound at the back of your throat. If the sound resembles the humming of a bee, then you are doing it right.
Try to make the sound as soft, smooth, and steady as you can. When you move deeper, you will be able to feel a vibration resonate through your head. Try to keep your body very still, and bring your attention to the light at the center of your forehead (also called the third eye center). The asana should be performed at least 10 times.
After completing the tenth round, contemplate on how you feel. Listen to your body and your emotions. You will feel a shift in your energy and a silence within. Try to take your attention to the parts where you can sense a tingle. Sit silently in that position for five to ten minutes.
What are the benefits of Bhramari Pranayama?
It is the best cure for stress. It nurtures peace in your being, which in turn, results in self-healing.
It lowers one’s blood pressure, thus relieving hypertension.
It releases cerebral tension.
It soothes the nerves.
It stimulates the pineal and pituitary glands, thus supporting their proper functioning.
It dissipates anger.
It is helpful in preventing heart blockages.
It helps with inducing deep sleep.
Precautions to be taken while practicing Bhramari Pranayama
Bhramari breathing has no harmful side effects. However, if one does it wrong, then there might arise some difficulties. To avoid this, follow the instructions included here closely, or practice it under the guidance of a yoga teacher.
Additionally, here are some precautions to take in order to avoid these side effects.
Place your thumb on the tragus. Do not insert it in the ear.
Do not press on the tragus too hard, but just place your thumb gently on it.
Bhramari Pranayama should be practiced with an empty stomach or at least four to five hours after your meal.
It is best to perform Pranayama early in the morning, preferably before sunrise.
When you perform Bhramari Pranayama, be sure to keep your lips gently pressed. Your mouth should be closed.
When tired while performing the asana, take rest and breathe deeply before performing the next round. Do not force the pranayama.
People with ear infection should avoid the asana until their infection is cured.
So the next time you feel anxious or cannot put your mind to rest and cannot sleep because of that, we hope you will give this age-old asana a try.
Did you know that surveys suggest millennials are twice as likely to experience constant exhaustion than the generation before us? No wonder we are called the Exhausted Generation! Peace of mind and sleep are two things that we are struggling with. And both can be cured with yoga.
The Legs Up The Wall pose or Viparta Karni is one of the best yoga asanas for sleep. The stretch the legs and the feet receive helps release tension, which in turn, results in good sleep. Also, the asana is known to improve blood circulation to the head. Therefore, if you are not being able to sleep because of a headache, this asana can come to your rescue making sure you dose off soon.
What is the Viparita Karni?
The Viparita Karni asana or the legs up the wall pose is a restorative pose that improves the circulation of blood and helps it reach every part of the body. The posture is also called the Inverted Lake Pose, and is said to have anti-aging effects on the body. According to yogic scriptures of Patanjali, this asana can deter the occurrence of wrinkles, fine lines, and other premature signs of aging by ensuring good rest every night.
Before practicing this asana, make sure you stomach is empty. Therefore, you can either perform this pose after waking up or at least five hours after your meal. Performing the asana between two meals (at least five hours apart), can help with digestion, thus making you more active through the day.
How to perform the Viparita Karni?
The Viparita Karni is a restorative pose. Because of this, many people like using props, and you may want to do so too. Some props to choose from include bolsters, folded blankets, and pillows.
After you have found a prop of your choice, or have decided to go without them,
Lie down on a flat surface. Position yourself in way that your tailbone is pointed at the base a wall.
Shimmy your hips as close as possible to the wall, then start walking your feet up the wall until your body forms an L shape.
Make adjustments so that the posture feels relaxing, a pillow under your head or a towel at the base of your back.
What are the benefits of Viparita Karni?
Let us now look at the various benefits of the Inverted Leg Pose.
The Viparita Karni helps relax your feet.
The posture helps improve sleep.
The asana soothes cramped legs.
It gives your torso and the back of your legs the stretch they need.
It gives relief from mild ache in the back.
It helps stretch out the back of your neck.
The inverted lake pose has many therapeutic benefits. It heals mild anxiety, arthritis, digestive issues, headaches, hypertension, sleep deprivation, migraines, breathing problems, symptoms of depression, and symptoms of menopause.
The asana helps alleviate the mood swings felt during PMS.
Precautions to be taken when practicing Viparita Karni
It is good to keep in mind a few points of caution before practicing the vipareet karni asana.
Do not perform this asana during menstruation since it involves mild inversion.
Those with eye problems, such as glaucoma, should avoid this asana.
If you feel a sensation in your feet every time while performing this asana, try bending your knees and touching your soles to bring the heels as close as you can to the pelvic region.
People with back and/or neck problems should refrain from practicing the vipareet karni asana, or should perform it in the presence of a certified instructor.
If you are a beginner, then finding the right alignment of your body in this posture can be a bit of a challenge. There is a trick, however. To find the right alignment and balance, lean in such a way that the thigh bones are firmly pressed against the wall. By doing this while breathing normally, you will also be able to release your spine, your abs, and your pelvic muscles. With each exhalation, press the thigh bones harder into the wall and pull the torso away from the wall simultaneously. Be very slow and gentle in order to not get hurt or sprain your muscles.
Yoga is restorative. It is gentle, and often the best way to put yourself to sleep!
According to plenty of reports, people who practice yoga recommend it as a healthy lifestyle choice to get better sleep. They say it helps with stress, reduces anxiety and all kinds of tensions that modern life is filled with.
One of the yoga asanas that experts suggest for sleeplessness is the Tadasana. Since it gives your spine, hips and thighs the nice kind of stretch, it helps your body sleep better. By balancing your body in Tadasana, you give your mind a sense of stability, which is key to deep sleep.
What is the Tadasana?
Tadasana comes from the Sanskrit words ‘Tada’ meaning mountain and ‘Asana’ meaning posture. Therefore, Tadasana is also called Mountain Pose. Many people even call this yoga posture Samasthiti
According to yogis, the Tadasana is the mother of all asanas since it forms the base from which all the other yoga postures emerge. Almost all the standing postures that involve shifts in certain parts of your body come from tadasana or are modifications of this pose. These also involve shifts in an individual joint while the rest of the body stays neutral.
How to perform the Tadasana?
To begin stand straight. Your feet should be placed next to each other with no gap between them. Your thighs should be tight and your spine erect.
Now extend your arms in front of you and intertwine the fingers like a web. Turn them around so that your palms don’t face you.
Extend your intertwined fingers toward the ceiling such that the arms are straight and the elbows unbent.
At this point, check your posture again. Make sure your feet are together, your thigh muscles and hip muscles are tight, and your back is straight. Keep the arms extended toward the ceiling, take a deep breath and lift your body on your toes.
Once you have found your balance, start breathing normally. Hold the posture, and keep a smile on your face.
To make sure your body is straight, feel that you are being pulled by the ceiling.
In case you lose your balance, come down on your feet, take a deep breath and repeat. Also, be very careful with your neck. At all times, make sure you are not straining it.
Once you are tired, you can come out of the posture.
First come down on your feet. Then lower your arms in front of you. Now free the hand and bring them next to your thighs.
What are the benefits of the Tadasana?
1. The tadasana elongates the spine, and therefore, enhances your posture.
2. The posture helps strengthen your knees, thigh muscles, and your ankles.
3. It tones your abs.
4. It reduces unwanted fat from your buttocks.
5. If you have sciatica pain, then you can practice this asana to help ease the condition.
6. This asana helps your spine become more agile.
7. The posture helps improve and regulate your digestive system as well as your nervous system.
8. The Mountain Pose helps improve balance, and as a result, can alleviate anxiety and stress, thus helping you sleep.
9. It can improve your height if performed in the formative years.
10. It enhances your sleep, thus helping you wake up feeling fit and fabulous.
Did you know that sleep debt is a real thing? If you sleep even an hour lesser than what your body and mind need, then expect to pay back in sleepy and unproductive weeks! Poor sleep can result in anger, agitation, and anxiety, among other things. To nip the problem of sleeplessness in the bud, our experts suggest yoga, particularly a breathing technique called Kapalbhati Pranayama. Kapalbhati can help reduce work place tension, relationship stress, other worries and anxieties, by soothing your mind and ultimately putting you to sleep.
What is the Kapalbhati Pranayam?
Kapalbhati Pranayama is a breathing practice in yoga. It gets its name from the Sanskrit words, Kapal, meaning skull, and bhati meaning “to shine”.
This kriya is an intermediate to advanced breathing technique that strengthens your chest, cleanses your abdominal organs and energizes your circulatory as well as nervous systems.
How to perform the Kapalbhati Pranayam?
To perform the Kapalbhati, sit in Vajrasana or Sukhasana. Remember to keep your spine straight, your shoulders relaxed, and neck unstrained.
Now press gently on the right nostril while you exhale through the left with force. Repeat on the other side. This step is to clear the nostrils.
Now that both the nostrils are open, take a deep breath and start exhaling with force while squeezing in the stomach.
Breathe in softly, and breathe out completely and with force.
You should practice 100 rounds of Kapabhati Pranayama. For those with BP, 20 slow rounds should be more than enough.
What are the benefits of Kapalbhati Pranayam?
Now that we know how Kapalbhati Pranayama is performed, let us talk about its benefits. Here are some of them:
Since this kriya requires a lot of energy, it generates body heat, thus dissolving toxins and waste matter.
The breathing technique is known to enhance the functioning of the kidneys and liver.
Kapalbhati pranayama relaxes the eyes, and as a result of that, can help do away with dark circles as well as premature signs of aging.
It improves blood circulation and digestion.
It is known to help with weight loss since it increases your metabolic rate rapidly.
The kriya stimulates the internal organs, especially the abdominal ones, and therefore, helps people with diabetes.
This breathing technique refreshes the brain.
It energizes your nerves.
Since Kapalbhati Pranayama calms your mind, it can help with mood swings and minor anxiety.
The kriya gives you a sense of balance, thus making your brain feel decluttered and de-stressed, and therefore relaxed and ready for bed.
You can bid goodbye to your gas-related problems.
The kriya helps with acidity.
This pranayama enhances the capacity of your lungs and makes them stronger.
Since it makes you sweat, it opens up your skin pores and cleanses it of the toxins. Your face is likely to glow after performing the kriya.
It activates the chakras in your body.
It helps with sinus and asthma.
It is known to cause hair growth.
It fills you with positive energy.
Side effects of practicing Kapalbhati Pranayama
Kapalbhati, if not performed correctly, or under supervision, can lead to some side effects. These include:
The kriya can lead to high blood pressure.
Kapalbhati may also cause hernia.
A vomiting sensation is likely if kapalbhati is not performed on an empty stomach.
Some people complain of dizziness and headache after their first session of this breathing technique.
The kriya can cause your mouth to either dry up or salivate excessively.
Since kapalbhati requires a lot of energy, it can cause excessive perspiration.
Precautions to be taken while practicing Kapalbhati Pranayam
Here are some words of caution that should be considered when practicing kapalbhati pranayama.
If you are a heart patient, then go slow while exhaling.
The kriya must not be performed immediately after a meal.
If you suffer from hypertension, then go slow and soft with the asana.
Kapalbhati should be learnt from a certified yoga instructor, and preferably, after a health check-up.
Pregnant women should avoid this breathing technique.
Those with a slipped disc or a stent should refrain from practicing kapalbhati pranayama.
If you have ulcers, then you have to be very careful while practicing this kriya.
Only those who have crossed the basic level pranayama should practice kapalabhati since it is an advanced technique.
When practicing this kriya, be very vigilant, especially if you are an asthmatic patient.
Kapalbhati pranayama helps you breathe correctly, and breathing correctly calms your mind. A calm mind tends to fall sound asleep quickly.
Yoga helps with sleep, most of us know that. But if you had to do one asana tonight before sleeping to ensure deep sleep, which one would it be? Our pick: Balasana.
Balasana, or the Child Pose, is, according to Harvard Medical School, one of the most effective poses for people with sleep-related issues. The calmness and stability provided by this asana translates into sleep very quickly. Before we find out how to perform the pose, let us dig a little deeper into it.
What Is the Balasana?
The Balasana, also known as the Sharnagat Mudra and the Child Pose, gives your body the perfect stretch that it deserves. Don’t judge it by how easy it looks. The posture massages the abdominal organs, while also helping you relax and soothe your mind, therefore, providing you a good night’s sleep.
Balasana stimulates the anahata chakra because it stretches the spine as you go down on your chest and stomach. This is why the asana relaxes both your body and your mind, releasing all the dissipated energy.
How to practice the Balasana?
To practice the Balasana, begin by kneeling down on the floor. Make sure your big toes are touching each other. Do not place the feet one over the other.
Once you feel you have found your balance in this posture, spread your knees hip-width apart. Slowly and softly, inhale.
Exhale and lay your torso between your thighs.
Slowly settle down on your thighs by broadening your sacrum all across the back of the pelvis. Feel that your tailbone is stretching away from the back of the pelvis as you slightly lift your head away from the back of the neck.
Now gently extend your arms in front of you and stretch them out straight. The shoulders should not be strained, let them drop on the floor.
Open up the shoulder blades across your back.
Stay in this posture for 30 seconds or more. It is a resting posture, and so, you can stay in it for more than a few minutes too, if you want.
To come out of the asana, first stretch the upper body slowly. Then inhale and lift from the tailbone, thus pushing down into the pelvic region.
What are the benefits of Balasana?
Let us now look into the benefits of Balasana.
The asana helps you release the tension in your chest.
It relaxes the back and the spine.
It alleviates the stress felt by your shoulders.
The Child Pose is highly recommended to people who keep feeling dizzy.
The Balasana, if practiced after a tiring work day or workout, can help with relaxation and soothing of the muscles, ensuring good sleep.
This posture helps alleviate stress and feelings of anxiety.
Since the Balasana flexes the internal organs of your body, it helps in keeping them active, and therefore, supple.
This stretch helps in the lengthening of the spine, and in maintaining its natural alignment.
When performed with support on the head and the upper part of the body, the Child Pose can give relief from the pain felt in the lower back and the neck.
It gives a good stretch to the ankles, thighs, and the hips.
By stretching out the whole body, the Balasana improves blood circulation.
It enhances the quality of breathing, and thus, soothes the body as well as the mind.
The muscles, tendons, and the ligaments in your knees receive the stretch they need through the Child Pose.
Precautions to be taken while practicing Balasana
Here are a few things to keep in mind while performing the Balasana.
If when placing the head on the floor or on the mat you feel some difficulty or find it uncomfortable, then you can use a pillow or a cushion for support.
If you are suffering from diarrhea, then avoid this exercise as it massages the digestive tract and creates pressure on the bowels.
If you have knee injuries or knee problems, then refrain from getting into this asana.
If you are a patient of hypertension, then this asana must be avoided.
Though a relaxing posture that looks easy compared to the other yogic contortions, the Balasana has numerous benefits, especially when it comes to sleep, and therefore, must be performed regularly for better results.
Our busy lives demand a lot from us. Increasingly, we find ourselves stressed out, pumped up on caffeine and sleepless at bedtime. We’re constantly playing catch up with life and we rarely ever live in the moment. As a result we end up with bad moods, bad postures and even worse sleeping cycles. Yoga can help center us in this world of chaos.
This International Yoga Day, we’re teaming up with Total Yoga to bring you simple asanas that will help you sleep better. Asanas that will soothe your minds and relax your bodies so you can sleep better.
This week, we start with the simplest of asanas. A morning asana, Marajariasana is best performed after you wake up on an empty stomach. Practise this asana daily, to soothe your mind, improve your spinal alignment and the quality of your sleep.
What is the Marjariasana?
The Marjariasana is also called the cat pose, where the word “marjari” means cat and “asana” means pose.
This yoga posture is inspired by the cat stretch, gives your body the ever-relaxing feline stretch. It looks simple, but you will see how beneficial it is to the body as well as the mind.
This is how you perform Marjariasana:
Get on all fours, like a cat. Shoulder over wrists and hips over knees, with your weight evenly distributed along your hands and knees.
Start with a neutral spine. Focus on a point in front of you.
Inhale and expand the belly toward the floor. Raise your chin and tilt your head backwards toward the spine. Point the tailbone up as you stretch like a cat.
Then exhale and pull the belly button in, towards the spine. The chin should rest on the chest and direct your vision toward the nose. Your back should be rounded.
Complete as many rounds as you’d like, working toward a fluid movement that stretches and relaxes your spine.
A simple asana, with many benefits.
It is very good for the spine as it stretches the back bone and strengthens it while also improving its flexibility.
The asana strengthens your wrists.
Marjariasana benefits the shoulders by making them stronger.
The movements in the asana massages your digestive organs and activates them. As a result, the process of digestion is improved.
It helps tone the abs by getting rid of excess fat from around your hips.
Since the asana requires you to be on all your fours, it enhances blood circulation as well as oxygen flow through the body.
The cat stretch soothes the mind, thus helping you get rid of unnecessary stress and anxiety.
If you think your baby will be one that will drift easily to sleep every night, only to wake up in the morning, then we have news for you, mister: That’s not gonna happen!
They say, you don’t really know exhaustion until you’ve become a new parent. Restless night, sleepless night, becomes your carol. But there is a workaround, a few tactics that can help and since it’s from the horse’s mouth, be rest assured (literally!) that they will work.
Here are 5 sleep tips developed by new dads for new dads.
“Babies wake up two to three times every night, so you cannot expect your regular eight-hours of sleep. To make up for the lost hours, what I do is rely on daytime power naps. Make sure you set 30-minute alarms or you might drift into deep sleep. This has happened with me! Also, going to bed earlier than before and sticking to a routine really helps.”
“My wife and I divide changing duties, so we both get solid blocks of sleep. Also, we think that this way, our baby does not become completely dependent on just one parent for his sleep ritual.”
“Though it is hard in the beginning, I feel that one needs to prioritize their baby’s schedule over theirs. To help bring a balance, invest in things that will make your bedroom a sleep haven, enabling deeper sleep. Get the right mattress, buy heavy blinds for your windows, etc.”
“You cannot use your bed like you used to before. No Netflix and no work. To make sure your baby sleeps quickly, you have to create that environment in the room. Also, if you are into gymming, like me, then you have to eat healthier now to compensate for all the sleeplessness.”
“Yoga has helped me with all sorts of transitions and changes. It’s helping me be a better dad too.”
Dads can be the hardest to buy gifts for – they tend to have everything and want absolutely nothing. This Father’s Day, we made an effort to look beyond hi-tech gadgets, ties, socks and pens. We decided to make a list of the best Father’s Day gifts, that would affect the most important aspect of your father’s life: sleep!
Brand new dads need a brand new mattress.
If one of your loved ones, just became a dad, then you could do him a great service by getting him the Wakefit Orthopedic Memory Foam Mattress. The daunting stretch of sleepless nights that he will inevitably have to face, will be easier on him.
Whether your dad is a travel buff, a movie maniac or a sport junkie, our neck pillows will find a way to squeeze their way into his life. We know what you’re thinking – just another neck pillow… but did you know, ours comes with a moulded memory foam for superior neck support AND an eye mask, which allows him to nod off, just about anywhere – including the mall, when you drag him there for your monthly shopping spree!
Does your dad spend long hours sitting? Does your dad have a long and painful commute to work? Does your dad get lost on road trips and refuse to ask for directions? Every dad has been in one of these tight situations. We suggest you bring him some relief with our Back Support Cushion that has the ability to make long hours of driving or sitting at a desk, much more pleasant.
If your dad loves his coffee in bed or routinely snacks in bed, then we suggest that you gift him a mattress protector. With a TPU film that makes it waterproof, this gift could score you some brownie points from your laundry person!
If it’s time to upgrade the furniture in your dad’s room, may we suggest a beautiful and sturdy sheesham wood bed? Assembling this with him gives you a bonus, which he’s likely to treasure the most – quality time together.
Buy now: https://bit.ly/2Ihw2F2