After a year of strangeness and uncertainty, we’re all ready for a clean slate in 2021. If you’re looking for a New Year’s resolution that will promote health and wellness, you should consider making yoga and meditation a part of your normal routine. Both activities have a myriad of benefits – from physical health to mental wellness. And, let’s be honest, we could all use a little more self-care from time to time. If you’re interested in learning meditation to help with sleep, you can supplement your practice with a CBD tincture for sleep as a way to further encourage relaxation and get you in the right mindset before bed.
The Benefits of Yoga and Meditation
Greater Flexibility and Strength
One of the more obvious benefits to doing yoga is the fitness aspect. You don’t have to be an expert to go to a yoga class. Most instructors walk through each and every pose with the class to ensure everyone understands each movement. But if you’re a little intimidated by going to a class right away, there are dozens of great YouTube video options to teach you the basics. Yoga is all about stability and flexibility, so if you find yourself feeling stiff and less mobile than you’d like to be, ease yourself into yoga and you’ll start noticing the difference in no time. Yoga is actually one of the best types of home workouts to boost your fitness and leave you feeling great.
Although yoga provides many excellent physical benefits, it’s also a deeply spiritual practice that helps you get in tune with your body and mind. The practice of yoga actually helps to cleanse and detoxify your body of stress and other toxins through your poses, breath and concentration. To really see the results and benefits, it’s best to continually practice over time. Making it a part of your routine will help you meet your intention.
Reduce Feelings of Anxiety and Depression
Both meditation and yoga have been shown to help people struggling with mental health issues, such as anxiety and depression, but it can also reduce hyperactive behavior and increase your attention span. The practice of meditation is intended to help you empty your mind of everyday thoughts by focusing on something else, such as your breath or a specific visualization activity. By learning how to maintain focus on stillness, you become increasingly patient and have a heightened sense of focus that will spill over into the rest of your life.
Allowing yourself that time to quiet your mind and focus on your breathing can give you a fresh sense of self and a newfound level of motivation free from stress. CBD topical creams and tinctures are also a common way to promote calmness, so using these products during your meditation time may help you find that sense of relaxation and further focus on your practice. They are just some of the best natural sleep aids available.
Promote Focus and Productivity
Many people think working through lunch just to focus on the task at hand will help them get their work done faster and eliminate that work-related stress when, in fact, the opposite is true. This is because taking breaks from work can actually improve your performance and level of focus by allowing your brain a chance to rest. When you return to your project or task, you have a fresh mindset that can fuel your productivity and potentially approach the task in a whole new light.
There are many ways you can meditate and different methods work better for different people. Breathing exercises are an essential aspect to meditation you should master before trying more complicated methods. Focusing on each inhale and exhale will slow down your heart rate, an essential step to soothing anxiety. A simple breathing exercise is to breathe in through your nose for five seconds, hold at the top for three and exhale through your mouth for five. You can also try plugging your left nostril with your right pointer finger, breathe in for five seconds, hold both nostrils closed for three and use your thumb to plug your right nostril and breathe out through your left for five seconds.
If you want to take the previous breathing exercise to the next level, you can implement a simple visualization technique. When breathing in, picture a cool, crisp color entering your nose — maybe light blue or green. On your exhale, envision all the bad, black or brown colors being released from your body. This is just one of many, many visualizations you can do. The point of visualization is to give your brain something to focus on that distracts it from thoughts that pop into your head about work or school or family life. The better you become at visualization, the more techniques you can experiment with. But remember: If those everyday thoughts start to arise, don’t beat yourself up for it. Simply acknowledge them and return to your visual.
The easiest way to begin meditating if you’ve never tried before is through guided meditations. These are easily and readily available in today’s world, from YouTube videos to meditation apps. With a guided meditation, a narrator with a soothing voice will walk you through what to do step-by-step and often provide cues to promote your ability to visualize and focus on the task at hand rather than what errands you have to run or assignments you have to complete.
Live Better with Yoga and Meditation
The benefits of inviting yoga and meditation into your life are nearly endless – from improving your physical health and encouraging a healthy lifestyle to reducing feelings of stress and improving productivity. Start this year off right by making these two activities a priority in your life, but start small. Try practicing yoga once a week and meditating for at least five minutes every day. If you’re enjoying these practices and you want to explore them further, you can adjust your goals and begin making each a part of your everyday routine. Because both yoga and meditation focus a great deal on relaxation, using a CBD oil for sleep can further encourage your state of calmness and help you reap even more benefits while you slumber.