You must have heard many a times the merits of exercise when it comes to heavenly sleep, but now we tell you what line of exercise can best help and how. Also these can be practiced on a medium to hard surface including a mattress.
Pilates, a form of exercise which entails lot of stretches, and integrates philosophy with technique has shown to have a great effect on sleep. Invented by Joseph Hubertus Pilates, this form of exercise draws strongly from yoga and zen, as well as ancient Greek and Roman fitness regimens, to achieve that perfect sync of body and mind. Joseph Pilates came to believe that “modern” life-style, bad posture, and inefficient breathing lay at the roots of poor health and bad sleep. He then dedicated his life to discovering a solution which later came to be known by his name.
Joseph Pilates had a holistic approach towards fitness and even highlighted its significance for good sleep in his famed book-‘Return to Life through contrology’. ‘Contrology’ referring to, “the complete coordination of body, mind and soul”. The exercise poses are designed to calm a disturbed nervous system, hence alleviating any stress and helping one sleep more deeply and easily. Pilates also helps by way of increasing blood flow throughout the system and increasing body awareness. Overall makes one tune in with oneself, strengthens core and helps in deep relaxation, by gaining mastery over one’s own body. Delhi based Pilates instructor Julia Romanova, who is a great proponent of Pilates shares some poses that are especially beneficial for sound sleep. So roll out your yoga mat and flex it
1) Roll Up
Roll up is great for abdominal muscles, and is well known as one of the classic Pilates flat abs exercises. It is wonderful for stimulating the spine and as the spine has a lot of nerve endings, one ends up releasing stress in the process. It has been said that one roll up is equal to six regular sit ups, and is much better than crunches for creating a flat stomach. This first move is the Pilates Arms Over. You lie down flat, then raise a little, with your arms to the side and finally sit with your back straight and arms stretched right on top. This helps stretch your hamstrings and stimulates the spine. Usually it is repeated six times.
2) Mermaid stretch
Primarily, it engages your intercostal muscles – which are primary breathing muscles – your back extensor muscles and your Quadratus Lomborum. There is also a minimal abdominal engagement to maintain the integrity of the torso. If done correctly, it will release certain muscles which are usually not worked, and ensure deeper diaphragmatic breathing. In this pose, you sit in an open fourth position, with one arm stretched sideways over your head. Then put one hand on the ground and raise your hips while stretching the hand sideways over your head. Keep each pose for approximately a minute.
3) Butterfly Saw
The Saw is a classical pilates exercise that increases the flexibility and strength of the core. It gives the spine a great stretch as also your neck and shoulder. Sit tall on your butt with your knees apart but soles of the feet joined together, and just stretch one arm across diagonally and then your other arm and reach out as far as possible.
4) Wall Roll Down
This is a standing stretch where you stand against a wall. It stretches the back and the hamstrings, as it works the abdominals. Stand tall against a wall, move your feet a little away. Your arms stay parallel to your ears as you nod your head and begin to slowly roll your spine down and away from the wall, vertebrae by vertebrae. Begin rolling down slowing and curve your torso as much as possible, reaching the floor with your arms, keeping shoulder straight.
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