Yoga's Surprising Health Benefits
Yoga can calm the whirling of the mind, which is helpful for insomniacs, who often have elevated levels of mental and emotional arousal, says Sat Bir Singh Khalsa, PhD, an instructor in medicine, division of Sleep Medicine, Harvard Medical School. He recently published a study which found that a half hour to 45 minutes of daily yoga practice -- emphasizing meditation and breathing -- helped chronic insomniacs sleep through the night. On average, the subjects increased their overall sleep time by 12 percent.Pose Rx: Goddess pose
Sit on the floor with soles of feet pressed together, knees out to the sides. Place two pillows on the floor at the base of your spine and lie back. If your knees don't touch the floor, prop them up with pillows. Close your eyes and rest palms on your belly. Focus on the rise and fall of your breath for five minutes; this stimulates the vagus nerve, calming the nervous system.
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