Are you so excited after your evening Pure Barre class or maybe the stresses of the day have caught up to you and you can’t get to sleep? Well luckily all the squeezing we do in Pure Barre can be very important in a technique to help you fall asleep. The technique is called progressive muscle relaxation (PMR). The idea behind PMR is that you systematically tense up each muscle group to its deepest contraction and then let it all go…relaxing you further then you even thought possible!
Here is a quick guide for taking yourself through PMR:
- Find a quiet, preferably dark or dimly lit place where you can lie comfortably
- Once lying take a few moments to focus on your breath…taking long slow deep breaths
- Start with your toes…clinch them as tight as possible for about 5-10 seconds, then relax
- Take a few seconds then move to your calves clinching them as tight as possible then relaxing
- Move all the way up your body covering all muscle groups and finishing with your face, scrunching it as tight as possible
- Once you finish with your face take a few deep breaths then all at once clinch every muscle of your body as tight as possible getting out every last bit of energy for about 15-20 seconds…
- Then let it go and MELT into the ground or into your bed
This is an amazingly powerful relaxation technique that is perfect after an intense workout! To maximize the benefit of PMR, try eating some cherries or drinking some Tulsi/Holy Basil tea before you start. Cherries are high in melatonin, which helps us sleep and Tulsi tea has been shown to lower cortisol levels reducing stress and aiding with sleep!
– Dana Ryan has a PhD in Physical Activity, Nutrition and Wellness as well as a Master’s in Kinesiology and a certificate in Nutrition for Optimal Health, Wellness and Performance. She currently teaches and conducts research at two universities in Los Angeles. Dana’s passion is to help others improve their lives and health through exercise and nutrition!