Sleeplessness or insomnia is a sleeping disorder in which a person is having a hard time dozing off or experiencing poor sleep. This is a serious and bothersome malady that can affect the mental and physical state of one person. Individuals who have sleep problems can experience mood swings, depression, listlessness, tiredness and tension. This only points out one thing and that is the importance of sleep. Since it can greatly affect the body and the mind, it is required to do the necessary measures that can change your poor sleeping pattern. And one of the most effective ways to fight insomnia nowadays is through yoga.
A yoga exercise helps in creating balance between your mind and body, which in turn relieves tension and reduces stress. In other words, yoga stimulates your brain resulting into a major improvement in your blood circulation and thus bringing your sleeping pattern back to normal. Through these relaxing body stretching and breathing you can experience a satisfying sleep without the help of sleeping pills. These sleep-inducing drugs are known to act fast and put you to sleep in just a matter of minutes albeit they oftentimes come with side effects. Comparing these two, performing yoga poses is certainly the safest way to fight insomnia and mind you, this has been proven to be very effective.
There are certain yoga exercises that can relax your mind and body such as standing poses namely Head to Knee Pose, Standing Forward Bend, Bridge Pose, Supported Shoulder Stand and other relaxing poses. Other yoga poses like Plow Pose, Legs Up The Wall and Supported Headstand are ideal for those whose sleeping disorder is hormonal. Before going to bed, it advisable to do any of the following poses: Supta Baddha Konasama or Goddes Pose – this pose opens your groins and you can do this while you’re flat on your back. Ananda Balasana or Happy Baby – this pose is also done while lying in bed. It loosens your hips and lower back, which makes you feel more relaxed and at peace.
By doing either of the yoga poses, you can be assured to have a relaxing and satisfying sleep. These methods will help anyone who is suffering from insomnia the natural way. This only means that you need not resort into taking sleeping pills, which is unhealthy and may even worsen your sleeping disorder. Get back to your old sleeping habits through yoga postures, these are proven to be very effective and healthy.
Regular yoga practice encourages mindfulness, flexibility and well-being, all of which combat the effects of stress and anxiety that are a common cause of insomnia. Yoga benefits the physical body, balancing hormones and improving digestion, for example, which promotes better sleep.
If you have a regular practice and still struggle to fall asleep, or stay asleep, here are four specific postures you can do before bed to put your mind and body to rest.
Yoga poses for insomnia and deep relaxation
Here are four specific postures you can do before bed to put your mind and body to rest.
- Sit on the floor without slouching, legs extended straight in front of you and knees bent if necessary to keep the spine from rounding.
- Bend the right knee and open the hip, bringing the sole of the right foot into the inner left thigh and the right knee toward the ground. If it doesn’t reach, support the right knee with a cushion.
Inhale and lengthen the spine.
- Exhale as you bend forward from the hips over the left leg, keeping the spine and neck long, and place the hands on either side of the left leg. Gaze at the big toe of the left foot as you focus on the breath moving in and out.
- Repeat on the other side.
To perform do pose, raise your arms above your head with your biceps near your ears and your palms facing inward and touching. Inhale deeply. On your exhale, activate your core muscles and slowly lower your torso to the floor while bending at the waist. Keep your spine straight and stretch your arms as far forward as possible. Rest your buttocks on your heels while your forehead and pinkie fingers rest on the floor. Keep your neck relaxed. Expand your rib cage with every breath to control deep, slow and even breathing. Stay in the pose for 20 seconds. Come out of the pose by using your core muscles to lift your torso away from the floor while keeping your spine straight. Lower your arms.
Fold a blanket into a narrow stack that’s the length of your spine. Sit close to a wall and place the blanket behind you, perpendicular to the wall. Lie back onto the blanket, then scoot your buttocks as close to the wall as possible and send your legs up. Rest with your arms by your sides.
Shavasana (corpse pose)
In Savasana (shavasana) it’s essential that the body be placed in a neutral position. Sit on the floor with your knees bent, feet on the floor, and lean back onto your forearms. Lift your pelvis slightly off the floor and, with your hands, push the back of the pelvis toward the tailbone, then return the pelvis to the floor. Inhale and slowly extend the right leg, then the left, pushing through the heels. Release both legs, softening the groins, and see that the legs are angled evenly relative to the mid-line of the torso, and that the feet turn out equally. Narrow the front pelvis and soften (but don’t flatten) the lower back.
Proper guidance while performing the difficult yoga poses is important. It is advisable to have a qualified yoga instructor to guide you through your practice.