Yoga for Insomnia
If you are suffering from insomnia, try yoga for relief.Yoga for insomnia is especially effective if the cause is stress. Practice vigorous yoga exercises such as Ashtanga or power yoga a few times each week. But, avoid doing rigorous yoga just before bedtime.Read on to learn more about yoga for insomnia.
Yoga at Bedtime
If you are tossing and turning in bed because your body and mind are restless, you can try a few relaxing poses whilst lying on the bed. Try Happy Baby pose (Balasana) which loosens and relaxes the hips and lower back. Another good option is Goddess pose to open up the groins. These poses will give your body much needed relaxation.
Shavasana (Corpse Pose) for Relaxation
You can also try the Corpse pose to overcome insomnia. It is a simple pose in which you lie motionlessly like a corpse on the bed. Then, mentally relax your body parts starting from the toes and going up to the head, and vice versa. Then, focus on your breathing for some time. If your mind wanders, gently bring it back and again concentrate on your breathing. This activity will calm your stressed and tense mind and give it relaxation, enabling you to sleep like a baby.
Yoga Nidra for Insomnia
Yoga Nidra or yogic sleep is a sure-fire remedy for insomnia. Simply lie in the corpse pose and listen to a recorded voice which will lull your body and mind into relaxation. Unlike the Corpse pose, you need not meditate on your breathing. Simply lull yourself into a deep slumber.
Yoga Meditation for Insomnia
Stress is a major cause of insomnia. To overcome stress, anxiety and tension, practice effective relaxation techniques like meditation. Regular meditation will make your mind more aware of the reasons behind the stress and tension. You will be able to overcome the root cause of insomnia, enabling you to get sound sleep. Yoga and meditation also lessen the need to sleep longer. Since your body and mind get relaxed and refreshed during these practices, you will not feel the need to sleep long hours.
Yogic Diet For Insomnia
- Drinking ten glasses of water every day is recommended. Do not drink much water after your night meal as you may wake up at night with the urge to urinate.
- Eating vegetarian food is recommended and if that is not possible, then eat steam cooked meat
- Make sure the dishes are very mild and stop using spices
- Do not eat anything from one hour before going to bed
Pranayama For Insomnia
- Pranayama are breathing techniques that help in regulating your breath and increasing oxygen flow
- Ujjayi pranayama technique gives the best results for insomnia cases
- Practicing for five minutes twice a day will show good results in your sleeping patterns
Yoga Poses For Insomnia
- As mentioned earlier, intensive yoga practice such as Astanga yoga or power yoga three times every week is very helpful
- These poses relax your physical body and calm your brain
- Poses useful to cure insomnia include Lotus pose, Supported Forward bend, Reclining side twist, Half spinal twist, Wind release pose, Shoulder Stand pose, Total Inversion pose, Fish pose and Corpse pose
- It is good to practice these poses early in the morning
Top 5 Yoga Poses for Insomnia
Supported Forward Bend – Also known as Uttanasana
- Stand on your knees in front of a coffee table, exhale and lean forward from your hip but do not over-arch your back.
- Gradually move forward till your head rests on the table. If required, place thin cushions on the table to rest your chin.
- If your head cannot reach the table, then rest your palms on the table and stay for two minutes.
- In the beginning you may not be able to touch your chin on the table, do not worry, it comes with practice.
Shoulder Stand Pose – Also known as Sarvangasana
- For beginners, practicing this pose can be hard, so it is recommended to use wall as a prop.
- Push your body against the wall in vertical direction in such a way that you rest on your shoulders and your legs facing the roof.
- For better posture, support your hips with your hands.
- In the beginning you can try half supportive shoulder stand.
Plough Pose – Also known as Halasana
- Lie on your back, inhale and slowly lift your legs to mid air.
- Exhale and with little push bring your feet over your head and try to touch the ground with your toes.
- Keep your hands straight and the palms touching the yoga mat or the ground.
Reclining Side Twist – Also known as Supta Matsyendrasana
- Lie down on your back with your palms touching the ground.
- Slowly lift your right leg and cross it over the left leg and rest it on the floor.
- Move your head to the right side (opposite to your leg position).
- Stay in this pose for two minutes and then come back to lie-down pose.
- Repeat the above step with your left leg and relax.
Wind Releasing Pose – Also known as Pavana Muktasana
- Lie down on your back, and keep your palms next to your legs.
- Bend your legs and draw the knees to your chest, lock them with your hands.
- Lift your head and try to kiss your knees, if possible touch your chin to the knees.
- Stay in this pose for two minutes, release the lock and relax.
Yoga for insomnia is a far better and holistic method to overcome your sleep condition compared to drugs and medications, which may have their own side effects. Therefore, try yoga for insomnia to overcome your sleep problems.