International Yoga Day 2020: Yoga asanas that help with insomnia

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Unfortunately, with the constant rush we are in throughout the day, we often forget to take care of our body’s needs. Sleep being the most significant of all. How you sleep at night can directly influence your mood and productivity during the day. Yoga is known to be an excellent form of physical, mental and spiritual exercise, and regularizing one’s sleep cycle and getting better rest are some of the many benefits of Yoga. If you are someone who spends a lot of time and money trying to figure out a cure for your insomnia, it would interest you to know that a few simple practices can help you get proper night’s rest. This International Day of Yoga let us take a look at how Yoga benefits overall sleep -

•Irregular sleep hours can confuse the biological alarm clock of the body. It is important to have a strict time for bed and for rising, even on weekends. Once the sleep schedule is established, the brain automatically knows when its time for sleep thus avoiding hours for tossing and turning.

•Establish a particular place for sleep and choose a comfortable mattress. Avoid doing other activities on the bed like working or watching television or listening to music.

•Avoid tea, coffee, carbonated drinks and energy drinks that have caffein in them or any other stimulants at least 6 hours prior to bedtime.

•Go to bed only once you are ready to sleep, scrolling on the phone or checking emails right before bed interrupts the sleep cycle, preventing you from getting a good night’s rest. Avoid short naps close to bedtime.

•Avoid exercise at least 3-4 hours before bedtime as the adrenaline rush and endorphins can prevent you from falling asleep quickly.

Allowing the body and mind to relax is key to curbing insomnia. Here are some yoga asanas that you can do before bed to help you fall asleep quicker and have a restful sleep –

Chandra Bhedana – Moon Breath

This pranayama can help focus the mind and distance it from stress. The concentration on breathing helps the mind calm down and let go of stimulants. In order to do this, one must sit comfortably and with the right hand block the right nostril and inhale through the left, without exhaling remove your thumb and place your ring finger on the left nostril and exhale from the right. Repeat this process till you start to feel calm.

Padangusthasana – Big Toe Pose

This asana is meant to activate the parasympathetic nervous system that is responsible for releasing the tension in the body through stretching. To do this, stand with your feet hip-width apart and gently fold yourself till your hands are touching your toes. Grip your big toe between your fingers and bend your elbows, and push yourself towards the earth. Try to go as far as possible in touching your head to your knees. Stay in this position for 1-3 minutes and breathe deeply.

Uttana Shishosona – Extended Puppy Pose

This asana is especially helpful for those who spend long hours at a desk or computer. It helps in opening up the shoulders and back while pumping fresh blood through out the body. To do this pose, you must get down on your hands and knees and slowly walk forward on your fingertips till your back is extended and hips are lined with your knees. Keep your elbows lifted and go down with your head and chest. Slowly massage the forehead from left to right to ease tension.

Viparita Karani – Legs-up-the-wall Pose

This pose allows you to completely relax your mind and body. It helps to cool down the entire body and in refreshing the circulatory system. This pose also helps in easing lower back pains. In order to do this pose you need lie flat on your back with your legs towards the wall. Lift your legs and place them on the wall, your arms should rest by your side, palms facing the Earth. Stay in this position for 5-15 minutes, depending on your body. Consciously try to relax all the major muscles in your body starting from your face.

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