Preventing Insomnia through Yoga

Yoga prevents insomnia, due to its stimulatory effect on the nervous system and the brain in particular. This is because certain yoga postures increases blood circulation to the brain, which normalizes the sleep cycle. The deep breathing techniques that are adopted in yoga, helps in more oxygen intake, thereby providing better clarity of mind. Also due to the benefits of yoga in relieving tension, stress and fatigue and in providing relaxation to mind and body, one can rest assured of a blissful sleep.

Certain simple stretches and breathing techniques can help improve the quality of sleep. The yoga postures, specifically meant for insomnia, are divided into three sequences that help in unwinding physically and mentally before falling asleep. First being, the use of breathing techniques that helps in unwinding from regular activities, performing gentle stretches that are comfortable, for ten minutes and practicing Yoga Nidra (Breathing Relaxation).

Yoga Nidra

Inhale and exhale deeply though the nostrils for several seconds. The breath can be felt flowing in and out of the abdomen. While exhaling, remove all tensions of the mind and body along with the breath.

The next step is to relax, visualizing any scene that keeps one relaxed. Tighten and release the toes, feet, ankles, knees, calves, buttocks, thighs and abdomen. Inhale and exhale while doing so. Next, focus on hands, fist, finger tips, arms and shoulders. Tense the muscles and relax, by simultaneously inhaling and exhaling. Turn head to left and right, and free the tension in the neck muscles. Finally tense and release facial muscles, jaw, mouth, eye and forehead. As the muscles are released, feel the tension draining out of each area. Finally relax the entire body and take a few gentle breaths

Simple stretching exercises

A few simple stretches like Standing Stretches (standing with legs apart, with neck and head held in a straight line, and pushing the toes and heels into the floor, and inhaling and exhaling deeply several times), Whole body stretches (Clasp hands and stand on toes, raising hands above the head while inhaling and stretching entire body upwards. Exhale and bring arms to sides and place feet on the floor), gentle swings (standing with feet apart and knees bent slightly, swing arms gently to right while simultaneously turning head to right, swing left and turn head to left. Relax and repeat the process) can help in making sure that a moment spent on yoga is a minute less taken for falling asleep.

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