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Yoga For Insomnia

Yoga For Insomnia

Sleep is an important component of maintaining a healthy state of well-being. Lack of uninterrupted sleep has been shown to significantly impact a person’s attention, learning, and memory, as well as their physical health. Sleep disorders such as sleep apnea, narcolepsy, insomnia, and restless legs syndrome, as well as jet lag and other disruptions of the body’s internal clocks or circadian rhythms, have a negative impact on the quality of sleep and, as a result, have a negative impact on everyday living.

Insomnia

Sleep is a crucial energy restorer. One of the most common health problems is insomnia, which can cause high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, anxiety, and depression, as well as disrupt one’s sleep (1).

Insomnia is defined as “difficulty beginning or maintaining sleep, or both,” or the sense of poor sleep quality. Insomnia affects 30-50% of the population, with 10% having chronic insomnia. In several nations, the incidence of insomnia may range from 28-40%, with varying illness prevalence in different age groups (2).

People in their prime earning years are most affected by insomnia. It can cause irritation, exhaustion, and mental fatigue, among other adverse side effects. The current treatment consists of CBT and hypnotics. The long-term management of insomnia necessitates a nonpharmacological strategy. Since, in some instances, even the most advanced medication fails to work because the individual’s physical constitution is resistant to contemporary treatments (1, 2, 3).

Recent research shows that insomnia can impair emotional regulation, which may be related to the link between insomnia and depression/anxiety. Anxiety and despair are exacerbated by sleep disturbances. But good sleep quality is linked to happier feelings, which can help alleviate symptoms. Insomnia can also lead to inflammatory problems and a compromised immune system. Getting enough sleep can help with both mental and physical wellness (4).

How Yoga can help with Insomnia

Yoga is a way of life aimed at achieving health and mental calmness. With its asanas (postures) and breathing techniques, Yoga helps cure problems, including insomnia.

Yoga as the “Next Wave” Treatment Therapies In Insomnia Patients

The number of people suffering from insomnia is on the rise, particularly among certain groups. Cognitive-behavioural therapy for insomnia (CBT-I), which was first used in the 1970s, is the mainstay of current nonpharmacological treatments. CBT “third wave” approaches, such as mindfulness and acceptance, have been included in newer treatments. While there are many known treatments for sleep disorders, the practice of yoga can provide a complementary approach that addresses the root cause. There is an emphasis on the role of yoga in addressing insomnia’s triggering and chronic elements that have previously been largely disregarded in the treatment of insomnia (5).

Yoga Helps Pregnant Women manage Sleep Issues like Insomnia

Mindful yoga may help improve prenatal health by reducing sleep disruption. Women who started mindful yoga in the second trimester had better sleep efficiency postintervention than those who started in the third trimester. Following these findings, researchers recommend mindful yoga as a promising treatment to promote maternal sleep and reduce the risk of sleep disturbance like insomnia in pregnancy. Even in healthy persons, short-term sleep deprivation causes increased blood pressure, sympathetic nervous system activation, poor glucose regulation, and inflammation. During pregnancy, a woman’s cardiovascular system and glucose regulation must be optimal. The physiological reaction to stress includes sleep, and no previous mindfulness-based intervention study has addressed sleep in pregnant women. To examine the benefits of mindful yoga on women in all three trimesters, future research might recruit a bigger sample size, including an attention control group, and follow women from early pregnancy to delivery (6).

Yoga Helps Postmenopausal Women Manage Insomnia

Vasomotor symptoms are the most common in women going through menopause, accounting for 70% to 80% of all symptoms. After menopause, vasomotor symptoms may play a role in sleep disturbances. After menopause, sleep difficulties are common. Epidemiology research in Sao Paulo indicated that 81.6% of respondents reported sleep issues, and 52.1% had insomnia. Sleep issues are more common in women throughout the menopausal transition, and they tend to worsen with age. A study found that 61% of postmenopausal women experienced subjective sleep difficulties. However, the objective review found that 83% of women had sleep issues.

Insomnia can be alleviated with the practice of yoga, which is effective. It has also been reported to reduce climacteric symptoms, according to research. According to the findings of this study, a specific sequence of yoga may help lower insomnia and menopausal symptoms and enhance the quality of life in postmenopausal women who have insomnia, among other things (7).

 Yoga Improves Sleep Quality In Geriatrics

When it comes to sleep, older people have trouble staying asleep, which results in fragmented sleep and less alertness during the day. One study indicated that pharmaceuticals to treat insomnia in the elderly were connected with adverse reactions such as states of disorientation and cognitive impairment and sleepiness during the day, and a decline in night-time falls. As a result, a study comparing the benefits of yoga and Ayurveda on geriatrics’ self-rated sleep was conducted (8).

This study showed that yoga, which consists of physical activity, relaxation, and inputs regarding philosophical and emotional stability, enhanced sleep and boosted the feeling of being refreshed upon waking in institutionalized older adults. The Yoga group exhibited a considerable reduction in sleep time and morning fatigue. In this study of older adults, those who practised yoga saw improvements in their sleep quality (8).

Overall, Yoga is a very effective therapy for treating insomnia issues in older people.

Yoga Helps Manage Chronic Insomnia

Chronic insomnia is a prevalent sleep disorder requiring further treatment options. Yoga Nidra practice has been documented as being utilized for sleep by sages throughout history. Patients with menstruation irregularities, post-traumatic stress disorder, diabetes, anxiety, and depression have recently been treated with yoga Nidra, but nothing is known about its effect on sleep.

Chronic insomniacs benefit from yoga Nidra since it is simple, safe, and straightforward to administer. As an additional benefit, after just five sessions of supervised yoga Nidra, the patient is no longer dependent on the practitioner but can practice at home in the privacy of his own home. This also gives the patient more confidence and lessens his anxiety, as one of the patients has shown. According to the researchers, yoga could be one of the most critical variables contributing to the continuous reduction in anxiety and stress in both individuals after three months of psychotherapy (9).

Yoga Beneficial for Insomnia Patients with Certain Diseases

Yoga & Breast Cancer

A typical complaint among women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer is that they can’t sleep because of the disease. The quality of life and productivity could be improved, as well as comorbidities reduced and health care expenses saved if sleep-improvement interventions are implemented. Sleep disorders in cancer patients have been successfully addressed using a combination of cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT), mindfulness training (MBSR), and yoga (Yoga Nidra). Since nonpharmacologic treatments are equally efficacious as pharmacological ones and patients can maintain behavioural tactics long after active treatment has ended, they may be more effective depending on the severity of the cancer condition (10).

Yoga & Mental Health

Mental health is a growing public health concern. The WHO estimates that one in every four persons will suffer from a mental illness during their lifetime. Depression, anxiety, and insomnia are common signs of poor mental health. During the COVID-19 epidemic, mental health difficulties have become more widespread. Due to the pandemic’s social isolation and other constraints, home-based, flexible mental health therapies are required. On any mobile device, the Yoga of Immortals (YOI) app provides a systematic intervention. The result of this research by following the YOI for 8 weeks showed reduced depression, anxiety, and insomnia symptoms in different age groups people (11).

Yoga Poses, Breathing Exercises for Insomnia

Yoga Nidra

Yoga Nidra has been used as a therapeutic option with no known side effects, and it is mentioned in the scriptures as a way to help people sleep. There would be a perception that this method could be used to help people with chronic insomnia (9).

Overall, Yoga Nidra is a powerful tool for treating chronic insomnia.

How To Practice

  1. Lie on your back in Corpse Pose (Shavasana). Relax your eyes. Inhale and exhale deeply. Keep in mind to take deep, slow, and relaxed breaths.
  2. Begin by focusing on your right foot. Spend a few seconds resting your foot. Then gently focus on the right knee, thigh, and hip. Recognize your entire right leg.
  3. Reverse the procedure for the left leg, and do so gently.
  4. Pay attention to your genital, stomach, navel, and breast areas.
  5. Focus on the right shoulder, arm, palms, and fingers. Repeat this motion on the left shoulder, left arm, throat, face, and lastly the top of the head on the left side.
  6. Inhale deeply and notice your body’s sensations. Relax for a few minutes.
  7. Continue lying down for a few more minutes as you gradually become more conscious of your body and surroundings. Rolling to the right side allows the left nostril to breathe, which helps cool the body.
  8. You may then slowly get to your feet and, when you are ready, slowly and gradually open your eyes. You may then slowly sit up again.

Mindfulness

Mindfulness is a 2500-year-old practise that involves paying attention “on purpose, in the present moment, and without judgment.  Attitudinal foundations include nonjudgment, forbearance, observing things as though for the first time, and trusting that things would work out. Treatment for insomnia using mindfulness-based approaches and behavioural techniques is known as MBT-I (Mindfulness-Based Therapy for Insomnia) (10, 12, 13).

How To Practice

  1. Assemble a stable, strong, and comfortable seat.
  2. Keep an eye on your legs. If you’re on a cushion, cross them in front of you. Sitting in a chair, place your feet flat on the floor.
  3. Straighten your upper body without stiffening. Your spine is naturally curved! Let it exist.
  4. Keep an eye on your arms. they should be parallel to your body. Put your palms on your legs in whatever position feels best.
  5. Soften your gaze. Drop your chin and gradually lower your eyes. No need to close your eyes. You can simply observe without focusing on what you see.
  6. Consider the physical sense of breathing. Air going through your nose or mouth, or your abdomen or chest rising and falling.
  7. Pay attention to your thoughts when they stray from your breath. Don’t worry. No need to stifle or suppress your ideas. When your mind wanders, gently bring it back to your breathing.
  8. Be patient with your wandering thoughts. It’s quite normal. To observe your ideas without reacting is preferable. Simply sit and listen. That’s it, no matter how difficult to maintain. Repeatedly return to your breath, without anticipation.
  9. Lift your sight (if closed, open them). Listen to the sounds around you. Take note of your body’s current state. Note your emotions and thoughts.

Meditation

Chakra Meditation – 10 min

Body’s 7 Major Chakras

Also Read – Kundalini Basics – Swami Vivekananda

Seven major chakras are as follows-

  1. Muladhara Chakra – slightly above the anus
  2. Swadishthana Chakra – behind the genitals
  3. Manipura Chakra – in the navel
  4. Anahata Chakra – in the heart region
  5. Vishuddhi Chakra – near the thyroid
  6. Ajna Chakra – between the brows, in front of the pituitary
  7. Sahasrara Chakra – Crown

8 Steps To Chakra Meditation

The methods below describe how to meditate on chakras to balance and align their energy.

  1. To begin chakra meditation, sit comfortably with a straight but not ridged spine. Then work your way up, starting with your feet. Relax that region of your body and let the stress drain away.
  2. Next, focus on the breath in chakra meditation. Let the breathing become steady and deep. If your mind wanders, gently bring it back to the breath and focus on each inhalation and expiration. Visualize oxygen entering your lungs and entering your bloodstream. Visualize it nourishing your muscles, organs, and cells, then imagine it eradicating the toxins you expel with each breath.
  3. Then, in chakra meditation, envision the heart beating and the body functioning perfectly. See how all the components fit together perfectly. See how the breath supports each part and the overall body. Recognize how the breath sustains the complete thing you name your body.
  4. Next, in chakra meditation, envision inhaling a life-giving energy with the air. This energy is yellow-orange in colour. See this energy fill your entire body and aura. Imagine your aura growing stronger, brighter, and energised with this wonderful energy. Gradually brighten the aura and keep the energy pouring in with each breath.
  5. The next step in chakra meditation is to energise each chakra. To begin, lower back root chakra. Imagine a clockwise spiral of energy that your breath feeds, strengthening and brightening it. Imagine now another source of energy rising from the earth. This same life-giving energy adds to the root chakra’s swirling activity.
  6. Next in chakra meditation is the sacral chakra. Then the solar plexus, heart, throat, head, and lastly crown chakras, infusing each with life giving energy. Take your time and focus on one chakra at a time if you need to. It is advisable to work from the bottom up and not to skip. Because one chakra affects the others, stimulating a higher chakra before a lower chakra could cause problems.
  7. The final phase in chakra meditation is to envision all chakras being fed by the same energy from the earth and the breath. Keep in mind that this life-giving energy will make your chakras and aura brighter and clearer.
  8. Finally, we may open our eyes and relax for a few minutes. Pay notice to how amazing and energised you feel now. Try to practise for 15-30 minutes each. Enjoy this pleasant chakra meditation.

Candle Meditation – Trataka

Trataka is one of yoga’s six cleansing techniques. Trataka has been shown to be an effective treatment for insomnia, according to research (14).

How To Practice

  1. Place a candle in front of you and adopt a meditative position. Make sure the wick of the candle is at the same height as your chest before lighting it. Too high a candle can cause tightness in the brows or a burning feeling in the eyes. The flame should not move in a draught. Eyes closed Mentally repeat your Mantra.
  2. Open your eyes and stare at the blaze. The flame has three hues. The wick is reddish at the base, dazzling white in the middle, and smokey at the tip. Focus on the brightest area of the flame.
  3. Close your eyes. If you see a flame within, gently focus on it without strain. If you chase or hang onto the vision, it will fade and vanish.
  4. The practise should be repeated three times.
  5. The practise time should increase. Initially, merely look at the flame for 10-15 seconds. After a year, you can look at the flame for 1 minute and then focus on the interior image with closed eyes for 4 minutes. This time frame should never be exceeded.
  6. You can also do Trataka while looking at a white or black point on white paper. With closed eyelids, a white point appears as a black image, and vice versa.

Shabad Kriya

Regular practise of this kriya promotes deep, peaceful sleep and nerve regeneration. It is ideal to practise every night before bed, although it can be done any time. A pilot research on sleep experiment for chronic insomnia resulted in statistically significant improvements in sleep (15).

How To Practice

  1. Sit in a position that is comfortable for you, keeping your spine straight.
  2. Invert the hands and place them in your lap with the palms of your hands facing up and the right hand over the left. The thumbs are pressed together and pointing in the same direction.
  3. Concentrate the eyes on the tip of the nose, with the eyelids closed 9/10.
  4. Breath and mantra: Take four equal breaths in, mentally vibrating the mantra Sa-Ta-Na-Ma. Exhale four equal breaths out. Holding the breath and vibrating the mantra four times for a total of 16 beats can help you relax. Exhale in two equal strokes, mentally projecting the image of Wahe Guru.

Pranayam

During a pandemic, a strong immune system and a clear mind are required. One of the finest ways to deal with anxiety or panic is to take a deep breath in. Our breath has remarkable healing properties. Mental and emotional health are closely linked to our breath. Every single thing we think and feel is influenced by our breath. Just a few minutes of slow, deep breathing can have a significant impact on reducing stress and anxiety levels (16).

Skull-Shine Breath of Yoga Cleansing Breath (Kapalabhati)

Anxiety and tension levels are reduced significantly by using this deep breathing technique.

How To Practice

  1. Sit back and relax with your back straight. Keeping your palms facing the heavens, place your hands on your knees.
  2. Take a great sigh of relief.
  3. As you exhale, bring your navel back towards your spine by contracting your abdominal muscles. Put in as much effort as you’re able to. Keep your right hand on your stomach to feel the contraction of your abdominal muscles.
  4. Breath enters your lungs automatically as you relax your navel and abdomen.
  5. In order to complete one round of Kapal Bhati, you must exhale for a total of twenty times.
  6. After you’ve finished the round, close your eyes and focus on your body’s sensations.
  7. Completing two rounds of Kapal Bhati.

Alternate Nostril Yoga Breathing (Anulom-Vilom Pranayama)

Rehearsing the Anulom Practicing Vilom breathing first thing in the morning may improve your mood and mindset for the rest of the day. It can also be used as a form of relaxation in the evening to help you sleep better and reduce your stress levels. These changes can impact your overall health and well-being.

How To Practice

  1. Sit down in a meditation position, if you like. Close your eyes and keep your spine and neck in a straight position.
  2. Focus on the here and now, and let go of all that is not here.
  3. Begin by putting your outside wrists on your knees, and then work your way up from there.
  4. Fold the middle and index fingers of your right hand toward your palm.
  5. Put your right thumb on your right nostril and your left ring finger on your left nostril while doing this.
  6. Slowly and fervently inhale via your left nostril, being sure to keep your lungs full, until your right nostril is closed. Breathe in and out.
  7. Your thumb should be released at this point, and your ring finger should close your left nostril.
  8. Exhale through the right nostril, taking it slow and steady.
  9. Do it backwards now, breathing through the right nostril and expelling through the left. Reverse the procedure.

Bumble Bee (Brahmari Pranayama)

Iyengar says “the humming (murmuring) sound induces sleep and is beneficial for insomniacs.” Alternatively, you could practise Bhramari Pranayama before your morning or evening seated meditation.

How To Practice

  1. Sit comfortably in Lotus/Half-Lotus or Hero Pose. You can do this while sitting in a chair with your feet on the floor.
  2. Practice Pratyhara (mind withdrawal) by tuning into the movement of the breath in and out via your nostrils, up and down your nasal passageways, and into your lungs.
  3. BKS Iyengar suggests to raise the hands to the face and the elbows to the level of the shoulders. To block off external sounds, insert thumbs into the ear holes. To block out exterior noises, gently press on the tragus (a tiny cartilaginous projection of the outer ear near the ear canal’s doorway.)
  4. You can either keep with only thumbs covering your ears or go all out with Shanmukhi Mudra.
  5. To close your mouth, place your index fingers softly over your closed eyelids, your middle fingers gently over your nostrils (narrowing them to allow longer slower, deeper breaths), and your ring fingers gently over your top lip. Shanmukhi Mudra is presently used on the 6 gates of perception (ears, eyes, nose and mouth).
  6. Inhale gently via the nose. The male bee sound is described by Yogi Hari, while BKS Iyengar merely says Ujjayi Breath.
  7. Then exhale deeply “humming or murmuring” (Iyengar). Bhramari Pranayama is the female bee’s exhale hum.
  8. After six rounds of Bhramari Pranayama, sit still and notice the consequences. Then repeat for six more rounds. I do three rounds of six before meditating.
  9. You can use low, medium, or high tones. Exhale only one tone and watch where the vibrations occur in your body. In Bhramari Pranayama, you hum one long constant and continuous tone every exhale.

Om (Udgheeth Pranayama)

Chanting Om for ten minutes enhanced focus, mood, and social cohesion. Additionally, it aids in lowering blood pressure and increasing energy levels. Spiritually, udgeeth pranayama can produce a trance-like state of awareness and a sense of unity with the cosmos.

How To Practice

  1. Sit straight and long in a secure and comfortable position. Sitting on the floor, place a cushion or a folded blanket beneath the hips for support. Sit on a chair with both feet flat on the floor.
  2. Close your eyes or relax your gaze and begin taking long nose breathes. Relax your body and focus on your breath. Check for tightness in the shoulders, neck, and face.
  3. Focus on diaphragmatic breathing when only the belly rises and falls. Begin chanting Om with each exhale.
  4. Exhalations should be as long as feasible without strain. Let your breath make the sound.
  5. As you recite Om, focus on the sound vibration and the breath feeling. Experiment with a loud enough sound to retain your focus on the practise.
  6. Repeat the chanting with a calm breath and focused attention. Finish with a period of stillness to integrate your practise.

Sithilikarana Vyayama – Easy Exercising 10 min

In physical therapy, loosening exercises are a frequent method of reducing pain (12).

Practice 1 – Padanguli Naman (Toe Bending).

  • Inhale as the toes slide backwards.
  • Exhale as your toes move forward.
  • The consciousness of one’s own bodily and mental functions. Self-awareness.

The purpose is to strengthen the toes.

Metatarsal fractures and Achilles tendon ruptures are contraindications.

Practice 2 (Advanced Practice) – Inhale As The Feet Move Backward.

  • As the feet move forward, take a deep breath out.
  • Pay attention to your breathing and the length of your legs, ankles, and calves.

The idea is to increase flexibility & to increase the range of motion in the ankle. Using this technique, Tarsal bone arthritis can alleviate the pain in the ankle.

Contraindications include ankle dislocations. The distal end of the tibia is fractured (both in the middle and out to the sides)

Practice 3 – The Golf Chakra (Ankle Rotation, Clockwise as well as Anticlockwise).

  • Take a deep breath in and then let it out slowly as you ascend.
  • Exhale as you lower yourself. Awareness of the movement of the ankle and of the breath.

Practice 4 – Goolf Ghoornan (Ankle Crank).

  • Raising your ribcage as you exhale is an excellent way to improve your breathing technique.
  • Exhale as you lower yourself.

Rotation and breathing are observed by observation. The lymphatic and circulatory systems, as well as venous blood flow, can be improved by using it. It relieves fatigue and cramps as well.

Practice 5 – Janu Naman (Knee Bending).

  • Inhale deeply and hold your breath for a few seconds while you straighten your legs.
  • Exhale while bending your knees.
  • Take a moment to focus your attention and your breath on how you bend your knees.

Benefits: Osteoarthritis of the knee is common (OA – knee), Adaptability improves Strengthen your quadriceps, hamstrings, and patellar ligaments with these exercises.

Contraindications: Kneecap dislocation

Practice 6 – Janu Chakra (Knee Crank).

  • Breathe in on the increasing movement.
  • Exhale as you lower yourself. Consciousness in both our breath and our circular motion.

Workouts To Increase Loosening:

Practice 7 – The Shorni Chakra (Hip Rotation).

The goal is to increase the strength of the hip abductors. The hip joint is essential for extending the range of motion.

  • Take a deep breath in as you rise and a shallow breath out as you descend.
  • Exhale as you lower yourself.
  • Knee, ankle and hip joints need to be rotated and the breath needs to be monitored.

Dislocated hip patients should not have to do this pracrice. Muscle weakening in the abductor tendons and muscles of the hip arthritic benefits.

Practise 8: Ardha And Poorna (Half & Full Butterfly).

  • Take a deep breath.
  • Be conscious of your surroundings as you walk and unwind. Anyone with sciatica or sacral issues should avoid this asana.

Practice 9- The Mushtika Bandhana (Hand Clenching).

Improve the user’s grip on their fingers. In order to build up the muscles.

  • Inhale as soon as your hands are open.
  • Exhale deeply as you close your hands.
  • It’s important to be conscious of how you’re moving and breathing.

Practice 10: Manibandha Naman (Wrist Bending).

  • Inhale and exhale as you move backwards.
  • Exhale as you move forward.
  • Focus on your breathing and the movements you’re making while you stretch.

Practice 11 – The Manibandha Chakra: (Wrist Joint Rotation).

Symptoms: In the case of rheumatoid arthritis and other illnesses, such as joint or wrist arthritis, the writer’s cramp is an example of this.

Contraindications include, but are not limited to, the following: Carpal bone dislocations. The radius and distal ulna are fractured.

  • Series 1 includes movements from the soles of the feet to the knees.

Practice 12 – Kehuni Naman (Elbow Bending).

  • Stage one of elbow flexion and extension (in front of the body).
  • Your hands should be pointing upwards when you flex and stretch sideways in the second stage.
  • Time the count between 10 to 15 seconds.
  • The purpose and the strength of one’s own skeletal system is to strengthen the upper arm. People who want to improve their range of motion should do elbow stretches.
  • Breathing is made easier by keeping your arms straight when you inhale.
  • Bend your elbows as you exhale and breathe out.
  • Kneeling is when your legs are bent at the knees. Elbow mobility and the passage of oxygen are important aspects to pay attention to. Signs that something is wrong Tennis elbow is a prevalent ailment among tennis players.

Practice 13 – The Kehuni Chakra (Elbow Rotation).

  • Ten clockwise and ten anti-clockwise spins should be done slowly.
  • Remember to cover both sides.
  • After a few breaths, exhale and repeat the downward stroke motion.
  • Inhale and exhale simultaneously.
  • Breath and joint rotation awareness.

Practice 14 – Skandha Chakra (Rotation Of The Shoulder Socket)

  • The duration has been repeated ten times ( clockwise & anti-clockwise).
  • Like kehuni chakra breathing, you should inhale and exhale like this.
  • An additional benefit is that adaptability is increased. The muscles in the area relax as a result. wide awareness of stretching sensations in the scapula joint itself.
  • Breath and the shoulder joint are intertwined in this case.

Practice 15 – Greeva Sanchalana (Neck Movements)

Specifically for the aim of extending the neck’s range of motion.

So that you can build up the strength in your neck.

Stage 1: For cervical spondylitis.

  • Moving forward and backwards in the first step
  • As you travel backwards, inhale.
  • As you move forward, exhale.
  • Make a total of ten repetitions of the exercise.

Stage 2: flexion of the lateral neck ( both the sides).

  • Bend your neck to the side and exhale.
  • Breathe deeply as you rise.
  • Use your breath and neck muscles as a technique to become more aware of what you are doing.
  • For a total of 20 repetitions, work on each side of your body ten times.

Stage 3: Right and left neck mobility.

  • Inhale deeply and tilt your head forward as you exhale.
  • Turn to the side and exhale.

Stage 4 focuses on spinning in both directions, clockwise and counterclockwise.

  • As you inhale, raise your chin to the sky.
  • Relax your shoulders and breath slowly while you do so.

Yoga Poses

Mountain Pose (Tadasana) – 3 min

Tadasana improves equilibrium and reduces worry and stress, allowing you to sleep better.

How To Practice

  1. Begin by standing straight. Your feet should be close together, with no gaps. You should have erect thighs.
  2. Extend your arms in front of you and web your fingers. Turn them so your palms aren’t towards you.
  3. Straighten your arms and unbend your elbows as you extend your entwined fingers upwards.
  4. Recheck your posture now. Assemble your foot, thigh and hip muscles, and straighten your back. Keep your arms stretched toward the ceiling, inhale deeply, and stand on your toes.
  5. Once you’ve regained equilibrium, breathe properly. Keep the posture and grin.
  6. Feel the ceiling pulling your body straight.
  7. If you lose your equilibrium, get back up, take a big breath, and try again. Also, watch your neck. Always avoid overstretching it.
  8. You can get out of the stance when exhausted.
  9. First, get off your feet. Then lower your arms. Release your hands and place them on your thighs.

Vrikshasana (Tree Pose) – 3 min

Tree Yoga Pose Vector Illustration. Woman standing in the tree pose

This pose will leave you feeling refreshed and renewed. It’s a great way to wake up your body and mind by stretching your legs, back, and arms. It’s a great way to re-establish mental stability.

How To Practice

  1. Keep your shoulders back and your arms at your sides when you’re standing tall.
  2. Your right foot should be placed on top of your left leg while you bend your right knee. A flat and solid placement of the foot’s sole towards the thigh’s root is recommended.
  3. Your left leg should be straight at all times. Find a middle ground.
  4. A deep breath and the ‘Namaste’ mudra should be your next move once you’ve achieved a good sense of equilibrium (hands-folded position).
  5. Look straight forward at a faraway object directly in front of you. Maintaining a steady equilibrium is made easier with a steady gaze.
  6. Make sure your spine is in a straight position. You should feel like a stretched elastic band when you’re in the best possible shape. Breathe in and out slowly and deeply. Relax your body with each exhalation. You don’t have to worry about anything but your body and your breath.
  7. Bring your hands to your sides as you slowly exhale. The right leg can be gradually released.
  8. As you did at the start of the posture, keep your back straight and your shoulders back. Continue in this position with the left leg lifted off the ground on the right thigh.

Half Lotus Pose (Ardha Padmasana) – 3 min

Yoga poses force one to sit upright, which keeps the mind concentrated.

How To Practice

  1. Use your hands to bring your right foot on top of your left calf with the sole facing upwards from Easy Pose.
  2. Adjust the position of your right foot on your left thigh so that it is as high as possible. Encourage your foot into place with your hands. The goal is to eventually place the top of your right foot in the crease of your left hip.
  3. Keeping your left knee bent, keep your left shin on the ground in a cross-legged position.
  4. It is important to keep the spine wide by lowering the crown of the head and rolling the shoulders away from the ears. It is possible to place both palms up or down on your thighs.
  5. Take at least ten deep breaths to get through this.
  6. To begin, let go of your right foot, which is now on the bottom, and place your left foot on top. For as long as you can sit in the pose, alternate between the two sides of your body.

Lotus Pose (Padmasana) – 3 min

This pose helps with reducing muscular tension, bringing blood pressure under control, and calming the mind.

How To Practice

  1. Sit on the floor or on a mat with your legs stretched out in front of you, maintaining your back as straight as possible.
  2. Bend the right knee and place it on the left thigh. Repeat on the other side. Make certain that the soles of the feet are pointing upward and that the heel is near to the midline of the body.
  3. Now, repeat the same with the opposite leg to complete the circuit.
  4. Placing your hands on your knees in the mudra position, with both legs crossed and feet placed on opposing thighs, is a good starting point.
  5. Maintain a straight posture with your spine upright.
  6. Hold for a moment and then take several long, gentle breaths in and out.

Thunderbolt Pose, or Diamond Pose (Vajrasana) – 3 min

This is the only yoga asana that can be performed after a meal. When you sit in Vajrasana after your meals, your food will be properly digested.

This asana also has the additional benefit of decreasing blood flow to the lower regions while increasing circulation to the upper portions of the body, such as the digestive system, lungs, and brain.

How To Practice

  1. Sit with your legs stretched out in front of you, parallel to the ground.
  2. Fold both legs inside and sit in a kneeling position for the next few minutes. Continue to keep your hips on your heels; your toes should point out behind you, and your big toes should contact each other at the rear of your feet.
  3. If you are a beginner, it is recommended that you put a cushion under your feet for comfort and to avoid ankle pain when walking.
  4. Alternatively, if you have knee discomfort, you can choose to place a cushion or blanket above your feet and beneath your knees. Don’t forget to visit your doctor if you have any medical conditions that require special attention.
  5. Sit comfortably in the pit created by the heels that have been split.
  6. Maintain a straight line between your head, neck, and spine. Place your palms on the insides of your thighs, palms facing upwards.
  7. Maintaining this pose for around 15 minutes while taking long and deep breaths is recommended for experienced yoga practitioners. Beginners should start with approximately 30 seconds, depending on their degree of comfort.
  8. Take a deep breath and relax.
  9. Straighten your legs as much as you can.

Hands to Feet Pose (Padahasthasana) – 3 min

Padahastasana is a yoga pose that helps to increase energy levels in the body and can be used in flow yoga sequences.

How To Practice

  1. Take a deep breath and relax in Tadasana.
  2. With each breath, inhale and raise your arms over your head, and as you exhale, lean forward with your body and reach for the soles of your feet with your hands to enter Uttanasana Variation 1. Standing Forward Bend Hands Under Feet Pose or Standing Forward Bend Hands Under Feet Pose are two variations of the Hands Under Feet Pose.
  3. Set the backs of the palms down on the floor, spreading the fingers wide apart to support the soles of the feet as they rest on the ground.
  4. Gently press the feet against the palms, being careful not to apply too much pressure on the fingers. While in the forward fold, draw your belly button in to engage your core.
  5. Feel the stretch in the hamstrings and gluteus maximus muscles, which help to support the entire back as it moves forward in a forward fold position. The hands below the feet provide as a hold for the legs, allowing the hips and lower back to be stretched more effectively.
  6. Maintain this position for around 6 breaths or longer, and pay attention to your balance and body weight.

Half Waist Wheel Pose (Ardhakatichakrasana) – 3 Min

“ArdhakatiChakrasana” is also known as the “half waist wheel posture.” This asana’s sideways waist bend looks like a wheel. It is one of the most often used Asanas for daily body toning.

How To Practice

  1. The feet should be together, and the hands should be spread out along the thighs when you are standing up straight. Tadasana is an Asana in and of itself, and it is the first step.
  2. During this stage, the right hand should be raised vertically, and you should take a deep breath in.
  3. While exhaling, the right hand should be stretched as far as possible, and then the body should be bent to the left, with the right hand still stretched.
  4. As soon as you have achieved the final position, keep your breathing rhythmic. Maintaining the stance for 30 seconds is recommended.
  5. Then do the opposite for the other side.

Standing Backward Bending Asana (Ardhachakrasana) – 3 Min

It is a modern yoga exercise for reversing the normal pattern of the spine and shoulders leaning forward. Ardha Chakrasana promotes spine and back muscular flexibility and has several health advantages.

How To Practice

  1. Make sure you are standing straight and that there is some space between your feet, and that your weight is evenly distributed between both feet.
  2. Keep your arms parallel to your torso.
  3. Take a deep breath in and raise your arms aloft, palms facing each other. Exhale
  4. Alternatively, you might place your palm at the waist to support your back.
  5. While taking a deep breath, gradually bend backwards from the lumbar region, while pressing the pelvic forward.
  6. Neck backwards to extend the neck muscles; keep the arms in line with the ears, elbows and knees straight; and bend the back of the knees.
  7. Ardha Chakrasana is the final position of the practice.
  8. Take a deep breath in and out and hold the position for 5–8 seconds.
  9. Bring yourself back to a straight position. Relax
  10. Repeat this procedure a total of 2 – 3 times. Take 5 to 10 seconds between each round of the game. Every two weeks, increase the time by 10 seconds.

Locust Pose (Shalabasana) – 3 min

Practising this pose can help alleviate insomnia. Following the completion of the Bhujanga Asana, it is recommended that you practise the Shalabha Asana.

How To Practice

  1. Raise the right leg up while taking a deep breath. Maintain the straightness of the leg and avoid twisting the hip.
  2. Hold your breath and continue to breathe.
  3. Pulling the right leg down with each exhalation.
  4. Steps 3-5 should be repeated with the left leg. Take a couple of deep breaths.
  5. Lift both legs as high as possible, keeping the knees straight, while taking a deep breath in and building up some momentum.
  6. Hold.
  7. As you exhale, lower your legs to the ground and lift your arms out from beneath you to rest.
  8. In step 2, repeat the following sequence with the hands facing down.

Fish Pose (Matsyasana) – 3 min

Matsyasana is an excellent pose for relieving stress. It does miracles for the muscles in your back and neck that are fatigued.

How To Practice

  1. Lie down on your back with your feet together and your hands relaxed beside your body, facing the ceiling.
  2. Lie down on the floor, hands beneath your hips, palms facing down. Close the distance between your elbows and your forearms.
  3. Lift your head and torso off the ground as you take a deep breath in.
  4. As you continue to keep your chest lifted, lower your head backward until the top of your head touches the ground.
  5. In a position where your head is only gently touching the floor, press your elbows hard into the ground, putting your weight on the ground rather than on your head. Take a deep breath and lift your chest up from in between your shoulder blades. Inhale. Push your thighs and legs all the way to the ground.
  6. Maintain the stance for as long as you are able to comfortably do so while taking long, deep breaths. With each breath, allow yourself to become more relaxed in the pose.
  7. After that, relax by dropping your torso and head to the floor.

Crocodile Pose (Makarasana) – 10 min

Crocodile Position, or Makarasana, is a restorative pose that soothes the nerve system on the whole. After completing a series of physically demanding asanas, this is a restorative pose.

How To Practice

  1. For Variation 1, one only needs to relax the body and follow a few basic steps.
  2. Lay flat on your stomach.
  3. Make a 45-degree bend in your right leg’s thigh and calf by bending it.
  4. One leg should remain straight behind you at all times (either the right or left leg).
  5. Put your right cheek on your mat and look to the right.
  6. Place your hands underneath the cheek to create a buffer.
  7. Hold this pose for 10 to 15 minutes at a time. Take a few deep breaths in and out.

Jalaneti – 5 min

Jala neti may be calming and comforting for people with epilepsy and migraines. Anxiety, anger, and despair can be alleviated According to traditional beliefs, jala neti helps to restore harmony and balance to the brain’s right and left halves, which in turn improves metabolism and digestion (12).

How To Practice

Washing your nose is the first step.

  1. Standing with your legs apart, fill the pot with salted water.
  2. Close your eyes and bend forward from your back.
  3. Turn your head slightly to one side, then elevate your chin and lower your head backwards.
  4. Take a deep breath and place the nozzle into your upper nose.
  5. Avoid water leaks by pressing the nozzle of the pot firmly into the nostril (do not force it).
  6. The neti pot should now be tilted such that the saltwater from the pot flows directly into your nostrils, rather than down your face.
  7. The saltwater should now be able to pass through your other nostril as a result of your body position.
  8. Once the saltwater has passed through the nostrils halfway, remove the nozzle. Allow the remaining water to drain from both nostrils.
  9. Blowing your nose gently will help to get rid of any mucus that may have built up.
  10. Tilt your head the opposite way and do it again.
  11. After completing this procedure, you may notice that your nose has dried entirely.

Drying the nostrils in stage 2

The following steps will help you dry your nostrils-

  1. Your right thumb can be used to seal your right nostril while you stand straight. Now take five to ten deep breaths in and out of your left nostril at a time. Reverse the process and do it on the opposite side.
  2. Keep your back straight and your torso bent forward in a horizontal position. Using your left nostril, inhale and exhale rapidly for 5 to 10 breaths while tilting your head to the right. Reverse the technique and do the same on the left. Breathe in and out through both nostrils to complete the exercise.
  3. With your feet apart, maintain a straight posture. Exhale firmly from your right nostril while immediately bending forward at the waist. Inhale normally as you return to the upright position. Repetition is key. Close the left nostril and then open both of your nostrils to complete the breathing exercise.

AUM Kar – 5 min

In the yogic tradition, everything is viewed as a collection of interconnected sounds. “Aa,” “Oo,” and “Mm” are the three primary sounds that result from this. “Aum” is formed by combining these letters. The sound of “Aum” vibrates throughout the body, activating and energising various parts of the system. With consistent practise, this sound is believed to alleviate a wide range of physical and mental illnesses, including stress, anxiety, and depression (12).

How To Practice

  1. Sit in Dhyan Mudra.
  2. Cross-legged pose (Lotus position) with your spine erect, preferably your right leg (masculine) over your left leg.
  3. Only your hands and shoulders should be tense; the rest of your body should be relaxed.
  4. When it comes to hands, the index finger of each hand should be positioned such that it touches the tip of the thumb, forming an “O.”
  5. Hands should have three straight fingers at the end of each forearm as rest.
  6. Take a deep breath.
  7. The sound AA-UU-MM should be used as a mantra (Please note you have to utter AUM and not OM ).
    1. Begin by making the sound ‘AA,’ which is the same as the letter ‘a,’ in the word father. To hear the automated conversion to “UU,” slowly keep your mouth closed while continuing to pronounce “AA” until you hear the result. Continue. ‘MM’ will be heard as your lips come together. Each of AA, UU, and MM sound should have a similar duration.
    1. As you make the following noises, pay attention to the distinct patterns of vibration in your body:
      1. AA sound- Vibrations below the navel
      1. UU sound- Vibrations slightly above the stomach
      1. MM sound – Nasal vibrations
  8. After sitting in the same position for 12 to 15 minutes, examine the upward flow of vibrations in your body for a further 10 minutes, and then relax (After a week or so, you should be able to sense an increase in energy.)

Conclusion

Insomnia is becoming a severe health issue. Excessive drug use has led to adverse effects and reduced quality of life. Performing yoga in this situation is essential. Yoga treatment is good for the neurological system and brain. Specific yoga asanas improve blood flow to the brain’s sleep center, improving sleep quality.

Yoga can help you fall asleep faster and better. Yoga treatment promotes restful sleep by relaxing the body and mind and alleviating stress, tension, and weariness. Breathing exercises increase oxygen intake in the body, resulting in mental clarity.

Reference

  1. Baglioni, C., Spiegelhalder, K., Lombardo, C., & Riemann, D. (2010). Sleep and emotions: a focus on insomnia. Sleep medicine reviews14(4), 227-238.
  2. Wickwire, E. M., & Collop, N. A. (2010). Insomnia and sleep-related breathing disorders. Chest137(6), 1449-1463.
  3. Stoller, M. K. (1994). Economic effects of insomnia. Clinical Therapeutics: The International Peer-Reviewed Journal of Drug Therapy.
  4. Penders, K. (2021). Implementation of yoga to treat insomnia in an adult population (Doctoral dissertation, Seton Hall University).
  5. Kennedy, S. (2014). Yoga as the “Next Wave” of therapeutic modalities for the treatment of insomnia. International Journal of Yoga Therapy24(1), 125-129.
  6. Beddoe, A. E., Lee, K. A., Weiss, S. J., Powell Kennedy, H., & Yang, C. P. P. (2010). Effects of mindful yoga on sleep in pregnant women: a pilot study. Biological research for nursing11(4), 363-370.
  7. Afonso, R. F., Hachul, H., Kozasa, E. H., de Souza Oliveira, D., Goto, V., Rodrigues, D., … & Leite, J. R. (2012). Yoga decreases insomnia in postmenopausal women: a randomized clinical trial. Menopause19(2), 186-193.
  8. Manjunath, N. K., & Telles, S. (2005). Influence of Yoga & Ayurveda on self-rated sleep in a geriatric population. Indian Journal of Medical Research121(5), 683.
  9. Datta, K., Tripathi, M., & Mallick, H. N. (2017). Yoga Nidra: An innovative approach for management of chronic insomnia-a case report. Sleep Science and Practice1(1), 1-11.
  10. Zeichner, S. B., Zeichner, R. L., Gogineni, K., Shatil, S., & Ioachimescu, O. (2017). Cognitive-behavioural therapy for insomnia, mindfulness, and yoga in patients with breast cancer with sleep disturbance: a literature review. Breast cancer: basic and clinical research11, 1178223417745564.
  11. Penders, K. (2021). Implementation of yoga to treat insomnia in an adult population (Doctoral dissertation, Seton Hall University).
  12. Sobana, R., Parthasarathy, S., DuRaiSamy, K. J., & Vadivel, S. (2013). The effect of yoga therapy on selected psychological variables among male patients with insomnia. Journal of clinical and diagnostic research: JCDR7(1), 55.
  13. https://worldyogaforum.com/mindfulness/#how-to-practice-mindfulness-meditation
  14. Shathirapathiy, G., Mooventhan, A., Mangaiarkarasi, N., Sangavi, S. A., Shanmugapriya, V., Deenadayalan, B., & Gayathri, A. (2020). Effect of Trataka (yogic gazing) on insomnia severity and quality of sleep in people with insomnia. Explore.
  15. Khalsa, S. B. S. (2004). Treatment of chronic insomnia with yoga: A preliminary study with sleep–wake diaries. Applied psychophysiology and biofeedback29(4), 269-278.
  16. https://www.academia.edu/4391151/Yoga_Reduces_Symptoms_of_Distress_in_Tsunami_Survivors_in_the_Andaman_Islands

Author

Neha
Neha

I am a food technologist. I cherish working on interesting topics and will be ready to take the challenge into sharp output. I like to study and learn while working. My work describes me. Good content allows me to talk with people without speaking a word.

Neha has authored the following key articles on the World Yoga Forum.
Top 50 Yoga Poses, Breathing Exercises and Benefits
Mindfulness
Yoga for Anxiety
Yoga For Back Pain
Yoga For Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Yoga For Better Digestion
Yoga For Depression
Yoga For Osteoporosis
Yoga For Pregnancy
Yoga for Menstruation 
Yoga For Menopause

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