Yoga is highly popular because of the versatility that it offers, including the possibility to help those fighting insomnia. The activity is physically intense, just like other fitness workouts but the huge advantage is that it adds spiritual and mental exercises. Most of the yoga poses are designed in order to make you energized but you can also use some to calm yourself and relieve stress, similarly to meditation.
Below we will talk about the poses that help directly with calming your mind so that you can combat insomnia. Yoga poses or asanas designed for stress relief are normally very effective but these are the ones that you need to first try. As an extra trip, also consider yoga poses for relaxation.
Plow Pose – Halasana
The yoga poses that make your head sit in a position that is lower than your heart, together with having legs higher than heart are known as inversions. The inversions in yoga are very effective to fight insomnia, although they are going to put your body through increased physical effort when compared to restorative poses every yoga practitioner knows (ie. Corpse).
Halasana is performed when you lie on the back and the legs are coming up, over your head, with toes eventually reaching the ground. When neck strain is felt or you are a beginner, the legs can simply be brought up and as over as possible. You want to work slowly so toes are lowered towards the ground in a gradual way.
Legs Up The Wall – Viparita Karani
Just as the asana’s English name states, the pose is all about you work towards a position in which you lie on the mat and the legs are up straight. Alternatively, they can lean against a wall. Viparita Karani can be performed even better when bolster is used and it is placed under the hips. Arms should rest on the side or be kept parallet to the shoulders. Bolsters for poses will help to increase mental and physical relaxation while lower back pain is eased and circulation is improved.
Child’s Pose – Balasana
There is a clear reason why Child’s pose is performed in so many yoga routines. Balasana will be done as resting position and is added to many asanas in most yoga styles. It has meditative and calming aspects but can also relieve tension you feel in the shoulders and the neck. What you want to do is to stay on your knees with legs folded under you. The buttocks will be rested on your feet’s soles. The body is then bended forward while the forehead is lowered towards the floor. Arms can be rested by the side or can be extended forward with palms reaching the floor.
Standing Forward Bend – Uttanasana
Insomnia is often caused by hormonal irregularity or stress and the great thing in both cases is that yoga forward bends can do wonders in releasing tension so that the body can reach a physical, comfortable state. When you want to do a standing forward bend you stay with the feet at hip-width distance. Then you raise your arms over your head and you slowly lower the upper body, forward, towards legs. When you cannot reach the floor, bend the legs and simply fold arms in front with a reach motion towards the elbows.
Remember that you try to beat insomnia so relaxation is really important. A vital aspect of doing these poses is to never put too much stress on yourself. If the positions cannot be done, look for alternatives or modifications. Do work only when you feel comfortable with the goal of slowly progressing. This helps you to increase flexibility and end up feeling better and better each time.