Sleep Yoga Practices

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Sleep! It’s as necessary as food, shelter and clothing. Yet everyone has difficulty with it at one time or another. As a certified yoga therapist, I spend a lot of time assisting my students and clients on improving their sleep.
These practices are easy and will shift you into your relaxation – sleep mode. Practice any of them before bed – or in bed – to help you fall asleep, or back to sleep again if you should awaken.

Many good Zzzzzz’s to you!


Yoga Nidra


Listening to Divine Sleep® Yoga Nidra Insomnia Track in bed will calm and relax you, giving you a calming voice to listen to, guiding you within your deepest calmest center. This track is tried and true by thousands of my students who swear by it, and many who track me down in the hallways at Kripalu Center where I teach to tell me how it’s changed their lives with better sleep. Try it for yourself and see.


Yoga Postures


 

 

 

1. Resting Twist on both sides.


 

 

 

 

2. Forward bend pose.


 

 

 

 

3. Legs up the wall with a cushion under your hips. Or supported Bridge with knees bent and feet flat.

 


Breathing


1. Simply LENGTHEN each exhalation for 3-5 minutes. You may like to put a timer on to keep track.

2. Kaki Crow Breath: Inhale through your nose. Then exhale through an ‘O’ shaped mouth all of the breath, without straining, for 3-5 minutes.

3. Nadi Shodhana alternate nostril breath: Exhale left nostril, Inhale left. Exhale right, Inhale right. Exhale left, Inhale left. Continue 3-5 minutes. You can use your fingers to seal off the nostrils, and eventually practice this breath without the assistance of your hand – using your mind focus to breathe through the opposite nostrils, going side to side.

4. Counting Breaths Practice: Lie on your right side and count your exhalations backwards from 27 back to 1. If you get lost on the number, begin again at 27. Then roll to your left side and count exhalations from 27-1. Go back to right side and repeat on each side as many times as it takes to fall asleep.


Self-Massage


1.  Massage the point between eyebrows: helps insomnia, calms energy, soothes restlessness, anxiety and stress.


2. ‘Spirit Gate’ Massage the points on the inside wrist nearest pinky: balances and calms heart, alleviates anxiety, enables sleep.

 

 

 


3. Massage ears and feet with warmed sesame oil or other oil as there are numerous ‘sleep points’ on feet. (note: contraindicated for pregnancy)


Adhi Mudra


Hold this mudra lightly in bed or when you want to feel calm. Repeat over and over silently “I am always calm in the center of my being.”


Affirmation Statements


State one or more of these positive statements silently to yourself (with or without a calming mudra):

“I surrender into calm & peace within.”
“I relax into my inner haven of peace.”
“I soften into the soothing blanket of sleep.”
“I open my mind to the gentle caress of sleep.”
“I relax and set aside all mental burdens.”
“I let go control and life becomes and effortless flow.”

 


Disclaimer: Instruction here is not intended to provide or be a substitute for medical or psychological advice on personal health matters. Should assistance be required, consult a physician, therapist, or other health care professional. The author does not assume responsibility for use of videos or practices.

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