Having trouble getting a sound sleep? Yoga might be the perfect remedy. A Harvard study on insomnia concluded people who practiced yoga consistently for eight weeks slept better and longer compared than those who did not practice.
Legs-Up-The-Wall(Viparita Karani) can be practiced at night before getting into bed or in the middle of the night, if you’re having trouble sleeping and waking up. Try Nikole Fortier’s 7 minute class at Pilgrimage Yoga Online. It’s ideal for beginners and advanced yogis.
Hope Knosher, founder of Hope’s Yoga, suggests: “Sit sideways with your right side against the wall. Exhale and gently swing your legs up onto the wall and your shoulders and head lightly down onto the floor. Coming into this pose may take some practice. Your sitting bones don’t need to be right against the wall, depending on the tightness of your hamstrings. Experiment with the position until you find the placement that works for you.
This pose is not intended to stretch the backs of the legs, so if you feel pulling in the hamstrings move farther away from the wall. Keep the lower back grounded to the floor. Make a small roll with a hand towel to place under your neck if the cervical spine at the base of your neck feels too flat. Open your shoulder blades away from your spine and release your hands and arms out to your sides, palms up.
Keep your legs relatively firm, just enough to hold them vertically in place. If you struggle to keep your legs upright, take a yoga strap or something similar and place it around your legs just below the knees and gently tighten to hold the legs up right, allowing you to further relax into the pose. Gently close and soften your eyes, then scan the body. Soften into any tightness you find along the way.” *
Calm, Steady Breathing
Practice for 5-20 minutes. Focus on calm and steady breathing.
When you are ready to come out, bend your knees halfway toward your chest and roll to one side. Use your arms to help you sit up, moving slowly and mindfully.
Raising your legs vertically, higher than the heart, can also help with blood circulation.
Hope cautions, “those who are pregnant or that have been diagnosed with glaucoma, high blood pressure, or any serious problems with the neck or spine, should consult their doctor first.”
How do you deal with sleepless nights?
* Thanks to MindBodyGreen.com for permission to share this excerpt.