In winter, practicing Yoga can be particularly beneficial for managing insomnia and sleep disorders. The cold weather and shorter days may disrupt sleep patterns for many individuals, making it essential to adopt strategies that promote relaxation and better sleep.
In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Himalayan Siddhaa Akshar, Founder of Akshar Yoga Kendraa, suggested some straightforward and practical yoga poses and techniques to help alleviate insomnia and improve sleep during the winter months –
- Child’s Pose (Balasana):
Start by kneeling on the mat, sit back on your heels, and extend your arms forward with your forehead resting on the ground. This pose helps to calm the mind, relieve stress, and gently stretch the spine, promoting a sense of relaxation conducive to better sleep.
2. Legs Up the Wall (Viparita Karani):
Lie on your back and place your legs up against a wall, keeping your arms by your sides. This pose promotes blood circulation, relaxes the nervous system, and is known for its calming effect on the mind. It’s particularly helpful for individuals dealing with insomnia.
3. Corpse Pose (Savasana):
Lie flat on your back with your arms by your sides and palms facing up. Close your eyes and focus on your breath. Savasana helps in releasing tension from the body and calming the mind, preparing you for a restful sleep.
4. Seated Forward Bend (Paschimottanasana):
Sit with your legs extended in front of you and hinge at your hips to reach for your toes. This forward bend stretches the spine and hamstrings, promoting a soothing effect on the nervous system. It is beneficial for easing stress and anxiety.
5. Alternate Nostril Breathing (Nadi Shodhana):
Sit comfortably and use your right thumb to close off your right nostril. Inhale through the left nostril, then close it with your right ring finger. Open and exhale through the right nostril. This pranayama technique helps balance the left and right hemispheres of the brain, promoting relaxation and mental clarity.
6. Reclining Bound Angle Pose (Supta Baddha Konasana):
Lie on your back, bringing the soles of your feet together and allowing your knees to fall open. This pose opens the hips and groin, releasing tension from these areas. It’s a gentle pose that encourages relaxation and can be beneficial for individuals with sleep disorders.
7. Deep Breathing (Pranayama):
Practice deep, rhythmic breathing to calm the nervous system. Inhale deeply through your nose, hold for a moment, and exhale slowly through your mouth. Repeat this process several times, focusing on the breath and letting go of any tension.
8. Standing Forward Bend (Uttanasana):
Stand with your feet hip-width apart, hinge at your hips, and reach for the floor. This forward bend stretches the entire back of the body, promoting relaxation and relieving stress. It also helps calm the mind and improve focus.
Remember to practice these Yoga poses and techniques consistently to experience their full benefits. Incorporating them into your routine, especially during the winter months, can contribute to better sleep and overall well-being.