Battling With Insomnia? Here’s How Yoga Can Help

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Millions of Americans suffer from insomnia each night. They lay away, at midnight, their mind still active and alert. Perhaps you’re one of them? You know you have a big day ahead of you; you know how important it is for you to get a good night’s sleep; but the anticipation of yet another sleepless night is only making matters worse. What can you do? Believe it or not, yoga can help. Here at Team Yogasana, some of our ambassadors have had to fight through bouts of insomnia. They turned to a few short yin yoga sequences before bed to put their minds and bodies at ease. We recommend you stay in each posture we outline below for three to five minutes – or even longer, if you want to.

1. Doll pose (Dangling)

To get into dangle, stand with the feet hip-width apart. Fold forward with bent knees. You may need to bend your knees more if you have any issues with the back. Let the crown of the head drop toward the floor. Rest the back of the hands on the floor. To come out of it, slowly roll up to standing. Or move into a squat if you have low blood pressure. Stand relaxed, with arms alongside the body or in a squat position for one to two minutes. Avoid dangling if you have high blood pressure. This pose slows the heart rate and nourishes the spine structure. It also massages the intestines.

2. Wide-kneed child’s pose

To get into wide-kneed child’s pose, start by sitting on your heels. Spread your knees apart, as wide as they will go. Keep your hips back toward the arches of your feet. Rest forward onto your chest with arms outstretched and palms facing the floor or with your head resting on your forearms. Stay in the posture for 5 minutes. To come out, bring your hands forward if folded and on an inhale raise your hips and bring one knee toward the center of your body. Rest in child’s pose with knees together for one to two minutes. This pose is known to be calming and can stimulate the liver meridian channels. The liver – when out of balance – can lead to irregular emotions.

3. Caterpillar

To get into caterpillar, place a cushion under your sitting bones if you have tight hamstrings. Or bend your knees. Begin to bend forward from the hips. Allow the spine to curve into a forward bend. Let the head drop or place your head onto a cushion (or bolster). Palms are open and facing the ceiling. Do not reach aggressively for the toes. Stay in this pose for 5 minutes. Come out on an inhalation; raise your spine slowly until you are upright. Lie on your back to rest for 1 to 2 minutes. The Caterpillar pose massages the heart, digestion organs, and supports the kidneys.