Ordinary Yoga The practice not only boosts immunity and keeps diseases at bay, but is also an excellent remedy to release stress, anxiety or tension in the mind or body and helps restore balance to prepare you for a good night’s sleep. From relieving chronic stress patterns to increasing body awareness and creating mental clarity and calm, yoga is full of health benefits from its meditation and breathing poses which sharpen focus, lift the mood and relax the body to help you sleep better.
In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Yoga Master and Spiritual Guru – Grand Master Akshar shared, “Yoga encompasses yogic techniques such as asanas or physical postures, breathing techniques known as pranayama, meditation, mudra, chanting, etc. Devote 5, 10, or 15 minutes each night to practicing the following routine. Before going to bed, meditation and pranayama techniques can first be practiced for about 2-3 minutes and gradually increased with practice. Here are 3 tips to help you fall asleep faster.
You can hold each yoga posture for about 30 seconds and repeat each pose three times. Grandmaster Akshar has suggested 3 yoga poses that are very simple and also for beginners. They can be done by anyone and preferably during your bedtime yoga.
1. Balasana or child’s pose
Method: Sit on your heels on the floor or on a yoga mat and keep your knees together or apart. Slowly exhale and bend forward to touch the ground with your forehead or rest it on a block or two stacked fists while keeping your arms at your sides and palms up.
Alternatively, you can keep your palms down on the mat as you extend your arms forward from the yoga mat. Now, if your knees are together, gently press your chest into the thighs or press your chest between the thighs if the knees are apart.
Relax the shoulders, jaw and eyes and find a comfortable place for the forehead as there is an energy point in its center, between the eyebrows, which supports a “rest and digest” response by stimulating the vagus nerve. Hold the pose for as long as you want and pull your belly button towards your spine while inhaling and softening your body and arms as you exhale. Slowly return to a seated position on the heels while inhaling and as if rolling the spine.
Advantages: This yoga pose for beginners not only helps reduce stress and anxiety by helping to release tension in the chest, back and shoulders, but also helps if you feel dizzy or tired during the day or during your workout. It can help relieve back pain as it is a gentle stretch for the back, hips, thighs and ankles.
Precautions: This exercise is not recommended for pregnant women or people with diarrhea or knee injury.
2. Sukhasana or easy pose
Method: Sit on a yoga mat or on the floor with your legs straight. Bend one of your legs and place it under the opposite thigh and repeat the same with the other leg.
Sit up straight, keeping your head, neck and trunk aligned in a straight line, put your hands on your knees or thighs in Chin Mudra or Jnana Mudra. Turn your palms up to be receptive or down to feel grounded and slowly inhale, feel your spine lengthen as you exhale, ground yourself in your seat.
Advantages: In addition to finding stillness and tranquility, this asana relieves muscle and joint pain as it helps the practitioner maintain good posture, provides flexibility, keeps the back straight, and strengthens the legs. This in turn lengthens the back muscles and spine, expands the collarbones and chest, stretches the outer side of the knees, and unlocks the hips.
3. Vajrasana Pose or Thunderbolt/Diamond Pose
Method: Start by kneeling on the floor and resting your pelvis on your heels. Keep your heels close together by bringing your knees and ankles together and point your feet in line with your legs.
Place your palms on your knees or on your thighs and slightly adjust your pelvis back and forth until you are comfortable. Exhale as you sit up on your legs.
Advantages: Vajrasana not only helps keep the mind calm and steady, but also cures digestive acidity and gas formation, helps relieve knee pain, strengthens thigh muscles, and helps relieve back pain. Exercise helps strengthen the sexual organs and helps in the treatment of urinary problems.
Grand Master Akshar also suggested some meditation techniques which include:
1. Prarthana Dhyan (Praying Meditation)
Method: Sit in any comfortable position. Join your palms in front of your chest to form Pranam Mudra. Straighten your back and close your eyes. Form and repeat positive affirmations aloud or silently.
Advantages: Instills a sense of calm, creates a greater sense of gratitude in the practitioner, boosts your confidence, makes you more positive and optimistic, and encourages a sense of serenity.
2. Technique of Pranayama (Udgeeth Pranayama)
Method: Sit in any comfortable pose. Straighten your back and close your eyes. Place your palms on your knees. Take a deep breath and fill your lungs with air. As you exhale, form a circle with your lips and say “Ooooooommm” for as long as you can. Feel the sound vibration spread throughout your body.
The practice of yoga can have a decisive influence on your lifestyle. Yoga adds positive habits to help improve your overall health and well-being. Yoga as a holistic science focuses on building the mind-body connection. This makes yoga extremely therapeutic for those who suffer from sleep disorders like insomnia, sleeping disorders, sleep apnea and many other issues.