Insomnia is one of the most common sleep disorders. Although some issues are genetic, all people go through periods of insomnia because of mood, situation, or stress. During 2020, there has been a spike in stress induced insomnia. Yoga can help someone suffering from stress to reduce stress levels so that it does not take them 30 minutes or longer to get to sleep or to have problem staying asleep. The author of the article had suffered from insomnia early in life, and she learned that doing yoga could help her to get to sleep during a stressful time in her life. After 20 years of teaching yoga, 2020 started to cause enough stress that she decided to develop a program specifically to help reduce stress levels so that she could sleep better at night. Based on her own experiences, two months of doing the routine helped her to stop needing medication to sleep.
One of the reasons why yoga helps people to get to sleep is that it focuses the brain on the present and the person’s breathing. This contrasts with the more shallow breathing that comes with high-stress levels. The yoga poses work if you actively keep your mind focused on the pose and your breathing, not allowing your mind to think about the sources of stress in your life. By being attentive to your breathing, you can break the thoughts that often increase the stress you are experiencing.
The following poses are the ones the author uses to help make herself feel more at rest so that she can sleep without as much issues.
- Mountain Pose – This pose helps you to center yourself and focus on yoga as you press your feet into the ground. It also helps you to adopt a better posture and relax.
- Forward Fold Clasping Opposite Elbows – This one is a self-hug that includes bending over like a hinge at the hips, helping you find your center. Keeping your balance and deep breathing will make it nearly impossible to think of anything else.
- Triangle Pose – This is a great way to stretch your full body, keeping you in the moment.
- Crescent Lunge – This pose stretches the legs and can help you to build your core to reduce back pain.
- Wide-leg Forward Fold – This pose also has you bend over at the hips and holding a pose with your legs open while balancing with your hands against the floor. This pose helps you to relax.
For details in how to do each of these poses and to learn more about the inspiration behind the routine, read through Yoga for Stress-related Insomnia.