Winter Yoga: Countering Insomnia and Sleep Disorders with Relaxation Methods
As winter descends, yoga becomes a valuable ally in managing insomnia and sleep disruptions exacerbated by colder temperatures and shorter days. With sleep patterns often disrupted during this season, embracing relaxation techniques becomes crucial for fostering better sleep quality.
In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Himalayan Siddhaa Akshar, the founder of Akshar Yoga Kendraa, shared practical yoga poses and techniques tailored to alleviate insomnia and enhance sleep during the winter:
Child’s Pose (Balasana):
Begin by kneeling on the mat, sitting back on your heels, and extending your arms forward while resting your forehead on the ground. Balasana calms the mind, reduces stress, and gently stretches the spine, fostering relaxation conducive to improved sleep.
Legs Up the Wall (Viparita Karani):
Lie on your back and position your legs against a wall, arms resting by your sides. This pose enhances blood circulation, relaxes the nervous system, and induces a calming effect on the mind, making it particularly beneficial for individuals grappling with insomnia.
Corpse Pose (Savasana):
Lie flat on your back with arms alongside and palms facing upward. Close your eyes and focus on your breath. Savasana releases bodily tension and soothes the mind, preparing you for restful sleep.
Seated Forward Bend (Paschimottanasana):
Sit with legs extended, hinge at the hips, and reach for your toes. Paschimottanasana stretches the spine and hamstrings, promoting relaxation of the nervous system and alleviating stress and anxiety.
Alternate Nostril Breathing (Nadi Shodhana):
Sit comfortably, close your right nostril with your thumb, inhale through the left, then close it with your ring finger and exhale through the right. This pranayama technique balances the brain hemispheres, fostering relaxation and mental clarity.
Deep Breathing (Pranayama):
Engage in deep, rhythmic breathing to calm the nervous system. Inhale deeply through the nose, hold briefly, and exhale slowly through the mouth, focusing on breath and releasing tension.
Standing Forward Bend (Uttanasana):
Stand with feet hip-width apart, hinge at the hips, and reach for the floor. Uttanasana stretches the back of the body, promoting relaxation, stress relief, and enhanced focus.
Consistent practice of these yoga poses and techniques, especially during the winter, significantly contributes to improved sleep quality and overall well-being. Integrating them into your routine ensures a holistic approach to countering insomnia and sleep disturbance.