Insomnia can be torture. You need to sleep, but you can’t. Nothing helps. If this is happening to you, you need yoga.
Restorative yoga poses are excellent for cure for insomnia. You can do this yoga sequence any time you want, but in the evening is the best times. Here are a few yoga postures that have worked for me. It’s best to do this yoga insomnia cure in the bedroom, so you can get right in bed when they start working their magic.
Supported Forward Bend – Uttanasana
To do this yoga posture, stand directly in front of your bed. If you’re very stiff, place some pillows on the bed. Inhale. Exhale, then lean forward from the hip. Don’t over arch your back.
Gently and gradually move forward until your head is resting either on the stack of pillows, or the bed itself. This may take some time, so don’t get frustrated. If your head won’t reach the bed or the pillows, then rest your arms on the bed. Breathe.
Lift your kneecaps up. This will help to release the hamstring muscle. Stay here for as long as you can, to allow your hamstring muscles and lower back to release.
Shoulderstand – Sarvangasana
If you’re not familiar with Sarvangasana, or it makes you uncomfortable, you should skip this yoga posture. Or you can use the wall as a support. However, if you feel that you can balance, lie down on the floor.
Inhale. With a moderately sudden movement, push your body up in the air, so that your shoulders are resting on the floor, but your legs are in the air. Support your hips with your hands. At first, do only a half shoulderstand. To do this, create a “jack-knife” with your body. Place your body at a 45 degree angle, and your legs at the opposite 45 degree angle. Keep your back and legs as straight as possible. Breathe.
Feel your shoulders and back unwind. Stay here as long as possible. Pay close attention to the breath. Watch your belly move up and down as you breathe. This is a more difficult pose than it seems, so stay focused.
Plow – Halasana
You can move directly into Halasana from Sarvangasana. Coordinate your movement with the breath. Once you feel that the tightness in your muscles has unwound sufficiently, allow your legs to go over your head and to the floor behind you. Don’t be concerned about “perfection” in this yoga posture, but do try to get the form correct. Don’t push yourself too far. Keep your back as straight as possible. Breathe.
Stay here as long as you can. If you like, you can come down, rest for a minute, then repeat the shoulderstand and plow sequence again.
Reclining Side Twist – Supta Matsyendrasana
Lying on the floor, inhale. Then pull your right knee into your chest. Leave the other leg straight. Take the knee in the opposite hand. As you exhale, turn your entire body to the left. Stretch your right arm out to the right and if possible, look to the right. Breathe.
Repeat the yoga posture on the other side of the body.
Double Wind Releasing Pose – Pavana Muktasana
This yoga posture is called the wind releasing pose because it helps to release gas. However, in this case we’re trying to release the lower back and shoulders. Inhale, and draw your knees to your chest. Then as you exhale, lift your body up toward your knees. Draw your shoulders down toward your feet. Breathe. Stay here as long as you feel comfortable.
Seated Forward Bend – Sukhasana Variation
Sit in Sukhasana, or easy pose. To do this yoga posture, assume a cross-legged position on the floor, with both feet into the groin. Slowly, gradually move forward, using your hands to walk you forward across the floor. If you’re limber enough, you’ll be able to rest your body across your crossed legs. If not, use your hands to support your body. Breathe. Stay here for at least thirty seconds.
Corpse Pose – Savasana
Savasana seems very simple on the outside. But this yoga posture can be very difficult when the mind is racing. To do Savasana, lie down on your bed on your back. Allow your arms and legs to splay outward. Turn your palms up. Relax your body. Relax your mind. Breathe. Don’t try to control your thoughts. Simply let them flow, and observe them quietly.
Do these yoga postures whenever you feel you can’t sleep. You can do them before you go to bed every night. I do them when I wake up in the middle of the night and can’t get back to sleep.
Repeat the series of yoga postures every time you find that you can’t sleep. You can do some of them in bed, but if you want to do shoulderstand, plow, or standing forward bend, you’ll have to get out of bed to do them safely. Avoid backbends, which can stimulate the sympathetic nervous system.