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Yoga For Insomnia And Anxiety

How Yoga Can Help With Digestion

Yoga Nidra for Anxiety and Insomnia

Yoga for better digestion is essentially a form of using deep breath work, oxygenating your body, then being able to use extension, compression, twists and a vareity of postures that are completely accessible for pretty much anyone.

You can do classes that are a little bit more gentle or those that are a liitle bit stronger depending on your preference. We end every class with really deep relaxation that helps your nervous system to relax, getting your body out of fight or flight and into its rest and digest mode.

This enables your body to essentially reset its nervous system over time, creating a really beautiful balance within. This can help you with any condition that you have, specifically to do with digestion, but also whether you have stress, anxiety, sleep apnea, trouble sleeping in general, and anything that has to do with inflammatory concerns such as arthritis, IBS, and Crohns disease.

If you have questions about yoga for digestion, contact a local yoga teacher.


Can Yoga Treat Insomnia

Posted byScott Smith and Mayra Paris on Feb 15, 2019 8:00:00 AM

Are you looking for effective ways to combat insomnia? Have you tried diverse medications but yet to overcome sleep disorder? Worry less, this article highlights how regular yoga and meditation can treat your insomnia. Insomnia simply refers to a sleep disorder, it is a situation whereby an individual experiences difficulty in either falling asleep or staying asleep for the required time. Insomnia has diverse symptoms and this ranges from person to person.

Sleep disorder is a great nightmare and you should avoid or treat it at all costs. You can consider yourself as suffering from sleeping disorder when:

  • You find it difficult to fall asleep.
  • You wake up frequently during the night.
  • You feel tired anytime you get up from sleep.
  • You wake up too early.

According to experts, there are quite a number of measures that can treat your insomnia. Regular yoga and meditation have proven to be effective means of treating insomnia.

Meditation is a process of focusing and redirect your thoughts on a particular thing. This is to say that you can choose to mediate on any subject that is of significance to you.


Yoga on the other hand is a combination of physical exercises, mental meditation, and breathing techniques. Yoga is not just an exercise, it has a level of spirituality and this can help in the effective treatment of insomnia.

Does Yoga Help You Sleep

Over 55% of yoga practitioners report improved sleep and over 85% report reduced stress. Many studies demonstrate that yoga can improve sleep for a variety of different populations. These studies typically focus on ones quality of sleep rather than the quantity, as increased amounts of sleep do not necessarily correlate with quality sleep and overall wellbeing. While the definition of quality sleep varies among sleepers, it usually includes feeling energized for the day and a lack of disturbances.

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For General Insomnia And Fatigue

Moon breath Chandra bhedana Inhale through the left nostril Exhale through the right nostrilTo repeat. Inhale through the left nostril and exhale through the right

  • Chandra bhedana or Moon breath: According to yoga, the left nostril activates the parasympathetic nervous system. Find a comfortable position, with your right nostril blocked, inhale through your left and exhale through your right. Repeat this for 1-3 minutes.
  • Body sensing: Previously addressed by our psychologist, Molly Sherb, PhD in her article as one of the coping skills for stressful situations. Systematic body sensing can induce relaxation and reduce fatigue. Start body sensing in the feet and work up slowly, sensation by sensation through the legs and the hands to the face and jaw. Make sure all the senses are softening. Keep the various grasping mechanisms soft jaw, eyes, ears, shoulders, palms, toes. Spend 10-15 minutes on cyclical body sensing all the while lengthening your exhalation.
  • If you are someone who wakes up in the middle of the night and struggles to fall back asleep, try the moon-breath or body sensing until you fall back asleep.

Knee To Chest To Spinal Twist

Yoga For Insomnia

This combination move stretches the hips and lower back. Stretch out your legs and slide them together. Pull your right knee into your chest clasping your fingers around your right shin and gently hug your knee in to stretch your low back and hips. Hold for three breaths. Release your knee and send it across the left leg for a gentle spinal twist. Turn your gaze to the right. Hold for five to 10 breaths and switch sides.


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Head To Knee Forward Bend Pose

It is also a restorative pose that is said to help relieve stress and calm your mind.

Instructions

  • Sit on the floor or mat with both legs outstretched in front of you.
  • Adjust and make sure your butt is firmly anchored on the floor.
  • Inhale and raise both arms.
  • Exhale and bend your torso from the hips , resting your torso down to your outstretched legs.
  • Keep your feet flexed while pressing the back of your thighs down toward the floor.
  • When you reach your maximum forward bending limit, hold your ankles or foot and relax your head on the outstretched legs.
  • Hold the pose for 3 minutes.

Why Yoga Is Good For Sleep

There are a number of reasons why yoga might help improve your sleep. Some of these include:

  • Breath awareness: Breathing is an essential part of yoga, so regular yoga practice can help you become more aware of your breathing and how it affects your mind and body. Deep breathing, in particular, can help relax your body and improve your sleep.
  • Mindfulness: Yoga may also be helpful because it is a mindful approach to physical activity. Mindfulness, which involves focusing attention and awareness on the present, has been shown to increase melatonin levels in the body, which can help improve sleep.
  • Physical activity: Numerous studies have shown that regular exercise can play a role in helping people sleep better. While you should generally avoid vigorous physical activity in the evening hours, light to moderate exercise such as gentle yoga won’t interfere with sleep and can actually help you sleep better.

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Best Yoga Poses For Anxiety

When anxiety takes hold it can be difficult to find a way to refocus your mind. Yoga has been shown to do amazing things for people living with anxiety, as well as depression.


There are a number of particular poses that can be good for anxious feelings, take a look below at 17 of the best yoga poses for anxiety:

Neck Massage With Balls

Beginners Yoga For Deep Relaxation, Sleep, Insomnia, Anxiety & Stress Relief

This technique helps release neck tension and stimulates the vagus nerve, the driving force behind the parasympathetic nervous system, which impacts sleep and mood. Come down onto your back with a yoga block or thick book under your head. Turn your head to the right and place the ball on your upper neck behind your ear. Take five deep breaths here. Then gently nod yes three or four times, nod no three or four times. And, switch sides.

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Other Tips To Help You Sleep Better

Sleep experts often point to the efficacy of creating a standard bedtime routine in order to signal your body that it’s time to prepare for sleep. Incorporating the above yoga routine either sometime during the day or right before bedtime along with following tips will find you sleeping well at night.

  • Avoid watching a horror movie late at night. Instead, listen to soft instrumental music, chants or knowledge before getting ready to sleep.

  • Avoid sleeping during the daytime, as doing so disrupts the biological clock. Ideally, meditating once first thing in the morning, and once in the afternoon for twenty minutes, and then sleeping at night for a minimum of eight hours is ideal.

  • Finish eating dinner by 8 or 8.30 pm at the latest and wait at least two hours before falling asleep.

  • Before sleep, reflect on your day. Feel content, pray, and go to sleep with a happy, relaxed mind.

  • Make sure to sort out any disagreements with loved ones before falling asleep. Going to bed with unfinished business can lead to disturbed sleep.

  • Avoid taking stimulants past 2 pm, especially if you suffer from insomnia.

  • You may also want to refer to this meditation sleep guide to understand how meditation can help sleep better.

  • Wishing you a healthy, happy life, we hope you find the peace and rest that are so vitally needed!


    Best Types Of Yoga For Sleep

    There are many different types of yoga that you might try, but not all of them are right for helping you sleep better. Certain types of yoga can be more challenging and heart-pumping. For example, hot yoga or vinyasa are both forms of yoga that are higher-intensity. If better sleep is your goal, it is important to select an approach focused more on relaxation and stretching.

    Here are the best types of yoga to do before sleep:

    • Restorative yoga: This restful practice invites the body to rest in poses held for upwards of 20 minutes each. The body is supported with the use of props such as blankets, blocks, and bolsters to ensure deep relaxation and diaphragmatic breathing.
    • Yoga nidra: Also known as yogic sleep, this form of yoga is done laying down and utilizes guided relaxation to withdraw from the senses and drop into a deep state of relaxation while still maintaining full consciousness.
    • Hatha yoga: This type of yoga is centered on different body positions, known as asanas. It is usually practiced at a slower pace and utilizes deep breathing, stretching, and controlled movements.

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    If You Have Sleep Deprivation You Must Embrace A Few Yoga Asanas To Get Rid Of This Problem

    Try these amazing yogasana for better sleep

    There are many of us who find it challenging to get sleep and many-a-times we find ourselves tossing and turning while we try to catch up on slumber. Various studies indicate that more than a third of Indians tend to suffer from occasional spells of insomnia, which is nothing but difficulty in falling asleep. The good news is that the humble yoga workout can help in regulating your sleep patterns. Yoga does not necessarily have to be an energetic, get-your-blood-pumping physical exercise. In fact, some of the most advantageous facets of a gentle yoga practice done at home are the very subtle and minute alterations brought about by the poses to your body.


    Taking out a couple minutes when you call it a night, making yourself and your body feel comfortable for bedtime is vital while you unwind towards the end of a busy day. If you would wish to sit and gather a sense of calm prior to going off bed, you could always relax with a rejuvenating meditation practice. Try the below mentioned simple yet sleep inducing yoga postures that will get you into the routine and facilitate you to peacefully say goodbye to the day.

    Yoga For Better Sleep

    Bedtime Yoga for Insomnia and Anxiety (Relaxation)
    • By , Contributing Editor

    Yoga is a gentle and restorative way to wind down your day. A national survey found that over 55% of people who did yoga found that it helped them get better sleep. Over 85% said yoga helped reduce stress. You can use supportive props like bolsters, blankets, and blocks to make poses comfortable so that you can stay in the pose for longer and continue to breathe.

    Your breath is key to be able to relax in these poses. Breath in yoga is equally importantif not more importantas the physical pose. Use a gentle and calming yoga breath technique called Ujjayi Breath, also known as Ocean Breath or Victorious Breath. Inhale deeply through the nose. With your mouth closed, exhale through your nose while constricting the back of your throat as if you are saying “ha” but keep your mouth closed. This exhalation should sound like the waves of the ocean . Use this slow and steady breath to soothe yourself in each of these poses.

    Practice these yoga poses right before bedtime and stay in them about 3 to 5 minutes each. Use your Ocean Breath in each pose, with the exception of Corpse Pose, where your breath returns to normal.

    These seven restorative yoga poses relieve tension and stress at the end of the day. The more that you practice these poses regularly, the more you likely you can get a good nights rest.


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    Assessment Of Outcome Measures

    Study design consisting of first 2 weeks of baseline followed by intervention using supervised yoga nidra training is shown in timeline in Fig. .

    Fig. 1

    Baseline assessment

    Yoga nidra supervised sessions

    Yoga nidra training was done using copyrighted CD. After 05 days of yoga nidra training under supervision, the patients were instructed to practice yoga nidra at home daily at a time when he was alert.

    Assessment at the end of two weeks

    Assessment at the end of four weeks

    Yoga For Anxiety: 7 Poses To Try If You Suffer From Anxiety

    Living a stressful life can sometimes lead to feelings of anxiety and panic. People who suffer from anxiety are always searching for ways to overcome this feeling of fear and stress. However, patients afflicted with anxiety are now turning to yoga to help them deal with anxiety. Yoga, being one of the ancient forms of exercise, comes with amazing benefits to calm your body, mind, and soul. Focusing on your breath, along with the ability to stay present at the moment, can help get rid of negative thoughts and mental chatter. If youre someone looking out for ways to overcome your anxiety, then here are 7 yoga poses that you could try out.

    Try out the below poses to calm down and find inner peace. These poses may aid you to overcome anxiety by helping you focus and quieten down racing thoughts.

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    How Often Do You Need To Practice Yoga To Improve Sleep

    Occasional yoga practice will likely improve sleep quality more than no practice at all. However, regular, long-term practitioners experience better sleep quality.

    If you aim to use yoga as a tool to improve your sleep, consider making a schedule where you regularly practice. This may include attending classes weekly, designating a certain time of day to practice at home, or a combination of both.

    Limitations And Future Directions

    Gentle Bedtime Yoga for Anxiety and Insomnia

    The results of this study were based on self-reported questionnaires, which have an inherent bias, as the subjects may exaggerate or minimize specific symptoms. However, such self-reported questionnaires are routinely used in psychology studies and are well-validated instruments. The study did rely on participant’s willingness to adhere to the intervention and fill out all questions. Thus, there may have been a bias to the results as participants who had better results may have been more inclined to continue to participate in the study. The use of a control group reduced this bias, however.

    Additionally, the surveys did not ask for weight or BMI information, or details on sleep hygiene. High BMI can lead to sleep apnea and poor sleep hygiene contribute to disrupted sleep, and these factors, if present in our study population, could have affected the results. Further studies using the YOI intervention are ongoing and so future studies will strive to collect more detailed and nuanced information.

    A possible future direction will be to compare YOI with other yoga mindfulness practices. However, YOI is a unique combination of yoga posts, breathing exercise and meditation. Thus, a challenge will be to find appropriate interventions to compare to. Nevertheless, YOI could be compared to other interventions that involve physical activity, to see if the specific type of physical activity indicated by YOI contributes to the effect seen on depression and anxiety scores.

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    Who Sleeps Better With Yoga

    Yoga has been shown to help benefit all age ranges and improve sleep. From children to the elderly, yoga provides numerous health and sleep benefits.

    For instance, sleep disorders are common among children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Yoga as a behavior intervention can lessen stress for children with ASD and improve their mental health, which can help with sleeping difficulties. It can also help parents and subsequently the well-being of the whole family.

    Adult women in particular often have more difficulty sleeping than men. Studies have demonstrated that yoga can benefit many subpopulations of women. For example, pregnant women who practice yoga have reduced sleep disturbances in addition to reduced prenatal anxiety and depression. Women in menopause who practice yoga have also found similar outcomes they have improved sleep and reduced depression and anxiety.

    Elderly populations also often report having sleep disturbances. These disturbances range from snoring to insomnia to restless leg syndrome , which can affect ones overall quality of life. Preliminary research has shown that elderly people who do yoga regularly have both improved quality of sleep and improved overall quality of life.

    Bear Hugs And Snow Angels

    These two exercises open the chest, release tension in the back and shoulders and counteract posture problems poor posture has been shown to affect stress, mood, breathing and circulation.

    Come down on your back and place two tennis or massage balls in between your shoulder blades at the top of your spine. Keep your knees bent and feet on the floor. Rest your head on the floor and take your arms out to your sides like cactus arms. Take three to five breaths here. Then, give yourself a hug crossing right arm over left and switch, crossing left arm over right. Repeat these bear hugs a few times. Then, take your arms back out into the cactus shape. Inhale and slowly extend your arms overhead. Exhale and bring the elbows into your waist. Repeat three to five times, trying to keep the arms on the floor throughout the movement. Lift your hips and roll the balls down your spine a few inches and repeat. Keep rolling the balls down your back and repeating the bear hugs and snow angels until you get to the mid-back .

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