Yoga for insomnia: Add these 5 asanas to your exercise routine for better sleep | Health

To function in a normal or healthy way, sleep is critical, without it we reduce resistance to infection and disease and lower immunity, which affects your energy and stamina. Health experts insist that sleep is an important factor for your physical health but it also improves mental health and overall well-being and if you are going through sleep-related problems it is recommended to practice yoga regularly.

Poor quality sleep or lack of sleep affects many aspects of your life such as your appetite, reduces your productivity, lowers immunity, makes you more susceptible to diseases, weight gain, cardiovascular problems and even failure of certain organ functions that depend on our vital organs. Sleep functions for relaxation and rejuvenation. Fitness experts say that yoga is a very healing practice to get rid of problems like irregular sleep cycles, disturbed sleep and insomnia.

In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Himalayan Siddha Akshar, founder of Akshara Yoga Research and Development Centre, asserted that yoga provides many health benefits for the mind, body and spirit. He suggested practicing the following 5 gentle and easy yoga poses before you go to bed and holding these poses for 5-10 breaths or as long as you feel comfortable to regulate your sleep and improve sleep quality:

1. Pawanmuktasana – Wind-repelling pose

Wind-Repelling Pose (Pawanmuktasana) (Instagram/@yogabyshubhangi)
Wind-Repelling Pose (Pawanmuktasana) (Instagram/@yogabyshubhangi)

Method: Lie on your back or on your back, with your arms by your side. As you inhale and exhale bring your knees towards your chest and press your thighs over your stomach. As you inhale and exhale, lift your head off the floor, letting your chin touch your knees. Hold this pose as you take deep, long breaths in and out. Release the pose to return to the starting position, first bringing your head down and then your legs, repeat for 2-3 rounds and then relax.

2. Manduka Asana – Frog Pose

Mandukasana or Frog Pose (Twitter/TheAyurveda_Org)
Frog Pose (Twitter/TheAyurveda_Org)

Method: Sit in Vajrasana, with your arms extended in front of you. Fold your thumbs into your palms, wrap the other four fingers over them and ball your fists. Bend your arms at your elbows and place your fists on your navel. Bend your upper body and place it on your lower body. Stretch your neck and focus your gaze forward

3. Salabhasana – Locust Pose

Salabhasana - Locust Pose (Shutterstock)
Salabhasana – Locust Pose (Shutterstock)

Method: Lie flat on your stomach with your palms under your thighs. Inhale fully (purak), hold your breath (kumbakh) and then raise your legs together. Make sure your knees are straight and feet together. Place your chin or forehead on the floor. Hold the pose for 10 seconds, slowly bring your legs down and then exhale (rechak) – this breathing technique is therapeutic.

4. Bhujangasana – Cobra pose

Bhujangasana (Shutterstock)
Bhujangasana (Shutterstock)

Method: Lie on your stomach with palms under your shoulders. Place your feet together with toes on the floor. Inhale fully (Purak), hold your breath (Kumbakh) and then raise your head, shoulders and torso at a 30-degree angle. Make sure your navel remains on the floor, your shoulders are wide and the head is slightly raised. Pressure on your toes- This activates the Sun (right) and Moon (left) channels connected to your lower back. Hold the pose for 10 seconds. Slowly lower your torso and then exhale (rechak) – this breathing technique is therapeutic

5. Dhanurasana – Bow pose

Dhanurasana (Grand Master Character)
Dhanurasana (Grand Master Character)

Method: Start by lying on your stomach. Bend your knees and hold your ankles with your palms. Have a strong grip. Raise your legs and arms as high as you can. Look up and hold the pose for a while.

You can start doing these asanas every night before going to bed. Set aside 10-15 minutes to create a calm and peaceful environment for good sleep. You can also incorporate pranayama exercises and meditation for restful sleep. Meditation techniques like Brahmari Dhyan, Arambam Dhyan etc. have many benefits and Brahmari Pranayama and Anulom Vilom can also be done for the most favorable relaxation.

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