Tips for Sleep
After my weekly Wellness Warriors Yoga Class, a new student asked for ideas to help her sleep. A four time cancer survivor, she says she falls asleep ok, but wakes around 3am and lies sleepless for hours.
Insomnia-it’s the worst! I would wager that the majority of cancer patients and survivors experience it, as well as many in the general population.
Yogic postures, meditations, and lifestyle practices can help foster sleep.
This week, I’m sharing three (of the many) that you can do next to your bed when you experience sleeplessness:
1.Forward Bends-forward bends help you relax. Come into a gentle forward bend and begin to breathe long and deep. Enjoy breathing and your ability to stretch, no matter how far forward you come. Stretch one leg at a time to protect your lower back if you have pain or concerns about lower discs.
2.Table pose. Place your hands under your shoulders and your feet beneath your hips. Press the hips up until they are parallel to the floor. Look up at the ceiling. Eyes can be open or closed. Breathe long and deep and stay with the posture until you can no longer hold the position. Come down from the posture and relax a few moments. Then resume the posture. Continue to release tension by coming into the posture with slow, deep breathing until you find yourself worn out and ready to meditate.
3.Meditation for Sleep
This meditation uses 2 mantras from Kundalini Yoga as Taught by Yogi Bhajan: Sa Ta Na Ma (Cycle of Life-Life, Birth, Death, Rebirth) and Wahe Guru (expression of ecstasy and connection with the Infinite).
You can sit up in bed or sit on the floor or in a chair.
It has 4 parts:
- First, take 4 even sniffs in through the nose. With each sniff, think to yourself one of the syllables of the mantra: Sa Ta Na Ma.
- Then, suspend your breath in and think to yourself 4 rounds of Sa Ta Na Ma.
- Next, exhale though the nose as you think to yourself Wahe Guru.
- Eyes are either gently closed or focused at the tip of your nose.
In this short video, I explain the meditation and postures for relaxation.
Let me know your experience, questions, and need for modifications. Sweet dreams to you!