It happens to all of us... well, except for the anomaly or two among us. We are utterly exhausted. We've got a ton on our minds. All we want to do is sleep so we'll be rearing for the day ahead... but it just won't happen. We lay in bed, the same thoughts rolling over and over again incessantly, preventing us from getting any shut eye. When taking a look at the root of your insomnia, you may find anxiety, stress and fatigue resulting from the demands that life seems to place upon us. Your body may be asking you to slow down, your nervous system rebelling. Slowing down can be difficult, but yoga positions and meditation can help.
The next time you wake up at 2:00 in the morning, frustrated with sleeplessness, give yourself this 15-minute practice, so your body gets what it needs to sink back into sleep.
1. Five-minute Meditation: We recently brought you Is Meditation A Transformation Fodder for Stress? It's time to put it to the test. Find a comfortable seated position on the edge of a blanket, pillow or cushion. Let the spine be long, resting your hands on your thighs. Close your eyes and begin to tune into your breath. As thoughts come up, try not to give them any power. Just simply let them float by, and bring your attention back to your breath. Focus on deepening, lengthening and smoothing out your breath. You may even put a count to each inhale and exhale.
2. High Lunge Variations: Begin in a high lunge with the right leg in front, knee stacked over ankle and the left thigh strong and lifted. Reach your arms up alongside your ears. Rock your weight into your right leg, and as slowly as you can you're going to drag your right knee all the way into your chest, so that you are balancing on your right leg on an inhale, and then just as slowly step back into your lunge. Do this 5-10 times, and then switch sides.
3. Forward Fold: Feet hip distance apart, fold over your legs, letting your head hang. Take hold of opposite elbows and sway from side to side, imagining all your thoughts dripping out of the crown of your head. Stay for 10-20 breaths.
4. Plow Pose: Lay on your back, arms alongside your body. Swing your legs up over head. Your toes may or may not touch the ground. You can stay her for 10-20 breaths. But if you have some excess energy you need to expend, you can roll from plow to stand, trying to use your core. Then bend your knees, coming all the way to the ground and roll back into plow. You can repeat 5-10 times.
5. Legs up the Wall: Bring a blanket or pillow under your hips right at the wall and swing your legs up. The key is to get your hips above your heart, your shoulders and head resting on the ground. Let your palms face up away from your body, close your eyes, and come back to focusing on your breath.
When you feel the stillness, the peace, the spaciousness - crawl back into bed and give sleep another go.
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