Yoga for Anxiety and Insomnia

Legs Up the Wall (1)

 

 

I have heard from quite a few people that this season of change seems to be raising their anxiety. And I am definitely experiencing this too. That, and insomnia, my old friend, has come to visit me again. It is as if we all want to make some big moves, shake things up and see all of our dreams perfectly manifesting. And we want it right now!

All those seeds we had underneath winter’s snow are wanting to burst forth and immediately become full blown blossoms. But that’s not the way things happen. Things must sprout slowly. It must be the right timing. The necessary needs and nurturing must be met if our ideas are going to bloom into their full potential.

This drive to make things happen NOW is making us move faster, push harder, and lean into the future instead of being in the present.

All of this anxious energy combined with the increased sunlight in the evenings is creating the perfect recipe for insomnia for many of us. We’re wired but we’re also oh so tired.

Here are a few yogic techniques that we can use to help us through this time of transition.

 

Legs Up the Wall Pose (Vipariti Karani)

Legs Up the Wall

How

  1. You can use a bolster under your hips as I do in this photo, but if you are less flexible you might want to not use a bolster at all or use a lower form of support, like folded blanket. If your hamstrings are tighter you may also want to be a little farther away from the wall, rather than having your buttocks up against the wall. If you use support you will want to place 5-6 inches away from the wall to allow for your tailbone to float in this space.
  2. The easiest way to come into the pose is to kneel near the wall and place your buttocks against the wall and then roll into the pose. If this a try. It may take some practice to figure out the easiest way for you to come into the pose.
  3. Extend your legs up the wall feeling the weight of your legs into your hip joints. Feel your tailbone floating in the space between the wall and your support. And feel your pubic bone higher than your sternum.
  4. Take a small roll (made from a towel for example) under your neck if the cervical spine feels flat.
  5. Soften your eyes and stay here for 5-10 minutes.
  6. Roll out of the pose slowly.

Benefits

  • Can be done in bed
  • Balances hormones
  • Stimulates the immune system
  • Lowers anxiety
  • Relieves back pain
  • Calms the mind
  • Reduces swelling in the legs and feet

Alternate Nostril Breathing

How

Follow along using this video on my YouTube channel of a simplified version of Alternative Nostril breathing.

Benefits

  • Balances left and right sides of the body and left and right brain
  • Calms the mind

Meditation for Grounding and Protection

How

Listen to this Meditation for Grounding and Protection inspired by Tamara Hawk.

Benefits

  • Help you to feel more grounded and safe
  • Lowers anxiety
  • Lowers high blood pressure
  • Lowers the levels of blood lactate, reducing anxiety attacks
  • Decreases any tension-related pain, such as, tension headaches, ulcers, insomnia, muscle and joint problems

In general meditation also:

  • Increases serotonin production that improves mood and behavior
  • Improves the immune system

Are there other things you do to help yourself when you are feeling anxious or experiencing insomnia? I would love to hear about them in the comments below!

Wishing you a calm mind and deep, restful sleeps,

XOX

Krystal

P.S. If you are looking for more ways wake up from our winter hibernation in a gentle and sustainable way, check out my Spring Retreat with Dr. Kyla Wright, ND and my spring yoga classes starting April 5, 2016.

 

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