Asana, not Ambien

There are Yoga postures that will promote healthy sleep.  This is not a ground-breaking new technique for catching Z’s drug free.  But since natural rest is best and Yoga is as close as your breath why not learn a little more about this free and easy way of accessing a lovely rest that makes you nicer?I want this:

Very quick back story.  I am not an expert on anything but I have experience around aided and unaided sleep.  I have had trouble sleeping since I was a teenager.  I could give a few theories on why (heredity, large family, perfection complex and a few other neuroses) but instead, just trust me for a moment.  I discovered Tylenol PM when I was in college and took it on occasion.  I was a waitress for a year and the late nights threw my circadian rhythm way off.  A few life events, my DNA, and whacked out ways of dealing with stress proliferated my chronic sleep issues.  Then I had children.  Enough said. I was resigned to not being a restful person.  A number of years ago I discovered Ambien and took that blessed little pill for a few months.  I slept like a baby but felt a little foggy when I woke up.  That’s when the coffee entered my body in an IV bag.  Unhealthy pattern.  So I stopped taking anything to help me sleep and decided to just deal with it.  I was already healthfully addicted to yoga and all its treasures and I began hearing more and more about how there are right-before-bedtime-postures that are much more fun and satisfying than swallowing a little pill.

Just 3 little poses for 2 to 5 minutes each may do the trick.  Generally forward bending has a calming effect on the body.  Start with simple prasarita padatonnasana – a fancy word for wide-legged standing forward bend.  You can use blocks or pillow to raise the floor to help you relax into the pose.

Wide-legged standing forward bend

Just breath into your hamstrings and feel them open up as you enjoy the reverse circulation to the head and trunk.

Next, come to uttanasana – simple standing forward bend.

Uttanasana – Standing forward bend

This one can be a little much on the hamstrings if you aren’t warm.  Try placing blocks, a stack of books or pillows about six inches in front of your toes for a gentler stretch.  Regardless of how deep your bend, there will be a soothing effect on the mind and body.  I’ll take it.  Put a little puff of air behind the knee caps and roll the back up one vertebra at a time to slowly come to standing.  Next come to Viparita Karani or legs-up-the-wall pose.

Legs up the wall pose. Courtesy: Saha space
This one is glorious.  It can be done propped (on a bolster as shown here) or unpropped.  You pick.  Either way, you will begin to feel your anxiety melt away and you may be in a much better state to welcome drug-free sleep.  It is the best kind.  I’ve had it all kinds of ways.  (TWSS)

In general, inversions – poses where the heart is above the head in space are very relaxing.  Last night I felt called to this little ditty right before I hopped in the sack.

Headstand:  The Grandaddy of inversions.  Slept like a baby.

How did you sleep last night? 




One thought on “Asana, not Ambien

  1. Actully i got some information about ambien tablet. i use this tablet for a long time. this tablet helps in relexation . i want other information about this tablet. so i have post some information about ambian tablet.

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