Yoga Therapy for Insomnia
Based on our experience working with numerous people facing sleep issues, we are pleased to share some information and yoga tools that you might find helpful. Of course, every person is unique, and this is we know very well in yoga therapy, where based on the individual’s needs, energy level, body, breathing pattern, character, lifestyle and beliefs we develop a personalized graded holistic practice.
Insomnia is a huge issue, depleting people physically and psychologically.
There may be many reasons for insomnia such as changes, negative thoughts, anxiety for the future, an overstimulated mind, body tension, fear to sleep due to memories of old traumas, bad habits such as overconsumption of stimuli, reading on the computer until late, being dehydrated, even a bad bed.
There are also many types of insomnia. Not being able to sleep due overthinking, not sleeping well and not feeling rested, sleeping easily (mostly when they are exhausted) but waking up in the middle of the night thinking of a solution to personal or professional issues, waking up for going to the toilet and not being able to sleep again, sleeping many hours but not feeling rested, etc.
In yoga therapy for insomnia, like in most conditions, we try to regulate the nervous system, activate the parasympathetic branch of it, since the people may be stuck in flight or fight mode with a hyperactivated sympathetic nervous system due to their lifestyle or life challenges.
To balance the nervous system, we use the breath, enhancing breath awareness and belly breathing (most of the time) particularly elongating the exhalation, starting with simple pursed lips exhalation and moving in alternating nostrils breathing practices or alternating nostrils exhalation.
We also explore restoratives that enhance relaxation, either at the end of the practice or even at the beginning, as soon as they want to switch off from their job or other challenges.
The asanas need to release tension from the body, focusing mostly in stretching the parts that may accumulate tension such as neck, shoulders, jaw, lower back and hamstrings.
Simple recorded and ideally personalized guided relaxation may be very beneficial and should focus on connecting and following the breath, on feeling the body heavy, feeling grounded, safe, peaceful and at ease.
Although we may give priority and start with a calming evening practice, we may need to energize the person in the morning. Both of the practices may start with breath awareness and pranayama to bring the focus to the practice and inside the person.
So, in yoga therapy Greece we address insomnia with lifestyle changes and a personalized practice based on the symptoms and the effects of insomnia to the individual.
https://yogatherapygreece.com/ for details of IAYT Accredited 800 hours Yoga Therapy Training, personal and group yoga therapy sessions
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