Yoga for Grief 4 (Off the Mat) – Insomnia

Haven’t we all suffered nights of restless sleep? I still do sometimes, but now without the added anxiety and self-judgment. I don’t feel like a victim of my restless thoughts, emotions, and imagination.

Knowing a few relaxation techniques gives us tools to try while lying in bed, eyes wide open, instead of stirring up anxiety with questions like, “Why am I awake? What is wrong with me? If I don’t sleep I’ll be tired tomorrow, ……I can proactively relax. Hmmm, sounds like a contradiction.

You have to find what works for your specific form of insomnia. Try everything. What have you got to lose, except for feeling like a helpless victim of your exhausted and spinning spirit?

Here is what we practiced this week at the hospice sponsored Yoga for Grief session. Join us.

“Yoga nidra is a form of meditative self-inquiry that, while relaxing the body, opens the mind to greater discernment and self-awareness, and the heart to love and acceptance of what is. It is a powerful tool for clearing away our limiting beliefs and emotions and for living from a more balanced state of mind.”

Weintraub, Amy. Yoga Skills for Therapists: Effective Practices for Mood Management (Norton Professional Books (Hardcover)) (p. 160). W. W. Norton & Company. Kindle Edition.

Today we’ll practice 7 techniques:

Technique 1: Body scan, Mindful Breathing and Crocodile breath from Yoga as Medicine, What keeps you from resting?

Technique 2: Chest Expansion Breathing from Yoga and Mindfulness Therapy

Technique 3: Turn off electronics, same bedtime, stretches before bed, nutrition, dark room, warm bath, prepare your body to rest.

Technique 4: 3 poses. If you find yourself awake, supported forward bend, or legs up the wall pose may help lull you back to sleep.

Supta Padangusthasana I Reclining Hand to Big Toe Pose Benefits and How It Works: By stretching the golgi tendon organs within the hamstrings’ tendons, these muscles are induced to relax. The pose brings a sense of floating to the legs and definitely signals “relax” to the entire central nervous system.

Fishman, Loren. Healing Yoga: Proven Postures to Treat Twenty Common Ailments—from Backache to Bone Loss, Shoulder Pain to Bunions, and More (p. 170). W. W. Norton & Company. Kindle Edition.

Technique 5: Lengthening exhale, Left Nostril Breathing, sleep on your right side allowing your left nostril to dominate from Yoga Skills for Therapists

Technique 6: Meditation “good-bye to the day, affirmations and calling back your energy

Technique 7: Yoga Nidra- Body part awareness. Or imagining body as a house, “turn off lights”

Technique 8: Sense awareness essential oils: Lavender, Chamomile, Geranium

Wishing all of you restful sleep and sweet dreams,


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