The prevalence of sleep deprivation and sleep disorders is on the rise worldwide. In a 2019 study conducted by Fitbit, a US-based company, it was found that India ranks second as the most sleep-deprived country, with the average person getting only seven hours and one minute of sleep. Chronic sleep issues affect the daily functioning and long-term health of 50 to 70 million Americans. Stress and the fast-paced nature of modern life are some of the factors that may disrupt our sleep. Yoga can be beneficial in improving the quality of sleep by reducing stress and relaxing the body and mind, preparing them for rest. There are various yoga poses, pranayama (breathing exercises), and meditation practices that can contribute to better sleep on a daily basis. (Also read: Global Yoga Day 2023: Quick and simple yoga poses to alleviate stress)
On the occasion of Global Yoga Day, Dr. Hansaji Yogendra, Director of The Yoga Institute and President of the Indian Yoga Association, suggests yoga poses that can help manage sleep disorders and enhance the quality of sleep.
“In today’s world, sleep disturbances have become common due to demanding professions, work-related stress, and other health and lifestyle factors. Yoga provides an effective approach to restore deep sleep and manage insomnia. It has the ability to gently calm the exhausted mind and body, allowing for a peaceful slumber,” states the yoga expert.
This flowing sequence of poised postures, when practiced slowly in the evening, pays homage to the radiant energy of the sun, internally channeling it. Each movement in this graceful interplay between strength and surrender elongates the limbs and facilitates the release of built-up tension.
The Stick Pose, with its unwavering stillness and gentle stretch, instills a sense of tranquility in both body and mind. The meditative rhythm of the stretches serves as a harmonizing force, compelling the intricate union of body and mind to let go of restlessness.
In its sacredness, this pose resembles the gentle unfolding of petals. It gradually eases stiffness, strengthens and elongates the body. It provides relief to fatigued muscles and gradually unravels the knots of tension in the lower body.
The Bee Breath resonates as a hymn of profound serenity before sleep. This practice peacefully guides the weary mind away from the disarray of the world. As one melodiously emulates the hum of a bee, the vibrations drown out the clamor of unsettling thoughts.
This rhythmic symphony of breath orchestrates each inhalation and exhalation. The steady rise and fall of the abdomen serve as a soothing lullaby, captivating the mind in a state of deep relaxation.
“These yoga poses and pranayama enhance the production of melatonin, which promotes a peaceful state of mind and naturally facilitates sleep. These techniques work wonders in calming the nervous system, making it easier to manage insomnia and restlessness during the night,” explains Dr. Hansaji Yogendra.