Day 14: Best Insomnia Tool Ever.....on the 30 Yoga Journey to Enlightenment

Miss a day, or just joining: TABLE OF CONTENTS
Insomnia is a gross feeder. It will nourish itself on any kind of thinking, including thinking about not thinking. ~Clifton Fadiman
Day 14 Activities:
1) Mantra meditation
2) Minimum 30 minutes of calorie burning
3) Write down everything you eat and sketch your Balance Chart
4) Continue to remain aware of your speech patterns
5) New: 20 Breaths to sleep

We all know how stressful it can be to have trouble sleeping. And insomnia becomes a vicious cycle because stress contributes right back to insomnia.

I look at yoga as a big toolbox of Eastern, Western, New Age, and other tools to support our lives. Sometimes Western medicine is the most appropriate tool, other times a natural tool is best.

Here is my suggestion for an alternative to Ambien...or to be used in conjunction with medicine for falling asleep.
This insomnia cure is (seemingly) very simple and definitely very low-tech. However, it can be tough to execute. And yet we ALL have the skill set to apply this tool.
Here's the whole tool: Count 20 deep breaths. Keep your full awareness on your breath. Every time your mind begins to wander (and it will)....start counting again.

You can use any (or no) pranayama technique that you like (deep belly breath, ujjai/ocean breath, nadi shodhana/alternate-nostril breath). I can virtually guarantee that you'll never get to 20....either because you fall asleep first or because your mind wanders from your breath and you have to start over.

I normally don't teach holding postures or breathing for a prescribed period of time or number of breaths. This is because the yoga practice then becomes "measured" by whether we can "do" the posture for the "assigned" amount of time. And many folks who I teach have enough of an outcome orientation in their lives and are constantly being measured.

But in the instance of using 20 counts of breath to fall asleep, I find it helpful, because we need something to help us keep our mind on our breath.

So give it a try and let me know if it helps the next time you have a restless night.....sweet dreams.


Anonymous said...

Thanx advise.. i will try tonight