Yoga for Insomnia

In this stressful time we can go within. concentrate on our breath Learn-How-to-Find-Inner-Peaceand calm our minds.

Are you looking cure for Insomnia? There are innumerable cures offered by the modern day medical science. You will find hundreds of these pills over the counter and prescription medicines. These pills may not give you sleep, but definitely will give side effects of addiction to these drugs. Why not to look for alternative methods, where there is no pill needed. Practice Breathing exercises Pranayam, Anulom Vilom, Kapalbhati, Bhramri and Bhastrika every day, empower yourself and change your life. These simple breathing exercises will not give you only sound sleep at night, but also you will feel increased vital energy in your body.

Let us talk about what is yoga. Yoga’s aim is to develop through gradual stages a special quality of mind, which can observe and perceive reality, and acquire self-knowledge through the healthy and systematically functioning of the mind, body, and emotions. Yoga disciplines body, makes our joints flexible, eliminates arthritis and removes physical disorders from the root. It keeps us young, healthy and vibrant. The more our body is flexible; there are less pains and aches. If one practices yoga exercises regularly six days a week, one may feel the difference in health. You may feel enhanced health, light, and cheerful. This empowers you to face the challenges in your day-to-day life. Yoga’s slow stretches help relieve mental stress and body tension and bring you a sound sleep. It also enhances body and mind power.

Practicing yoga everyday, helps provide you with marvelous benefits and heal your whole body, whole health and remove chronic diseases. These exercises regenerates body’s tissues and prevents disorders. Yoga postures lead you towards perfect health and calms the body. When body is dissciplines and mind is calm, your whole day goes in harmony. If practiced six days a week religiously, the results will be amazing and gratifying. These exercises will also lead you towards spirituality. Yoga’s slow postures help relax your restless body and  stressful mind. At this present and modern computer age, what the people are yearning for? How many people enjoy great health with simple habits? These yoga postures, meditation and pranayam breathing exercises, have been designed to fix the metabolism and break up such bad habits by systematically exercising different parts of body, in a gentle and pleasant way. One gradually brings back into the awareness, muscles and joints that have forgotten long years back. And remember exercise always has impact on brain cells.

Young people may stand and do yoga postures and active adults may sit on the floor and practice these yoga postures. As we discussed before, that yoga is science of life and there are numerous yoga postures, described and explained in detail in the traditional texts on this subject. While practicing yoga postures we practice for all the body parts from head to toe just to stay healthy, vibrant and feeling young for ever. Yoga postures are totally different from vigorous exercise. These postures are easy, slow, gentle stretches accompanied by slow and deep breathing, which not only maintain the health of the body by stimulating circulation, limbering the joints, tone the muscles, and massaging the internal glands and organs; but they also help calm our mind and control our body and emotions.

There are thousands of yoga postures as per the ancient scriptures. I have selected a set of beneficial postures, which I call “Keep Body Fit” yoga postures. These postures and yoga Kriyas are most appropriate for our health, body, beauty and spiritual development. These postures are depicted and explained in detail in my book. It is important to take yoga classes from a qualified instructor and then follow these postures given in this book. Patience and consistency are essential for learning yoga. It is also important to carefully listen the instructions of your yoga instructor, absorb all the valuable points, and follow the postures. Once you understand and learn the concept of healing body by yoga, pranayam (breathing exercise), and meditation, then you are free to practice in the privacy of your home.

Meditation is a method or link, which connects a human to the Source with the help of his/her soul. In this glamorous modern computer age where life is so stressful, from teenager to active adults or matured adults, everyone is under peer pressure, tension and confusion. Once we start practicing meditation, we get clarity in our vision, answers to our questions and we get relieved from our stress and worries. In simple words, the whole concept of our life changes and we become the masters of our minds and bodies. This is also believed that meditation practice improves personality and creativeness, reduces weight and decreases anxiety. There are a few essentials things, for which we have to take care, before we start performing meditation.

Select a quiet room in the house which is not in much use. If you have a temple in your house, then this is the best place for performing meditation. You need a solitary place away from the noise, telephones, crowds and disturbance. The room has to be neat and clean, draped, and equipped with tiny light, pleasant and spotless. Place a picture of your Guru or the name you believe and have faith in. Put a few religious book there, a few plants, and an Aggarbatti (Incense) just to create a calm and beautiful atmosphere.

Things will become favorable and easy if you prepare yourself to sit for meditation. Learn to value yourself. You are not alone, you and self, makes you two. Who is self? The Self is your Soul. Always believe that you are a ‘Soul’, you are a beautiful Soul and not the body. At night before you sleep, say affirmation something like “I am creation of Divine”, “I am a piece of The Lord”, “You are my Savior Oh Lord”, “I have potential to do anything”, “May all the human beings be happy” or any other affirmations you already know. Here “I” represents The Soul and not the body. We have to learn to live spiritual life and not physical life. We are so much involved in physical life and in an unending list of wants and desires that we are always suffering from worries and pains. But once we learn to live spiritually then there may be little worry and pain and the mind and body is always relaxed. If you have a list of affirmations then repeat all those beautiful lines “IN THE PRAISE OF LORD” every night before sleeping. This helps take you to a relaxed state of mind and enjoy a peaceful body.

You know affirmations work as good as positive thoughts. We all have monkey mind, which wanders all around for nothing and most of the times with negative thoughts. When we start concentrating on our Prana (breath) while performing meditation, it helps controlling our mind, and it also helps us to eliminate negative thoughts. Remember, our thoughts change our destiny. Now I am suggesting you to repeat those affirmations all the time whenever you remember, like you are driving, you are riding a bus, you are biking, hiking, you are out for a thirty minutes walk, you are waiting for someone, even at work whenever you get a few minutes repeat those affirmations. You know thinking is a one way process. If you are repeating affirmations in your heart, the brain is busy, and there is no room for negative thoughts. This helps keep you centered, your mind busy, and helps stay away from negative thoughts. Thus you have started generating positive thoughts.

The development of cleanliness both physical and mental is essential. This is called “Shudhi” (Purity). It is important to maintain internal and external cleanliness. A clean body and a fresh environment always have a positive effect on the mind. My yoga instructors, in India, emphasized the importance of developing a strong, healthy, vibrant and relaxed body through yoga postures and meditation. They repeated in the class every day, the importance of eating a simple, balanced diet, and an adequate portion of food which leads us to a healthy life. Some people believe that a vegetarian diet helps them to maintain a clear, calm and relaxed state of mind. Purity (Shudhi) requires continuous awareness to ensure that we are not disturbed by mental impurities like anger, fear, jealousy, greed, hatred, shame, and doubt. Believe me, yoga and meditation bring wonderful changes in us. With the spiritual knowledge, we aquire from meditation, we learn to live the journey of our life in a stable state of mind. This is the ancient, safe, sure and quick method of meditation (sadhana) taught and explained in detail by the Upanishads (our ancient scriptures).

It is also important to maintain a state of proper mental ease always. Whenever there is a problem, situation or circumstance, we have to remind ourselves throughout the day that behind the tension and anxiety, there is a source of vital energy which we can use to solve the problem, and we can come out of that particular situation without suffering much from worries and stress. Also, we may try to feel contented whatever we have, and never lament on anything which we don’t have. Being in grief or running for worldly pleasures, we get nothing, but being in contentment (Santosh), we are in a state of peaceful mind.

It is up to you, what time is convenient and suitable to your needs. In Nature Cure, it is advised to meditate early in the morning. When we sit for prayers, we try to forget everything and go deep down inside us for inner vision and peace. Meditation is considered to be the highest prayer. Prayer should be our first priority in life as in prayers, we thank All Mighty Divine Power for His grace, protection and everything, we have been blessed with. You understand the word ‘thirst’ and the meaning of ‘hunger’. We should have that kind of thirst and hunger in us for the Big Lord. When we are thirsty we drink water and satisfy ourselves. When we hungry we eat food and satisfy our appetite. The same way, we should have a keen desire or a whole hearted aspiration to be with Him, talk to Him, listen to Him, and feel the Oneness.

If we do not meditate early morning, then one by one members of our family wake up and start demanding for tea, coffee and their other needs. Then they start conversation, in the mean time the phone rings………voices…..…sounds……..noise all around and then suddenly TV is on. It is difficult to meditate in such conditions. Even if you try to force yourself and sit in a corner, you won’t be able to concentrate. It has to be pin-drop silent only then focus can be fixed on Prana (breath). We have to make a little change in our schedule and sleep half hour early. We can wake up half hour early, use the restroom, splash water on our eyes for twenty one times and cheeks filled with water. This is also a yoga kriya, which enhances our eyesight and delays face wrinkles. And we are ready for meditation room.

Our diet has to be pure and simple. While cooking food we have to be aware we are preparing the food for the soul, so our thoughts be pure. Instead of thinking about other people, why not to concentrate on yourself and create some new positive thoughts, thoughts about new constructive plans. You may keep humming a beautiful song in the praise of Lord. Our holy scriptures teach us if we cook food in anger, that food is not a sacred food, but food cooked with love, patience and a prayer, becomes heavenly blessed meal. We are encouraged to eat lots of fruits, vegetables and dairy products. We may eat whole grains, all kind of nuts and dried fruits. We may consume lintels, beans and vegetables, but all the foods have to be cooked in a simple way with herbs, little spices and little ghee. Fried food and heavy curries are suggested not to be consumed, because they stimulate our thoughts and corrupt our mind. We may consume dairy products like milk, yogurt, lassi and cheese. Drinks, which are stimulating like alcohol, and other intoxicating stuff is not allowed to consume. Water is the best drink sent from Heaven, which detoxifies body, satisfies body’s thirst and is an excellent cleanser.

One day in a week, fasting is essential. You may live on liquids only like, orange juice, milk, tea, coffee, and lassi. You may consume liquids many times in a day. If this is difficult for someone, then one may add fruits also. One may have milk shakes, fruit juice, green smoothie, and yogurt smoothie too. These are so filling and even bananas are filling and considered healthy food.

Yoga Acharyas recommend a special breakfast to be consumed everyday, if you can handle. Nine soaked almonds and one tablespoon sprouts. You may make your own sprouts at home or buy ready-made. Add one teaspoonful of ground flex seeds, one tablespoon of sunflower seeds, one apple or a pear, cut into tiny pieces with the peal and a teaspoon of honey. Mix all the stuff in a bowl eat slowly, chewing properly, and enjoying its taste fully. When you consume this kind of heavenly food, offer first morsel to your Soul, and while feeding yourself repeat in your heart “This is for you Lord”.  You are not trying to fill up your tummy and not feeding your mere body, but, also, you are nurshing your Soul. This is a very healthy breakfast which will keep you full until lunch.

One particular diet has been suggested to be consumed while fasting and that is “rice cooked in milk with honey”. Such kinds of suggestions are laid down by religious gurus and saints, because they believe when we live on simple food and simple habits, we don’t get angry, agitated, sick mentally and physically. Being human beings, we are supposed to be, by nature humble, polite, honest and caring to everyone. Remember, when you have this kind of quality life, you produce and accumulate so much peace and happiness that wherever you go you pass on your peaceful and happy vibrations to others. This helps affect their lives too.  This also helps us witness clarity and purity of the mind.

 

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