In the UK doctors are seeing more and more patients complaining about insomnia. Unfortunately, there is very little that modern medicine can do to help, except offer sleeping tablets, which only have a short term benefit and are highly addictive. Doctors may inquire as to lifestyle, such as how much caffeine a person consumes. There are also ‘sleep hygiene’ steps that can be taken, such as not having any screens in bedrooms. Many people adhere to such advice, and yet the insomnia does not improve. That is when Yoga can help, by addressing the underlying causes.
How Yoga can help insomnia
The link below takes you to a very thorough article by “Yoga chikitska” on Yoga and insomnia, with a lot of scientific references. Their website states the “Purpose of Yog Chikitsa is to spread the teachings of ancient Indian Yogic wisdom through correlation with modern medical science”.
The blog post says “The practice of Yoga is not only curative but also preventive. It brings physical wellbeing, physiological balance and emotional stability”. It also states that the poses recommended need to be performed with support “as in Iyengar Yoga”.
The correct Sanskrit names for the poses are given, in theory you can google the names to see an image of the pose. However, many varieties of the pose may be shown, some of which could be incorrect. This may mean you need the help of an Iyengar Yoga teacher to show you how to adapt the pose to suit your own body. This is exactly the sort of work I do with my students in one to one Yoga sessions.
You may still wonder how yoga can help insomnia, it’s just making various shapes with the body, right? Well, wrong, actually.
Our modern lives are filled with various stresses that we have learnt to ignore, in order to survive.
The body and mind connection that is achieved through a careful and mindful Yoga practice is able to reveal the underlying causes of our stress. It is then that we can start to address these causes and improve our lives.