We live in a world of constant stimulation. Our senses are repeatedly bombarded with information, noise, lights, opinions. Just by opening our phone we suddenly have the whole world in front of us pushing its news, facts, and so-called truths into our awareness. Our mind immediately starts to process all this data and create its own stories and beliefs. We can easily lose ourselves in the flood of information without knowing anymore what thoughts are truly ours and what thoughts have been implanted into our minds by others. This creates confusion and separates us from our true selves.
In order not to become externally referential and lose ourselves, it is important to learn how to attain an internal frame of reference so that we can let our true nature blossom. If we live only from the mind, our true self will wither. But if we let our inner wisdom blossom, we can train the mind to be a loyal servant.
Take a habit of practicing meditation, conscious breathing, and restorative yoga poses daily so that you can shift from living from the mind to living from the heart.
“We are not our thoughts, but the thinker having the thoughts.”Aadil Palkhivala
Oftentimes it’s in the evenings right before going to bed when all these thoughts start running through our minds making it difficult for us to fall asleep. We might experience our minds being more active and we can feel that it’s difficult to switch off the thoughts. Taking a habit of dedicating 15-30 minutes each evening before going to bed to practice restorative yoga and breathing is a great way to quiet the mind and soothe the nervous system. It will not only help you to fall asleep faster and sleep better but also strengthen the connection to your intuition. It’s a way to become more of who you truly are.
My favorite evening routine is to practice Viparita Karani, Balasana, and 1:2 breath. This little routine takes me about 20 minutes and it gently carries me into the lalaland in no time! Read until the end where I share how to practice the 1:2 breath.
Nothing prepares the body & mind better for a good night’s sleep than a few restorative yoga poses right before going to bed. Viparita Karani is definitely one of the best ones to calm the nerves and set you off for a peaceful night.
It removes tension in the brain,
relaxes the eyes,
releases tension in the diaphragm,
and frees the legs.
After resting and breathing deeply in this pose for 5-10 minutes (or more) one can truly feel the quietness in the mind, freedom of the breath, and deep relaxation in the whole body.
Balasana is a great pose for introspection because it calms the frontal brain, the part where our thinking mind is located. Releasing the frontal brain downwards quiets the mind, allowing you to go inside. Inhale to connect with your heart center and exhale to consciously let go of your thoughts.
The purpose of this kind of breathing is to activate the parasympathetic nervous system with the help of a long exhalation. The longer the exhalation the calmer you will become and the calmer you are the easier it is for you to fall asleep. The most simple way to bring yourself into a state of calmness is to lengthen the exhalation. It’s so very simple.
It’s a bit like counting the sheeps but more effective. Instead of just counting the sheeps, you count the length of your in -and exhalation with an aim to make the exhalation longer. The counting keeps the mind focused on the breath and the long exhalation activates the parasympathetic nervous system which brings your whole being into a state of relaxation.
Take a comfortable supine (lying on your back) position in your bed, close your eyes, and allow your whole body to sink down. First, just feel your breath flowing in and out through the nostrils and allow the breath to be smooth to increase the sympathetic response. Now, inhale counting until two and exhale counting until four. You can increase or decrease the number of the counts depending on your individual length of breath. Important is that you count the breaths and that the exhalation is twice as long as the inhalation. Continue breathing in this way until you feel tired and ready to sleep. You might also fall asleep without even realizing it 😉
Enjoy a peaceful sleep until the sun rises again the next day.
If at any point the breath becomes harsh or just simply uncomfortable then please get back to your normal breathing. There should never be any force and the breath should flow smoothly and easily in and out through the nostrils.
To learn, experience, and better understand these and many other yoga poses join one of my group yoga classes in the Thalwil area or book a 1:1 session (in person or online) where we can dive deeper into your specific needs. Let’s get you on the mat!