Guest Post: A Great Viniyoga Exercise to Help Fall Asleep

by Eoin H July 31, 2013

My name is Lynn, and I’m a Viniyoga teacher. Viniyoga is a very restorative, therapeutic Yoga. Powerful Pranayama (breath work) techniques and very gentle postures are used throughout, which makes Viniyoga a perfect tool if you are suffering from sleep disorders, chronic stress, or just have a tough time unloading your mind of worries before bed. Viniyoga Yoga is a great natural tool that will help you achieve a restful, refreshing night's sleep.

If you've never experienced meditation or breath work, here is a simple exercise you can do before bed to help fall asleep:

Begin in a comfortable seated position, either cross-legged on the floor (with hips supported by a firm cushion, like a zabuton), or on a chair with back support. Place your hands palms up, on your knees and keep you back straight. Close your eyes, relax your jaw, and place your tongue on the upper palate, near your front teeth.

Inhale, breathing from your belly, and notice the breath move up and around the side of your ribs, and towards the back. Exhale, slightly contract the abdominals, and picture your belly button moving toward your spine. Notice the quality of your breath: is it shallow? Is it fast or slow? Not judging, simply noticing. Continuing your breath practice, try and gently deepen your breath on both the inhale and exhale.

After counting ten deep inhales and exhales, switch to "Ocean" breathing. Gently contract the back of your throat until you can feel and hear your breath sound like ‘haaaaa’. We have all used this type of breath when we breathe on sunglasses to clean them, or fog up a mirror. Some say it sounds a bit like Darth Vader. The Yogic term for "Ocean" breathing is Ujjayi breath, a deeply relaxing, calming and grounding breath. Continue your Ocean (Ujjayi) breath for fifteen more inhales and exhales. Then return to your normal, everyday breathing. Check in with your breath: how does it feel and sound at this point? Simply notice any changes that may have occurred.

To find out more about Viniyoga, please visit my website:  I look forward to seeing you at an upcoming Yoga class!

Woman Doing Yoga

Eoin H
Eoin H


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