I am not the best sleeper. I sometimes have trouble falling asleep at night and I almost always wake up in the middle of the night sometime around 3 a.m. and have to coax myself back to sleep. What is it about the 3 a.m. hour that intensifies everything and makes you feel like you need to run a marathon or get up and work? This is something I have struggled with since I entered the working world after college.
Over the years I have discovered ways to deal with these sleep issues and I want to share them with you because I know I’m not alone in this.
One of the most effective ways I calm my mind is practicing yoga in my head. I can’t tell you how many times I have gone through ashtanga primary series in my head, visualizing each inhale and exhale and every pose. 99% of the time I am asleep before I get to the seated postures.
If you don’t practice yoga or ashtanga, I have two tried and true meditations for you to try. I have played these meditations on countless nights and I don’t know what else to say other than they’ve been lifesavers for me.
1) Yoga Nidra led by Rod Stryker
What is yoga nidra?
“Yoga nidra is a powerful technique from the Tantra Yoga tradition. It is both a name of a state and of a practice which creates an altered state of consciousness allowing the practitioner to relax and heal their being, expand their faculty of imagination, enter the realm of subconscious and superconscious, effectively manifest seemingly magical changes in their life, certain karmic debris in their life clear (if you believe in Karma) and assist in reaching a state called by some enlightenment.” – source
I have been using Rod Stryker’s guided yoga nidra meditations since I went through yoga teacher training four years ago. They are both relaxing and transformative.
Even if you’re not looking to use this for sleep it’s an amazing meditation for relaxation. Please try it!
2) Ribbon Breath Meditation
This ribbon breath meditation takes you through the chakras– the energy system of the human body–to promote body, mind, emotional and spiritual health and balance to find a deep state of relaxation.
I will admit that this is meditation is a little more “out there” but it works for me every time.
How do you deal with sleep issues? What tools and methods have you discovered to help you fall asleep and stay asleep?