Category Archives: Sleep

Weight Management through Yoga Nidra

Yoga NidraThis week let us take time to relax and tap our subconscious mind. There are many techniques for relaxation and healing. One of the best techniques is Yoga Nidra. It is also known as Yogi Sleep. Did you know Yoga Nidra can take you to the deepest realms of relaxation by helping you stay conscious too? Yes, that’s the magic of this technique!

The use of Yoga Nidra for relaxation and healing dates back to ancient Buddhist and Hindu cultures. Its practitioners popularized it in the mid-20th century. One of the pioneers of this technique is Swami Satyananda Saraswati. He developed 8 stages of Yoga Nidra that can be followed in step-wise manner. The eight stages are:

Eight Stages of Yoga Nidra:
  • Internalization
  • Sankalpa or resolution
  • Rotation of Consciousness
  • Breath awareness
  • Manifestation of opposites
  • Creative visualization
  • Sankalpa or resolution
  • Externalization

Yoga Nidra has been found to have healing and restorative effects in many physical and mental health ailments. Some of them are:

Healing and Restorative Effects of Yoga Nidra:
  • Nervous tension
  • Weight management
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Insomnia
  • Some cases of Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Fears and phobia
  • Nausea, giddiness, palpitations, bed-wetting, migraine, etc.

So how does Yoga Nidra works? Yoga Nidra tends to deeply relax you and takes you to a journey into your subconscious mind. Our subconscious mind is one that forms 9/10th part of our functional mind. In a given day, you are bombarded with almost 100,000 stimuli from your surroundings. Out of these, only one stimulus is felt by you or is made conscious by your perceptual ability. Rest of the stimuli enters the dark chamber of your subconscious and unconscious mind.  It comprises of all that you experience in your lifetime, your thoughts, subliminal messages, thoughts, irrational desires, negative thoughts, disease-provoking conditioning thoughts, and so on. In a nutshell, though your sub-conscious mind is not always easily accessible, yet it has huge powers and potentials. So, when your subconscious mind is tapped with healthy and positive affirmations, it gets charged up more and more, it gets positively strengthened and guides you towards positive and motivating thoughts/behaviors.

Therefore, be it an intense fear or anxiety, weight issue or any physical discomfort, if your mind gets a curative affirmation through Yoga Nidra you can subsequently get cured out of these problems/symptoms. The good news is you can also do Yoga Nidra all by yourself. Here is a guide through the process of Yoga Nidra for weight management:

Step 1: Lie down on your back on a Yoga Mat or any mattress in a comfortable position. If possible, you can play a soft instrumental music during the Yoga Nidra session too. Loosen any tight clothing and ensure fresh intake of air.

Step 2: Take deep breaths, try to make your mind calm from all the other thoughts and try to focus all your attention on your body.

Step 3: Thee next step is to focus on each and every body part of yours; de-stress it and infuse a sense of positivity and curative property within. Start by focusing on your right foot. Imagine that your right foot is getting more and more calm and composed…. all the tension and disease-causing elements are getting released from that part… your foot is shedding unwanted weight… that part is now healthy and composed.

Step 4: Continue the same affirmations for all the body parts as you move from your foot to your head.

Step 5: Keep your heart as the final part to focus on. When you reach your heart chakra or your heart follows the relaxing and restorative affirmation that is mentioned above. And finally try to meditate that a white bright light is illumining your heart and your entire body. It is cleansing all the negative, disease-causing energies, shedding all your weight and making you more healthy and happy.

Step 6: Finally take deep breaths for some time. Meditate that all the positive healing energies that you gained and the way your subconscious mind got strengthened; all these healing will remain within you and cure you. And try to get up slowly.

Step 7: After getting up rub both your palms and touch them all over your body, starting from head to toe so that all the healing properties and energies remain within you and do their work with their fullest potential.

Yoga Nidra can be very effectual for weight management if done on a regular basis. If you are new to Yoga then seeking help from a Yoga instructor will also help.

Stay Healthy and Stay Happy!

Best wishes,

Sareeta

Sleep: Hazards, Hygiene and Health

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Hi all! If you have read my previous blog post on “The importance of sleep”, this is a continuity of the same. As I had said earlier, sleep is a state that has restorative and regenerative functions, sometimes erroneous or inadequate sleep can lead to multi-faceted problems. This blog post will impart you an outline on sleep disorders, how you can maintain good sleep hygiene and sleep health to manage these disorders or keep them at bay. Now let’s see some common forms of sleep disorders:

  • Insomnia: Is one of the common sleep disorders in the world and there are two types of insomnia: Hypersomnia (sleeping too much) or Hyposomnia (sleeping too little).
  • Somnabulism: Have you seen a person who walks in his sleep? There are plenty of such examples either in TV soaps or daily lives. If you have seen this, then such a person is experiencing or suffering from somnabulism or sleep walking. It is an altered state of sleep. Precaution: If you have a friend, relative or a family member who is suffering from somnabulism, don’t forget to danger-proof your house. Keep all the sharp tools, sharp kitchenware, electric machines, and other dangerous things inside and out of reach.
  • Sleep Apnea: This is one of the deadliest sleep disorders leading to death in sleep and is characterized by pauses in breathing. It is common in people with respiratory and heart problems.
  • Snoring: Most of you would be spending sleepless nights due to snoring problems of your family members, relatives or partners. So I would share some tips to help yourself and help them too:

a) Ask the person to sleep to his side rather than sleeping flat on his back. Sleeping to the left should be preferred more.

b) Light clothes should be worn at night. Very tight clothes, dark colored clothes should be avoided.

c) The bedroom or the sleeping area should not be congested. It should be airy.

d) Prefer some light exercise before going to bed.

e) If snoring problem is too intense then you can buy anti-snoring products too.

A note on snoring: I read a story on snoring in a magazine a few years back. It was basically a compilation of different stories of ladies who were disturbed due to the snoring habits of their partners. On the final phrase of the compilation there was a line said by one of the members. She said: “Snoring is one of the sweetest music in the world. Ask any widow.” This changed my perspective on people who snore and who get disturbed due to it. Hope it gives strength to you too.

Sleep disorders can be very well managed and prevented if you maintain good sleep hygiene and sleep health. Following are some of the important ways of maintaining a well-balanced way of sleep hygiene and sleep health:

  • Try to maintain a routine or fixed timing of sleep.
  • Do not go to sleep right after having food.
  • Sleeping after a light exercise, walk, soothing warm bath before sleep are some of the healthy ways of getting a good night’s sleep.
  • Wear light clothes while sleeping. Dark colored clothes should be avoided.
  • Before going to sleep you can also try dipping your leg in warm water mixed with salt. That will absorb all your tiredness for the day and any negative energies encircling you.
  • Try relaxation meditation, Shavasana or listening to soothing music before sleeping.
  • Avoid watching TV just before going to seep. Watching TV right before sleeping will tense up your mind by making it to follow many racing thoughts. This will add more difficulty to your sleep regime.
  • Eat light and do not over-fill your tummy at night.
  • If you are sleep deprived during the night, then try taking short naps or power naps of short duration during the day.
  • Sleep in a dim light, well-ventilated room.
  • Shades of blue, violet, and other cool colors should be preferred for the bedroom. If that is not possible then you can seal your bed lamps with plastic sheets of these colors.
  • Try sleeping to your left. Sleeping on your stomach should be avoided.
  • Sheep counting, reading a book may sound kiddish and old. However, these two have magical effects in making you fall asleep.
  • Do you know that acupressure and color therapy can help you to improve sleep and sleep health? Here is what you need to do. It’s a very simple process:

Figur_1_2 copy

The figures represent the thumb and acupressure-colour therapy points. For sleep induction you need to follow no. 2. Take a blue ball-point pen and make 2 circles representing your eyes in your thumb, color them with blue color with the help of your blue pen. Medium pressure should be applied while coloring it, the pressure should be applied in both clockwise and anti-clockwise direction. This process should be done for 5-7 minutes. Similarly for making yourself alert or staying away from sleep you need to follow the same procedure but you need to use a black ball-point pen.

Precautions: Acupressure should not be done immediately after taking food. It should not be done on very small children, very old people or people who are very sick. Moreover acupressure should be avoided during menses too.

With the daily practice of the above techniques you will not only enjoy a good siesta but also an overall increase in your physical and mental health. So wishing you all a great slumber time!

Best Wishes,

Sareeta

The importance of Sleep

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Sleep… Have you wondered about the world of sleep? Isn’t it so interesting and intriguing? It’s like everyday you go into a slumber phase of calmness, quietness, serenity and rise up in the morning with new freshness (hopefully). Sleep has tremendous health benefits. It is the time when your body and mind indulges in repairing and rejuvenating its parts. However, in today’s hectic life and lifestyle we seldom get time to sleep properly. We get so engrossed in our life that we forget to pay ample attention to our sleep-cycle, sleep hygiene and sleep regime.Some sleep to get relief from all tensions and worries. Some sleep as it is a daily routine work to be executed and some of you may be simply “Sleep Lovers” (you can sleep anywhere and any time). I always envy my one year old son when I see him in his sleep. So care-free, so tension-free, so serene…Sometimes I think “why can’t I sleep like that”! I would like to share some important sleep facts with you so that you can also make your sleep regime an effective one:

  • A normal human being requires around 7-8 hours of sleep.
  • Each one of us spend almost one-third of our lives in sleeping.
  • Sleep is the “rejuvenation phase” in which your body and mind are replenished with vital energies. All the wear and tear that you experience after a day’s work, it is during sleep that all this is repaired.
  • Sleep has psychological relevance and significance. It is during sleep that you release all your tensions of the day, fulfilling your sub-conscious desires and impulses.
  • One can remain without food for several days. However, scientific research studies have shown that lack of sleep or not sleeping for a week can lead to death and detrimental physical-psychological conditions.

There are four phases of sleep

Phase 1 >

  • Beginning phase of sleep
  • Starts when you just lie down and ready to sleep
Phase 2 >
  • Light phase of sleep
  • Relaxation of muscles and other body parts occur
Phase 3 >
  • Moderately deeper level of sleep
  • Relaxed phase
Phase 4 >
  • Phase of sleep that consumes around 15-20% of total sleep time
  • Dreams occur in this phase of sleep

Though you may not have time to sleep or reflect on it, sleep has tremendous impact on your entire life-force. Without sleep, human mind and behavior would have been like an untamed horse.It would get no rest, no time to enliven up, no time to slip into rosy dreams…

Maintaining a good sleep hygiene, sleep regime is very important to lead a healthy life and experience higher order psychological boons like heightened memory, concentration, planning, decision-making and other complex cognitive processes. So friends do tune in for my next blog post on how to build a healthy sleep regime, the importance of sleep hygiene and how to achieve it and how you can optimize your sleep to reap best results of psycho-physical health.

Keep sleeping “n” keep shining…

Best Wishes,

Sareeta