We spend one-third of our life sleeping or resting. A person who is seventy, taking the average of 7-8 hours of rest daily, would have spent 23 years of life sleeping! But then, if you thought these 23 years were wasted, you are wrong.
Ayurveda says, nidra or rest is one the three fundamentals to ageless health and stunning glow. There are three states of mind – conscious, subconscious and unconscious. In the state of sleep one can access the subconscious mind. It is this aspect of brain which helps one to connect with the people and things that have left you or are not with you.
People who suffer from sleep disorders like insomnia, are unable to rest the body and mind and succumb to plethora of ailments. Below are some tips and techniques to help overcome the problem of insomnia.
Everyday before going to sleep fill a tub with lukewarm water. Keep a jug of very hot water nearby. Put some drops of pure eucalyptus oil in the water. Dip your feet in the tub and slowly keep on adding hot water to the tub till it reaches a temperature that you can bear. The practice has the instant effect of relieving heaviness and excessive blood collection in the brain. As a result, you are able to relax and sleep better.
Yog Nidra, is a simple technique to rejuvenate and rest the body.
For this, lie down in shavasana keeping your body loose, feet slightly apart and palms on either side of the body, facing skyward. Close your eyes and watch your breath at the tip of the nostrils. With one deep inhalation, take your awareness to the left big toe, then all the toes in the left foot and instruct them to relax. Now slowly move the awareness upwards, relaxing the foot, ankle, shin, knee, thigh and the entire left leg as you move up. Repeat the process with right leg. Feel a gentle soothing current flowing in both legs.
Now bring your awareness to the left hand and move upwards very slowly from fingertips to the shoulder observing each and every body part. Repeat on the right side. Next take your awareness to the abdomen, all the internal organs, lower back, upper back, up to the top of the head, visiting each and every cell and organ and relaxing and nourishing it with the strength of your awareness.
Next be aware of the weight in the body and drop this weight in the core of the earth, leaving your body light and weightless. Be aware of a whitish blue light at the top of the head and sweep your body seven times with this light, from head to toe.
Now take your awareness to the center of the chest cavity (Anahad chakra) and from here, holding the hand of your Guru, drop all your awareness, let go. Let there be no thoughts or movements beyond this point. Come back when you feel like. Whenever you come back, enter the body through the Agya (crown) chakra, pay reverence to the Guru and once again become aware of the entire body brimming with youthful strength and glow. Open your eyes and look at the centre of your palms first, then the whole body.
Yog Nidra has the instant effect of soothing and calming the body and also replenishing it. It is advised that you visit your nearest Dhyan Foundation center to learn the correct way to practice Yog nidra. The effect of any sadhna becomes manifold when practiced under the guidance of your Guru who channelises energy into it.