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Calming Insomnia Sequence

A sequence to help calm the mind and body for those suffering from insomnia.



Insomnia can have various causes, and it would be best to have a sense of what is behind the sleeplessness. It could be jet lag repercussions, it could be menopause, or it could be overwork and overstimulation, to name a few possibilities.

In general all of the above would indicate an imbalance in our nervous system, an inability to switch off, and disruptive overstimulation.

The sequence below aims to calm the nervous system and the adrenal glands to help calm the overactivity of the brain. It can be done in the evening if possible, with light food afterwards before bed. Repeat for several days in a row.

View sequence

Supta Baddhakonasana
Reclining Bound Angle Pose
5 minutes
Join your feet together, your heels pressed to your pelvis. Lie back over a bolster or other form of support. Relax and let your chest open. If necessary, use a strap to hold your feet in place.
Simple Cross Legs Forward
2 minutes each side
Sit with your legs crossed. Keep your sit-bones pointing down as you stretch your arms forward to capacity, lengthening your spine.
Adho Mukha Svanasana
Downward-Facing Dog Pose
2 minutes
Press evenly into your hands and feet. The main aim is to elongate the back of your body and lift your hips up as high off the ground as possible without losing the stable foundation created by your hands and feet. If you lack the hamstring flexibility, bend your knees a little.
Prasarita Padottanasana (Head Down)
Wide-Legged Forward Bend
1-2 minutes
Plant your feet as wide apart as you can. Place your hands on the floor and lengthen forward through your spine. Once you have achieved the concave spine, start to walk your hands backward to capacity, aiming to lengthen and release your spine as evenly as possible.
Salamba Sirsasana Wall Support
Headstand 1
5-7 minutes
Activate your shoulders and upper back muscles as you lift your body up into inverted balance. Use the wall for support if necessary.
Dvi Pada Viparita Dandasana Over Chair – Hands to Chair Back
Two-Legged Inverted Staff Pose Over Chair
3-5 minutes
Activate your legs and push your feet into the ground. Hold onto the chair legs: this will help pull your shoulders and chest open and deepen the pose.
Virasana Forward
Downward-Facing Hero Pose
2-3 minutes
Join your feet together under your buttocks and keep your knees far enough apart for your ribs to fit in between your legs as you fold forward. You can rest your forehead on the floor or on a block.
Plough Pose
5-7 minutes
Use support under your shoulders. Keeping your shoulders open, lift your hips up high above your head, dropping your feet down behind you. Place your hands on your back to help keep it from rounding.
Viparita Karani
Legs-Up-the-Wall Pose
7-12 minutes
Bring your hips up to the wall and lift your legs up against it so that they're perpendicular to the floor. You can use a bolster or other form of support under your hips and lumbar spine to incorporate a mild backbend into the pose.
Simple Cross Legs Forward
2 minutes each side
Sit with your legs crossed. Keep your sit-bones pointing down as you stretch your arms forward to capacity, lengthening your spine.
Janu Sirsasana
Head-to-Knee Forward Bend
2 minutes each side
Bend your knee out to the side and keep your sit-bones pointing downward as you stretch out over your extended leg. Use a belt if necessary.
Triang Mukha Eka Pada Paschimottanasana
Three-Limbed Forward Bend
2 minutes each side
Bend your left knee so your foot points straight back as you extend your right leg forward. Release your spine as you reach out to grab a hold of your extended foot. Use a belt if necessary. Repeat on both sides.
Seated Forward Bend
2-3 minutes
Make sure the backs of your legs are pressed firmly to the ground as you bend over to reach your feet. Release the spine. Use a belt if necessary.
Simple Cross Legs Twist
3-4 breaths each side
Sit with your legs crossed and back straight. Place your hand onto the opposing knee and, staying tall through the crown of your head, look over your shoulder as you twist.
Corpse Pose
5-15 minutes
Lie down on the floor. Spread your arms and legs slightly at your side. Relax and concentrate on your breath.