yoga teacherBy Dr. Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500

Can Yoga teachers help students to get a good night’s sleep?  Can we help our students to wake up without a back ache?  Yoga contains many natural solutions for a variety of life’s daily problems. So, what can Yoga training do for you when you are having a restless night? Let’s look at common causes, and a Yogic alignment method for insomnia.

Although insomnia can be caused by a variety of reasons, restless nights seem to become more frequent when we worry. When you are in the company of adults, over the age of 40, very few will tell you they always sleep sound. The common reasons are a variety of worries about their parents, their children, college expenses, relationships, the economy, employment, finances, and more.

You do not have to be over 40 years of age to experience insomnia, stress, and worry, but problems commonly seem to pile up at this point in life. Therefore, the following methods could be used by anyone, of any age, to prevent or to deal with bouts of insomnia.

Look at your sleeping posture, as closely as you would an asana (Yoga posture), in a Hatha Yoga class. Get a good firm mattress, a good pillow for your neck, smaller pillows – for your alignment, and comfortable linens. Consider them night time Yoga props. Some people spend thousands of dollars on a bed and mattress; while they invest nothing in pillows.

If they sleep, at all, you can be sure they will wake up the next morning with a neck ache or a backache. There are many different pillows to choose from, for a variety of reasons. There are also chiropractic and orthopedic pillows.  Invest wisely in your sleep time. You should be getting close to 8 hours of sleep per night, in order to be ready for the following day. The quality of your pillows, and mattress, are an investment in your skeletal health and alignment.

Side Notes for Yoga Teachers

It is well worth your time to host an alignment for Yogic sleep workshop for students.  Although, some of your students may not want to leave, when they master the techniques.  The rules of skeletal alignment are easy to understand.  To put it simply, the hips, spine, and shoulders should line up as straight as possible.  At the same time, very few people have a straight skeleton.  We teach this in every Yoga class, but we forget that students do not always practice alignment outside our studios.  Additionally, Yoga instructors should teach relaxation techniques and relaxing pranayama techniques that will encourage a good night’s sleep.


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