Wait for the light of day

This was a piece of advice given to me years ago, and truthfully, it has served me well.  I am a ruminator. When something gets in my head, especially a worry, it can roll around up there for a long time (it’s probably all that space).  The middle of the night is definitely my worst time for brooding.  I wake at 2:52 a.m., some misgiving comes to mind and I am like a dog with a bone.

*I know it’s the middle of the night, but I can’t let this go.

*I know it’s the middle of the night, but I can’t let this go.

Have you ever had that, where you just get stuck on a thought or problem, and just can’t let it go?  You’re lying there, it’s 3:36 a.m. and the worry has become massive because you have now analyzed every possible worst case scenario.  In addition to that stress, if you are like me, you are now also counting the hours you have left to sleep.  It’s not pleasant, especially for the people who have to live with me the next day.

*very possible how I look after a sleepless night

*very possible how I look after a sleepless night

Over the years, I’ve noticed a correlation between my middle of the night worries and my yoga practice.  The conclusion is fairly predictable, but honestly the more I practice, the better I sleep.  There are a lot of ways a yoga practice promotes sleep.  The editor of Yoga Journal wrote a great blog post on 5 ways yoga can help you sleep, that you can read here. http://www.yogajournal.com/uncategorized/5-ways-yoga-can-help-sleep/  But in summary, certain poses like forward folds are designed to unwind your mind. Savasana teaches us how to relax and let go, and being mindful can help us to learn there is a time to think and a time to rest.

Another awesome thing though is yoga can help you, even if it is the middle of the night.  There are great yogic breathing techniques that can help get those thoughts out of your head.

*probably difficult to get back to sleep like this…

*probably difficult to get back to sleep like this…

Alternate Nostril Breathing tends to be a favorite and has a crazy amount of benefits, including reducing anxiety and promoting restful sleep.  There are many more technical explanations on how to practice Nadi Sodhana, but here’s the quick and dirty.  Begin by rounding your breath, slowly, without force, matching the amount of time it takes to inhale with the amount of time it takes to exhale.  (FYI, this equal turning breath alone helps to calm your mind).  Then using your right hand, make a telephone (or hang ten) and use your thumb to block off your right nostril, inhale through your left nostril, then block your left nostril with your pinkie and exhale through your right.  Inhale through your right nostril and then switch.  Continue alternating nostrils, always switching before you exhale.  Practice for a few minutes before you drift away to snoozeland.  Even if sleep is still evasive, the calming effects of yoga, and yogic breathing give us the space to remember that sage advice from my wise redheaded friend…

*almost all things look better in the morning light.

*almost all things look better in the morning light.

I would love to hear what you think! Please “Leave a Reply Below”, or contact me directly via email at yogabeyondwords@gmail.com.  If you enjoyed this blog and haven’t already done so, please sign up using the blue “Sign up for our blog button”, your email will only be used to receive new blog posts.

4 Responses to “Wait for the light of day”

  1. Brenda says:

    Oh my god everything you said is so true.you are getting so good at painting a visual picture.lookfor ward to the next blog…

    • Cara-Lynne Auld says:

      Wow, thanks Brenda. That is a huge compliment and one I very much appreciate, truly. Thanks for reading. Namaste.

  2. Janet says:

    You said it! So many of my friends and myself, have all felt this way at 3 a.m.in the morning. Thank goodness we are not alone. Thanks for writing about it and offering some solutions! Your pictures are great!

    • Cara-Lynne Auld says:

      Thanks Janet! I think many of us have been there at 3 a.m., but yes, it’s always nice to know we are not alone. Thanks for the great comment, especially about the pictures. Honestly the picture of the dog with the bone still makes me laugh, sometimes even at 3 a.m. Namaste.


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