10 Minute trick to catching the perfect Zzz's
With increasingly busy lives, most of us at some point have difficulty falling asleep, because our minds are so active. Even if we do get enough sleep, we often wake feeling tired because the quality of our sleep was poor. Healing Holidays have great retreats around the world that can deal with sleep issues in more depth. Meanwhile, try this 10 minute yoga ritual devised by Samahita Rereat to help you.
Bhramari means black bee and the name refers to the resonant sound you make while breathing during this exercise. It is described in the Hatha Pradipika that you inhale and exhale sounding like a bee, but it is enough to inhale through the nose without the sound and exhale with the bee sound.
Here's what to do:
- Find a comfortable cross-legged position, sitting on a cushion or pillow to help you sit up tall.
- Close your eyes softly and allow the face and jaw to relax, having your lips together and your teeth slightly apart.
- Allow your breathing to soften and your heart rate to go back to normal or below normal, with your inner gaze at the navel-pubic bone region.
- First fully exhale, empty all of the stale air out of the lungs.
- Inhale for a count of 4 (or to a count that is comfortable, keeping the same count throughout).
- Exhale for double the count of your inhale (again, keep the same count throughout) with the sound of the bee (similar to the mmmm part of OM). Focus on the sound, feeling the vibration of the sound through the skull and at the soft palate in the back of the mouth.
- This is Bhramari Pranayama. Repeat 10 times.
- Afterwards you can sit as long as you like in the space that is left, with the eyes closed and your inner gaze at the navel-pubic bone region.
- Lie down and take Shavasana (Corpse Pose). Make sure you are lying on the ground and not on or too near your bed.
- Allow your feet to fall open, your palms to face upwards and your eyes to softly close.
- Feel the gentle movement of the passive breath in and out, letting go of everything except for the breath.
- Stay here at least 5 minutes.
- Slowly come out of the pose.