Sunday, February 16, 2020

Arlene Corwin writes

I Lay Awake

I lay awake.
I can no longer take for granted
Night long sleep.
No starry-eyed Bo Peep,
I do not mind
But stretch and fold and wind my limbs,
Find things to do
While torso twists and screws at ease,
Finds asanas so new
No book has shown them.
Flow so pleasing, so unchosen,
Something else within knows
The interior that flows
From  limb to joint,
Anointing every ligament 
With unforced flexibility 
To an advanced degree,
An integrated game.
It is a yoga without name. 

It isn’t fun to lay awake,
But later on, insomnia run
Its course, one
                  falls asleep,
Rem, deep.               
A  scone & milky coffee trick
To wake,
The energy enough
To stake a claim 
From recent dream to active day.
 Rest your chest and belly on one or two stacked pillows with knees wide apart and big toes touching. Rest an ear on the pillow, eyes closed, and jaw and belly relaxed. Your arms can rest on the sides of the pillow or underneath. Focus your attention on the nostrils and enjoy the sensation of breath flowing in and out.See also 15 Poses to Help You Sleep Better
Balasana (child's pose)

Lie on your belly, with pillows under the belly optional. Extend one leg out to the side and bend it at a 90-degree angle with your knee level with your hip. Invite the opposite leg to straighten and extend behind you. Invite your head to turn and rest in the direction of your bent leg. Relax your belly, eyes, and jaw. Focus your attention on the nostrils and enjoy the sensation of breath flowing in and out.See also 5 Yoga Poses for Insomnia
Ardha Bhekasana (supported half frog pose)

Lie flat on your back. Bring the soles of your feet together with legs bent. Place a pillow under both thighs and an optional pillow behind the head, folding the pillows if needed for more support. Place hands on stomach. With eyes closed and jaw relaxed, bring your awareness to your hands resting on your belly. Focus on feeling the rise and fall of your torso with each slow and deep breath in and outSee also 4-Step Bedtime Restorative Practice for Better Sleep
Supta Baddha Konasana (reclining bound angle pose)
Lying flat on your back with an optional pillow behind your head. Straighten and extend one leg long in front of you and bend the other leg, hugging it in toward your side body as if your knee could touch your armpit. Interlace fingers around your shin or behind the knee of your bent leg. With closed eyes and a relaxed jaw, breathe into your belly. Stay for as long as you’d like and then switch sides.See also 9 Keys to Getting the Sleep You Need
Pawanmuktasana (wind-relieving pose) 
Allow your body to rest with hands by your sides or on stomach. You can place pillows under your upper thighs or behind knees for more support if desired. With eyes closed and jaw and torso relaxed, feel your breath filling up your belly, expanding your ribs, and flowing up into the chest on an inhalation. Exhale by relaxing your chest, ribs, then belly. This breath is called Dirgha pranayama (Complete Breath). Allow this wave-like rhythm to lull you to sleep.See also Bedtime Yoga: 12 Poses to Help Kids Sleep Better Savasana (corpse pose)

1 comment:

  1. Asanas, called yoga poses or yoga postures in English, are body postures. Patañjali, a notable scholar of the Samkhya school of Hindu philosophy who lived perhaps between the 2nd and 4th centuries and wrote the seminal "Yogasutras," a collection of 196 aphorisms on yoga, defined an asana as a position that "is steady and comfortable" and insisted that being able to sit for extended periods is one of the 8 limbs of his system (long with abstinence, observances, breathing. withdrawal, concentration, meditation, and absorption).

    "Counting sheep" has long been a suggested method of inducing sleep.
    Little Bo-Peep has lost her sheep,
    And can't tell where to find them;
    Leave them alone
    And they'll come home,
    Wagging their tails behind them.
    Little Bo-Peep fell fast asleep,
    And dreamt she heard them bleating;
    But when she awoke, she found it a joke,
    For they were still a-fleeting.

    The 1st verse 1st appeared in a manuscript from ca. 1805, and additional verses appeared in a version of "Gammer Gurton's Garland or The Nursery Parnassus" in 1810. The melody commonly associated with it was 1st recorded in 1870 by James William Elliott in his "National Nursery Rhymes and Nursery Songs." From the 14th century, "to play bo peep" was a euphemism for being stood in a pillory, but the phrase was often used in connection with sheep. (A 15h-century ballad contained the lines "Halfe England ys nowght now but shepe / In every corner they play boe-pepe.") By the 16th century "bo-peep" was a children's game (probably a variant of peek-a-boo), which William Shakespeare referenced in "King Lear" when the Fool rebuked his master for unwisely giving away his authority, "And I for sorrow sung, / That such a king should play bo-peep, / And go the fools among."


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