Kundalini Yoga Evening Routine

Fri, 20 Apr 2012

In two previous articles - and - we described the morning routine that is associated with a lifestyle based on and the teachings of Yogi Bhajan. Similarly, there is an evening routine associated with this yogic lifestyle which can help you to fall asleep more quickly, sleep more soundly, and ensure a more rejuvenating sleep. Integrating these aspects of yogic science into your daily life will help you to be healthier, more vital and less stressed.

The first advice would be to do some yoga and meditation in the evening, as this will help to relax the body and process the stresses of the day. Some examples of good yoga and pranayama exercises are Sat Kriya, Left Nostril Breathing (while the left hand rests on the left knee in gyan mudra, use the right thumb to block off the right nostril, and for at least 3 minutes inhale and exhale through your right nostril only), Breath of Fire, or Alternate Breathing (inhaling through the left nostril, exhaling through the right nostril with Long Deep Breathing. Use the thumb and the little finger to close alternate nostrils. Again do this for at least 3 minutes).

It is very important not to eat any big meals for at least two hours before you go to bed, so that the liver and digestive system do not have to work during the night. Try not to go to bed too hungry either though, as this might prevent you from falling asleep or cause you to wake up in the middle of the night.

The following would be the ideal bathroom routine as you prepare to go to bed. First comb your hair down with a wooden comb. Using a wooden comb is beneficial for the health of the eyes, for the menstrual cycle and for the long maintenance of your youth. The wooden comb also acts to stabilise the magnetic field and prevents breakage of the ends of the hair shaft. Comb the hair up, forward, back, down, and so on. Then go to the toilet, so you can go to sleep with an empty bladder. As you brush your teeth, make sure that you again - just like in the morning - clean the mucus from the throat until your eyes begin to water, and then drink a glass of water. The last thing to do in the bathroom is to wash your feet with cold water. After you have washed them, rub them dry with a coarse towel and then massage them with almond oil. You can put on old socks over your feet afterwards to keep your sheets clean. Washing the feet with cold water balances the nervous system and calms the nerves. It works especially well with children who have trouble sleeping. As you go through this process, try and separate yourself from the world, your daily chores and responsibilities, and tune yourself in into the Oneness of the Universe.

Yogic teachings also include advice on the material of your bedding and the direction in which you should lie to have the best sleep. To take care of your back and enhance proper sleep, use a firm bed and bedding of natural fabric. While the following might not always be feasible in the set-up of your bedroom, do try and have your bed facing East-West, so that you are not aligned with the Earth’s magnetic field which runs North-South. Experiment with it and see if it makes a difference.

A good idea is to keep a little notebook on your bedside table so you can write down anything that might keep you awake. Rather than worrying about it while you are in bed, or telling yourself to remember to do X, Y or Z in the morning, write it down and then let go of it in your mind. In the morning you can just look at your notebook and see what it was that you needed to remember.

As you have now made it from the bathroom to the bedroom, lie down on your back and start long deep breathing, consciously relaxing and letting go. You can do some exercises, for example a body scan, to help the body relax. As you feel yourself relax into sleep, turn onto your right hand side so that you are breathing through your left nostril. This has a calming and cooling effect on the body and brain. This posture also relaxes the heart (the heart will not be pressed down by the lungs if you are lying on the right hand side) and it lets the stomach and small intestine drain as you sleep. As soon as the breath becomes regular and slow, you will go quickly through the preliminary stages of sleep and almost immediately reach the deep dreamless sleep state. In this way you can avoid the energy draining dream state altogether. If you follow this evening routine, you will also be able to come back out of deep sleep more easily and gracefully when it is time to wake up. For the best way to wake up, see the aforementioned articles on .

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