It’s World Sleep Day today.
In the Vedic culture we have rituals to start and end our day – here are 5 Vedic rituals that you can do every evening just before going to bed.
These 10 minutes will most definitely set you up for a deep and restful sleep.
Wash Your Feet
Venus, is associated with the water element and is the planet of love, relationships, money and material comforts.
Pisces represents our feet and sleep and also corresponds with the 12th House.
When Venus is exalted, or stronger, it can achieve its highest potential and bring out its best qualities of a comfortable, harmonious home life. You can exalt Venus through the act of washing your feet (Pisces), with water (Venus) before you sleep (Pisces).
Ritual: With awareness and intention wash your feet with water (water wipes would be fine also) just before you are able to climb into bed.
Honor The Supreme Being
Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar says “At the time of death the mind separates from the body. At this time, whatever impression one bears in the mind becomes the reason for the next birth. You can see this for yourself; if you observe, the first thought on your mind when you wake up in the morning will be the same thought that you had before you went to sleep. That is why in ancient times they said to remember God and the divine all the time by chanting His name. Remember him every night before sleeping; while you take a shower; even while eating your meals”.
Narayana is known as the supreme God in the Vedic culture, so we remember Him by chanting His associated mantra.
Ritual: Chant Aum Namo Narayanaya 11, 21 or 108 times before you go to sleep. You can do this on the Japa108 app to help you track this every day.
The Deep Sleep Chant
Lord Vishnu is believed to sleep in a cosmic ocean of milk, the bed he sleeps on being his serpent Anantha-Sesha. This sleeping form of Vishnu is known as Padmanabha.
Chanting the mantra for this form of Lord Vishnu just before sleep helps ignite deep, restful yogic sleep.
Ritual: Chant Aum Padmanabhaya Namah 11, 21 or 108 times before you go to sleep. You can do this on the Japa108 app to help you track this every day.
Be Grateful & Donate
Often we focus on the bottlenecks, the obstacles in our life – things that bring us anxiety, friction, unhappiness – we are selectively positive. End your day by being thankful and clearing the way for new possibilities to emerge.
When the Moon transits your 12th House of Loss (you can see when this occurs in your chart on the align27 app), it is a good time to give to others, to donate, to mitigate any loss that might happen to you. It can also help alleviate potential distractions to you getting a good night’s sleep and helps with existing stress or health related issues.
Ritual: Close your eyes and be grateful. For the little and big positive things. Reflect and appreciate the moments of joy that are happening in your life right now, that you might have overlooked or pushed to the back, behind the negative mind.
With this feeling of gratitude in your heart and on the relevant days when the Moon transits your 12th House you can donate to any charity of your choice.
Calm Down and Lie Down
Saturn and Rahu cause imbalances in our breath, so a few deep breaths in and out can instantly calm our mind down. Further to this we can also practice Alternate Nostril Breathing, known as Nadi Shodhana Pranayama.
Nadi’s (‘channels,’ or ‘flow) are used to channel the flow of energy to travel through the body.
The Pingala is the extroverted (Active), solar nadi, and corresponds to the right side of the body and the left side of the brain. Idā (comfort) is the introverted (Inactive), lunar nadi, and corresponds to the left side of the body and the right side of the brain.
This practice can help calm the racing mind down by purifying the energy channels in the subtle body.
Once you complete your breathwork, you can lie down in your bed on your left side. Sleeping on your left side has many benefits to your overall health and in this position, your organs are freer to get rid of toxins while you sleep.
Ritual: For alternate nostril breathing, lift your right hand up toward your nose and use your right thumb to close your right nostril with the middle and index finger straight and lightly gracing your forehead, as you exhale completely from the left, inhale through your left nostril and then close the left nostril with your ring and little fingers, open the right nostril and exhale through this side, inhale through the right nostril and then close this nostril, open the left nostril and exhale through the left side. This is one cycle. Practice this for 2-3 minutes and complete the practice by finishing with an exhale on the left side.
After you have completed your breathing, stretch your legs and lie down. Start by sleeping on your left side and then during the night you can move whichever direction your sleep takes you.