About half of us have enough stress, anxiety and upsets during the day that we have trouble dropping off to sleep — a hang-up that can be relieved with some quick and easy postures designed to drain tension from tangled-up nerves and muscles of the neck, back and hamstrings.
Ashland resident Mona Therese Winston, who teaches yoga at Ashland Yoga Center and other sites, says 48 percent of Americans have some trouble sleeping at some point during the year — and 22 percent experience the problem every day.
"I can't believe this," she says, "but $35 billion a year is spent on insomnia."
Her remedies for sleep issues — and many other uses — can be viewed on YouTube, where she has a "channel" called "Starchild." These "asanas" (poses) are not the kind that involve straining and wondering how long you can hold it. Quite the opposite.
Get a bolster, which is a good, strong pillow shaped like a cylinder. In the "open twist" pose, place the bolster parallel to the body, lie flat on your back and bring one leg over to the opposite side, resting on the bolster. This brings a gentle twist to the spine and stretches the hamstrings, which in turn gently stretches muscles of the lower back.