So, you’ve heard it’s possible to stop snoring by doing yoga and now you are wondering how. It may even seem like a strange idea to you because yoga and snoring seem to be poles apart.
Strange concept or not, it really is possible to control your snoring with yoga. The common ground is breathing.
Before going any further, I feel it’s important to point out yoga can do many good things for the body and mind. It can benefit your health in numerous ways.
Yoga improves flexibility, stamina, and balance. It can provide increases in physical strength too.
What Will I Learn?
In addition to the physical benefits it provides, yoga is also good for reducing stress, increasing self-awareness, and helping you enjoy better quality sleep.
If you are new to yoga, you may not be aware there are several different types, some of which are quite hardcore. Regardless of the various differences in style, all of them share a common core—correct breathing.
Snoring happens when airflow is restricted during sleep. That distinctive, unpleasant noise is the result of turbulence at the back of the throat.
Before we further explore the ways you can stop snoring by doing yoga, it’s probably a good idea to take a closer look at the main reason why people snore.
Why People Snore
Although there can be many contributing factors such as obesity, alcohol abuse, and poor sleeping position, above all else snoring is mostly due to relaxation of the tongue.
When you drift off to sleep, the muscles of your body relax. This includes the ones at the back of the throat. The tongue is a muscle, so it relaxes too. As do the muscles that control the jaw.
When the jaw and tongue relax, the back of the tongue obstructs the “windpipe”, causing turbulence. This makes the relaxed tissue vibrate and, ultimately, makes you sound like your doing an impression of a pig.
Why Doing Yoga Can be a Good Way to Stop Snoring
Controlling your breathing is a fundamental part of yoga. Breathing difficulties during sleep make you start snoring. When you see those two statements together, snoring and yoga no longer seem to be poles apart.
Practicing yoga correctly and with sufficient dedication can help you relax while also strengthening your tongue. Yoga can firm-up the muscles at the back of the throat as well.
Yoga has a reputation for being difficult. However, although certain poses may be more challenging than others, yoga is not an unduly difficult art and the yoga techniques that may help you stop snoring are simple enough for beginners to learn.
3 Yoga Techniques to Help You to Stop Snoring
#1. Om Chanting
If you are looking for a good anti-snoring yoga technique, om chanting is probably the simplest of all. And don’t worry. There’s no need to tie yourself in knots.
You begin by sitting in a comfortable position with a straight-back posture. Sitting on the floor with your legs crossed is ideal. If you are feeling more adventurous and are sufficiently supple, you try to pull your legs up a little further and adopt the classic lotus position.
The next thing to do is close your eyes. Keeping the eyelids shut, look down. This will help you become centered and release distracting thoughts from your mind.
When you are happy with your posture, focus on your breathing. Begin by inhaling and exhaling normally. Then gradually try to take deeper breaths, remembering not to push too hard or exert any force.
As you breathe, begin chanting “Om”. Rather than keeping things short and sweet, try and extend the word so it sounds like ” A-A-U-U-M”.
When you say the first two letters, allow your mouth to open wide. Press your lips together for the “U-U-M” and place your tongue on the roof of your mouth.
While you chant, try to be aware of how the vibrations feel on your tongue and at the back of your throat. Also focus on the few seconds of silence between each repetition.
The best time to use this yoga anti-snoring technique is shortly before going to bed. Keep on chanting until you feel nice and relaxed and be aware this exercise is also strengthening your tongue.
#2. Roaring Lion Pose (Simha Garjasana)
Although the name may suggest otherwise, the Roaring Lion pose is another good way to use yoga to control snoring.
As with Om chanting, you begin by adopting a comfortable position that allows you to keep your back straight. Again, sitting with crossed legs or using the lotus position is ideal.
When you are comfortable, stretch your arms forward. Your palms should be turned towards the floor and your fingers stretched.
Next, lean slightly forward and tilt your head backward and look up towards the middle of your eyebrows. Inhale through your nostrils as you do this.
Open your mouth for the exhale and gently thrust your tongue out as far as you can, but try not to strain. Release your breath through your mouth and make a roaring sound through your throat. If you are doing the Roaring Lion correctly, you should feel your stomach go deeper when you exhale.
Repeat the process three to five times. Then take a short rest and repeat five more times.
This is a good anti-snoring yoga exercise. It’s also one you should be able to feel working as it strengthens and tones-up your tongue.
#3. Channel-Cleaning Breathing (Nodi Shodhana Pranayama)
As with the two previous yoga anti-snoring techniques, you begin sitting crossed legged or in another suitably comfortable position that keeps your back straight.
The next step is to stretch your left arm out in front of you and rest it on your left knee. Bring your left thumb into contact with the index finger on the same hand. This will form the classic “O” finger position you will be familiar with if you have ever watched someone doing meditation.
Now place your right hand directly in front of your face and put your index and middle fingers in between your eyebrows. Keeping your fingers in this position, apply pressure to your right nostril with your thumb. Press hard enough to close the nostril.
Breath through your left nostril 20 times, taking deeper breaths than normal. Try to feel each breath reaching your abdomen.
Finally, keeping your index and middle finger in place, remove your thumb from the right nostril. Use your ring finger to close the left nostril instead. Breath through your right nostril 20 times.
This yoga exercise may feel a little strange at first, but after time it can be an effective way to stop snoring. So if the idea is to stop snoring by doing yoga, use it alone or alongside the other two anti-snoring yoga techniques. You may be surprised at what a big difference it makes.