By Cathy Madeo
Did you know that yoga can increase the quality of your sleep, help with sleep disorders such as insomnia and overall bring a better sense of wellbeing to you? Yoga helps cultivate a deeper mind body connection which allows you to have better control over your body. By bringing attention to your breath through the practice of yoga, you trigger the parasympathetic nervous system responsible for making you feel more calm and rested.
However, not all yoga poses are designed to relax you. So, you might be wondering which yoga poses will benefit you the most and send you off to a deeper and more restful state of sleep? These postures promote deeper relaxation by calming the central nervous system. Try them close to bedtime for best results. You can even do them in bed and drift straight into sleep after your final resting pose!
8 Yoga Poses for Quality Sleep
- Supported Child’s Pose (Balasana)
From kneeling position widen your knees, place a bolster or cushion in between your legs and rest your torso on top. Relax with the support underneath your torso. Hands alongside your prop or gently holding on for support. Alternate turning head from one side to the other.
Hold 1-3 minutes
Benefit: Stretches your hips and low back and creates a sense of calm.
- Supported Seated Forward Fold (Paschimotasana)
From a seated position with legs straight out in front of you, move your pelvis into a slight forward tilt so that you’re seated on the front of your sit bones. Place a bolster, cushion, or rolled up blanket in your front hip crease. Inhale, as you exhale bring your belly button into your spine and fold over your prop. Forehead can rest on the prop or alternate turning your head to one side. Arms rest alongside your legs, or gently cradle the prop.
Hold for 1-3 minutes
Benefit: Forward folds are cooling postures, with the added support of a prop you will find even more rest. Stretches the entire backline of your body.
- Supine Twist (Supta Matsyendrasana)
Lay on your back and bring your knees into your chest. Let both knees fall to the right. Your right hand can gently hold the outside of your left knee. Sweep your left arm up and extend the arm down to rest on the ground. Gaze at the ceiling or toward the side of your outstretched arm.
Hold 1 minute each side.
Benefit: Supine Easy twist will neutralize your spine, release your low back and stretch your shoulders and outer hips.
- Supported Bridge Pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana)
Lay on your back and bend your knees. Feet and knees hips distance apart. Lift your hips and place a prop under your sacrum and rest your hips down. Bring your shoulder blades toward your spine to open your chest. Keep your head, shoulders, arms and feet on the ground
Hold 1-3 Minutes.
Benefit: Stretches your chest and abdomen. Extends the spine to counter the sitting and posture from throughout the day. The gentle inversion of the heart above the head increases circulation throughout the body.
- Supine Cobbler’s Pose (Supta Baddha Konasana)
Lay on your back and bring the soles of your feet together as you widen your knees out to the side. Place your left hand on your heart and your right hand on your belly. Or place your arms alongside your body palms up.
Hold 1-3 minutes.
Benefit: Opens your hips and stretches your inner thighs.
- Happy Baby Pose (Ananda Balasana)
Lay on your back and bring your knees underneath your armpits. Grab the outer edge of your flexed feet with your hands. Shinbones perpendicular to the ground. Keep your shoulders and hips on the ground. You can sway a little side to side.
Hold 1-2 minutes.
Benefits: Opens your hips and calms the nervous system.
- Legs Up The Wall (Viparita Karani)
Lay on your back, hips against the wall. *Straighten your legs. Rest your arms on the surface slightly away from your body, palms face up.
*If your legs don’t straighten, move your hips away from the wall until they do.
Hold 3-5 minutes.
Benefit: Improves circulation, can help reduce low back pain and stress.
- Corpse Pose (Savasana)
Lay on your back. Separate legs wider than your hips. Allow your feet to splay out to the sides. Bring your shoulder blades into the chest gently to open the chest gently. Place your arms slightly away from your body. Palms face upward to keep the shoulders open and also as a hand gesture to receive your practice. Eyes closed. Completely surrender and relax.
Hold 4-8 minutes.
Benefit: Relaxes your body over all, allows your muscles to absorb your practice neuromuscularly. It symbolizes a figurative death so that you can awaken refreshed and present.
Have a Sound Sleep.
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The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.