Best Yoga Poses for Sleep
Everyone requires sleep. You may go through a period where you find it difficult to get off to sleep, however, sustained shut-eye is required to achieve REM sleep several times during the night. Otherwise, you’ll be progressively less well rested and eventually sleep deprived. One way to help with sleep is participating in yoga for better sleep when you’re winding down.
Here are some yoga poses in preparation for going to bed.
Viparita Karani - Legs Up the Wall Pose
The wall pose is an excellent one for people who work in a retail environment where they’re on their feet all day. Here is how to get into the Legs up the Wall position:
- Locate an area of a room where you’re alone and there’s space to yourself.
- Sit on the yoga mat with it lined along the wall.
- Put your back on the mat with your head farthest from the wall and your legs in a crouch position.
- Outstretch both arms at each side.
- Extend your legs up the wall so they’re stretched out.
- Add additional support below the small of your back, if needed.
This pose feels better than when stretching out on the bed.
Uttanasana – Standing Forward Bend
The Uttanasana position stretches out the calves, hamstrings, lengthens the spine, and releases some tension in the shoulders and neck. Note: It is not advisable for anyone with a back injury.
The standing up and bent forward position can be performed either with arms folded or by placing them on supports. To perform this yoga position:
- Stand with your feet separated a small amount. Now inhale fully.
- Now exhale and bend your upper body forward at the waist until you can touch the floor.
- Move your head up and down to release more tension.
- If your hamstrings are tight, bend your knees before moving forward to ease into it.
- Use wooden blocks to avoid stretching too far down.
Don’t stay down too long or blood will rush to your head. When ready, rise back up to the standing position.
Balasana – Child’s Pose with a Wide Knee
The child’s pose is easy to perform. However, if you have previous knee injuries or trouble with your hips, take it slowly. The position creates a sense of calm and tranquility like a body at rest. Here’s how to get into this position:
- Kneel on the yoga mat sitting lengthways with your feet together.
- Widen the knees, so your legs are near both edges of the mat.
- Inhale and then exhale again. Move your torso forward to rest on your thighs.
- Move your head in the forward position with your forehead resting on the mat.
- Place your arms by your side or lay them outstretched in front of you.
This pose is perhaps the most restful of all.
Yoga is an excellent way to release tension by stretching out the body before bedtime. It also helps avoid waking up halfway through the night with a cramp due to tendon or muscle tightness.
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