5 Yoga Poses to Ease Your Way into Deep Sleep
It’s 3AM and while most people are asleep, you just can’t peel your eyes off the screen because that episode of The Walking Dead is just too good. Either that, or you find yourself tossing and turning in bed stressing about work deadlines. Or about your ex…who apparently just uploaded a stunning new profile picture on Facebook. Whatever the reasons may be, a lot of adults neglect sleep and the importance it has on overall health and mood. If you experience occasional sleeplessness or very poor quality sleep, we definitely recommend that you try incorporating a few of these yoga stretches into your pre-bedtime routine. It’s easy, takes only 5-10 minutes of your time, and is guaranteed to help you unwind and feel more relaxed.
Lie on your back (preferably on a flat surface but you can do this on your bed too). Take your left leg, bend the knee and pull it towards your chest so that the line from your knee to ankle is facing you. Then lift your right leg up and bend 90 degrees while keeping your feet flat. Lean the left leg on the right one for support and use your arms to hug the right leg while pulling it towards you. Hold this for 15-30 seconds. This pose stretches your hips and glutes, releasing any tension you have in your lower body.
- Child’s Pose
Kneel on a floor mat or on your bed and make sure that your feet touch each other. Rest your bum on your heel and spread your knees shoulder width apart. Take a deep breath in and while exhaling, roll your upper body forwards until your head reaches the mat/bed. Bring your arms forward as shown on the picture and relax. Hold this position for 15-30 seconds and release. The Child’s Pose is one of the best and most beneficial yoga stretches. It stretches your back, shoulders and chest, leading to a reduction in stress and anxiety. The pose also flexes your internal organs, keeping them resilient and functioning properly. If you feel extra tired or have a headache, this is the best pose to go for.
This pose is pretty straightforward. Lie on your back with your bum as close to the wall as possible (well, as comfortable it is for you!). Then extend your legs up and rest them on the wall. You can keep your arms beside your torso or you can place them above your head. Stay in this position for 30 seconds to a minute. Since this pose goes against gravity, it helps to circulate the fluids in the lower body. This will release tension and even alleviate any soreness you have in your legs. If you keep this pose while focusing on your breathing, you will begin to enter a meditative state. This signals your mind and body that you are relaxed and ready for bed.
- Happy Baby
If you’re confident enough to try a more challenging pose, try out the Happy Baby. Lie on your back and spread your legs slightly wider than your torso and pull them towards your chest. Your shins should be perpendicular to the floor and your feet should remain flexed. Place your hands on the bottom of your feet and push your feet against your hands (towards your chest). Hold this for 1-2 minutes to gently get rid of any tension you have in your hips and groin.
- Locust Pose
Lie on your stomach and take a deep breath. Lift your legs slightly up and pull your arms behind your back (you can clasp them together if you prefer). Hold for 20-30 seconds and release slowly. This pose is great to relieve back pain and any kind of physical stress. We recommend doing it at least twice to really feel the results.
With all these poses, keep in mind that you should never push yourself beyond what feels comfortable. If it’s hurting you then hold the position more gently to prevent any type of straining or injury. Once you start listening to your body carefully, it will begin to fulfill all your needs. Breathe deeply through each pose and you’ll soon find that those restless nights will be history. Go on, give them a try!