10 Of the Best Yoga Poses for Sleep
"We live in such a fast-paced environment and our senses are always being stimulated, and that affects our nervous system," says Vyda Bielkus, yoga teacher and trainer, and founder of Health Yoga Life. "The yogic technique of focusing on your breath can be helpful -- the exhalation stimulates the nervous system to release ... the poses also help us relieve tension from the physical body."
Sleep deprivation is a major source of stress among adults. By practicing yoga we can lower our body stress levels, calm our body and release tension. This practice can be an effective sleeping remedy.
Here are some Yoga Poses which will help you in the soothing process and help get better sleep:
1.Savasana- Corpse Pose:
The main focus while performing Savasana is to focus on your your body and breath while letting go of the day’s worries. Keep your eyes completely closed and take a few deep breaths in an out and open your eyes gently when you feel complete.
2.Uttanasana- Standing Forward Bend:
Uttanasana or the standing forward bend helps in relieving headaches, insomnia and is very beneficial in lowering the stress levels. Stand with the feet with six inches apart and fold the torso to the ground, bending the arms by reaching toward the ground and grabbing opposite hand to opposite elbow. This will help in releasing the tension in hips and legs.
3.Supta Matsyendrasana- Supine Spinal Twist:
Supta Matsyendrasan or this reclining twisted pose can be performed in bed before falling asleep. Lie down on your back and bring your right knees into your chest and then across your left side. Extend the right arm out and turn head to the right, taking several deep breaths and then repeat the same on the other side. Perform this twist on both sides. This pose not only releases the tension in the spine but also stimulates the kidneys, abdominal organs, urinary bladder, stretches the hamstrings and strengthens the legs.
4.Viparita Karani- Legs Up the Wall Pose:
This asana can be performed for relaxation and stress relief. Lie down on the floor perpendicularly to the wall. Place your legs on the wall and scoot your hips towards where the wall and your carpet meet, walking your legs up the wall without you forcing it. Place your arms by your sides with your palms facing upwards. When we flip the legs up, the blood can rush back down to your heart. Close your eyes and take deep cleansing breaths and it gives you a soothing quality.
5.Eka Pada Rajakapotasana- One Legged King Pigeon Pose:
Get down on all fours and place your right knee behind your right wrist and direct your right foot towards the left. Slide your left leg back. Place a pillow lengthwise to the left of your left leg. Let your arms relax to either side and lay your belly and chest on the pillow. Breathe deeply by relaxing your head to whichever side you feel comfortable. Repeat with your other leg. This asana lengthens hip flexors, prepares body for backbends and increases external range of motion of femur in hip socket.
6.Halasana- Plow Pose:
Halasana improves the blood circulation. Lie down on your back; engage your abdominal muscles to lift your legs over your head until your toes touch the ground behind you. You can either keep your arms at your sides and palms facing downwards or you can interlace your fingers behind your back and then slowly straighten your arms. You must slowly and carefully roll out of pose like one vertebrate at a time. This pose helps in reducing physical tension, stretch put your back and neck muscles and in relaxing your body.
7.Variation of Sukhasana- Easy Forward Bend:
Sukhasana is the simplest yoga pose accessible by anyone. Be seated and gently bend forward at your hips and stretch your hands straight out in front of you. This pose eases tension, strengthens the back and lets the hips open up.
8.Supta Baddha Konasana- Reclining Butterfly:
Supta baddha konasana is one of the variations of the basic butterfly poses. Lie down on your back and put a pillow underneath your spine. Bring the two soles of your feet together until they touch each other and let your knees gently drop to the sides. Keep your hips off the pillow and stretch your arms sideward away from your body with your palms facing upwards. Bring one hand to your heart and one hand to your belly and breathe deeply. This pose helps in stretching the inner thighs, groins and knees. It also helps in relieving the symptoms of mild depression, menstruation and menopause.
9.Ardha Matsyendrasana- Seated Spinal Twist:
Like the supine twist, the seated spinal twist (also known as the half lord of the fishes pose) can create a sense of relaxation in the body while gently stretching the spine. The stretch can be practiced with both legs bent or with one outstretched.
10.Surya Bhedana- Left Nostril Breathing:
Pranayama is a relaxing breathing exercise, you can either sit up crossed-legged or lie down on your right side. Cover the right nostril with your thumb and extend the fingers out and take 5-10 breathes out of your left nostril.