Do you have a lot of trouble sleeping? Well, you obviously are not alone. You might have counted sheep, planned for the next day, watched boring documentaries, etc. and still might not able to get the sleep you desired. But, don’t despair. Let me assure you that good sleep is within your reach. How? Yoga before bedtime.
The 5000-year old discipline is proven to combat stress, anxiety depression and improve one’s physical and mental health as a whole. Yoga can guarantee you a relaxing pre-bedtime routine. Here, we have devised a bedtime yoga sequence that will surely get you the desired sleep. Let’s take a look:
Head-To-Knee Pose (Janu Sirsasana)
- Sit on your yoga mat with legs straight. Bend your knees if you are straining your spine.
- Now, bring the right foot towards your left inner thigh. Your right knee should be towards the floor. If you feel discomfort, use a cushion for support.
- Inhale and straighten your back. Then exhale as you are bending forward over your left leg.
- Place hands on sides of your left leg. Gaze at the toes of your left foot and focuses on your breath. Repeat with right leg.
Bound Angle Pose (Baddha Konasana)
- Sit down without slouching. Now, bring the soles of your feet together. Use your hands to hold the ankles.
- Once comfortable, bring your feet close towards the groin.
- Inhale while lengthening the spine. Then exhale and bend towards your front.
- Focus on your breathing as you can feel muscles relaxing.
Wide-Angle Seated Forward Bend (Upavistha Konasana)
- Sit straight on the ground without slouching. Extend the legs towards your front to form a ‘V’ shape.
- Place your hands behind your butt to attain balance.
- Inhale and straighten your back, ensure that your lower back is not straining or rounding.
- Exhale and then bend forward with hands in your front.
- Focus on your breathing, try to inhale as you straighten the spine and exhale as you relax forward.
Thread-The-Needle (Parsva Balasana)
- Lie down and bend your knees. Your soles should be placed on the ground.
- Bring your right knee close to the chest.
- Now place your right angle under your left knee. You can flex your right foot so that you can keep your muscles engaged and safeguard your knee from undue stress.
- Now lift your left foot and bring it close towards your chest. Use the hands for support. You will feel outside of your right hip stretching. Both hips should be parallel to each other. Repeat the same with the other side as well.
Reclined Twist (Supta Matsyendrasana)
- Lie down and bring your knees towards the chest.
- Extend your left arm towards the side. The arms should be at shoulder height, and palms should be facing up.
- Keep your knees high and slowly bring the knees towards your right. They should touch the floor.
- Place your right hand on the top of your right knee. Now, look towards the ceiling. Repeat on another side as well.
Legs-Up-The-Wall Pose (Viparita Karani)
- Lie down against a wall. Lift one leg and then the other. This way, your legs are extended on the wall, while you are lying on your back.
- Extend your arms towards the sides with palms facing the ceiling.
- Close your eyes and focus on your breath. Try to relax in the pose.
- Other than the asanas listed above, the corpse pose, or Shavasana and Yoga Nidra can help you relax the mind and body. Shavasana might also be able to aid you to get sleep.
- Experts often suggest that formulating a nighttime routine can get you the desired sleep you have always wanted. This way you are preparing your mind and body that it is time to sleep.
- You can include NadiShodhan Pranayam in your nighttime routine to relax and relieve tension leading to a good sleep.
Now, you can put counting farm animals to rest as the asanas and tips listed above can get you the desired sleep you have always wanted. Always remember to listen to your body and never strain yourself too much.
If you feel like, you need modifications to these poses or asanas never hesitate to talk to a yoga instructor. Let’s harness the sleep you deserve through one of the most healthy and efficient ways. Sweet dreams!
[Photos by Alexey Baykov, Nicholas A. Tonelli, Joseph Renger, Amy, Melissa West, KellinaHandBasket – CC BY]
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- Fall Asleep in Minutes with this Bedtime Yoga Sequence - Sep 18, 2016