Yoga Poses for Better Sleep
Hello, hello and Happy National Yoga Month, ladies! Yoga is an ancient and versatile practice that nearly everyone can and should do because it has SO many physical and mental benefits. Yoga can help you manage your stress, gently but effectively engage in strength training, improve cognitive functioning, relieve chronic pain and enhance flexibility. Practicing yoga can also improve your sleep and that’s what we want to focus on in today’s post! So we have a list of 5 yoga poses for better sleep that will help YOU relieve any tension and stress that you might have acquired throughout the day. Holding each of these restorative poses for 3 to 5 minutes will prime your body for quality sleep.
Child’s Pose- This is a seated pose where you start on your sitting on your heels, big toes touching. Separate your knees about hip distance apart. On your exhale bring your chest to the floor between your thighs. Arms should remain on the floor beside your torso, palms facing up with the front of your shoulders reaching towards the floor.
Reclining Butterfly- Starting in seated yoga pose, slowly lower your back to the floor . Feel free to support your head on a bolster or blanket. Grab the top part of your thighs, rotating your inner thighs outward. The bottom of your feet should still be together. Sliding your hands along your outer thighs widen your knees away from your hips. Lay your arms on the floor along side your torso, palms facing up. Allow your groin to drop towards the floor.
Legs-up-the-Wall- First experiment to find the most comfortable distance from the wall. This is unique to you and depends on your flexibility and height. Place support (bolster or blanket) about 5 inches from the wall, sitting on the right end of the support swing your legs onto the wall and shoulders/head down to the floor in one swoop. Lift skull from the back of your neck. If your neck feels flat place a small roll under it. Arms should be opened, shoulder blades away from the spine and hands out to the sides with your palms facing up.
Head to Knee- Start from seated position with legs stretched out in front of you. On the inhale, bend one knee, drawing your heel into your pelvis. Resting the sole of your foot against the opposite inner thigh. Turn torso to face the extended leg, inhale your arms up towards the sky and on the exhale forward fold bringing your chest to rest on the extended leg. Repeat on the other side.
Corpse Pose- From a seated position with knees bent and feet on the floor, slowly lean back onto forearms and eventually completely onto your back. Extend your right leg, then left allowing your feet to turn out equally. Position head so your ears are equidistant from your shoulders, if you feel any discomfort support the back of your head/neck with a folded blanket. Reaching your arms toward the ceiling and then slowly release them back to the ground, palms facing up, shoulder blades resting evenly on the floor. Allow your jaw to soften, eyes to sink into your head and forehead to relax. Stay here as long as you’d like!
The key to getting the most out of these poses is: 1. Controlling your breath and 2. Using the appropriate props (like straps, bolsters, blocks and blankets) to maximize your comfort during extended holds. Have you ladies tried yoga before bed? Did it help you sleep better? Let us know in the comments and check out our Instagram for more tips for happy and healthy living!