Sleep isn’t just essential to your brain & body function, it is a requirement for your body and overall health. But every so often, there are those nights when you may have a hard time falling asleep, feeling wired and unable to unwind or destress from your day. If you are ever having a hard time falling asleep and getting your mind to slow down, then a little yoga and breathing exercises before bed will absolutely help!
Yoga is a gentle and restorative way to wind down at any time, especially at bedtime. So I created a short yoga sequence with poses that are ideal for preparing your body for sleep. I hope you try this relaxing routine to help you get a better night’s sleep and feel more rested in the morning. You can even watch on it on IGTV!
Keep reading for 5 yoga poses for better sleep
When practicing these yoga poses, it is important to hold each pose for 10-15 breaths. Focus on deepening your breath to help you stretch. Also remember to soften your muscles in each pose. You should feel a stretch, but just a gentle one.
1. Child’s pose (Balasana)
Benefits: This yoga posture helps to stretch the hips, thighs, and ankles while also reducing stress and fatigue. It gently relaxes the muscles on the front of the body while softly and passively stretching the muscles of the back torso from the shoulders to the tailbone.
How to: Kneel on the bed and bring your big toes together. Separate your knees hips width apart. Exhale and sink your torso onto your thighs. Reach your hands forward with palms down. Bring your head towards the bed. Take slow and steady breaths through your nose.
2. Reclining bound angle (Supta Baddha Konasana)
Benefits: This posture slows down the heart rate while simultaneously decreasing muscle tension. It also reduces anxiety, nervous tension, and stress. It increases the range of external rotation in the hips. You will feel the gentle stretch in your inner thighs, groin, and hips.
How to: Lie down on the bed and bring the soles of feet together. Allow the knees to relax away from each other. Place pillows underneath the knees to support your hips. For tight hips, move the feet further away from the tailbone. Add more pillows under the knees for additional support.
3. Supine spinal twist (Supta Jathara Parivartanasana)
Benefits: This yoga posture stretches the back muscles and glutes. It massages the back, hips, and abdominal organs. It lengthens, relaxes, and realigns the spine, which helps to hydrate the spinal disks. This pose also strengthens the abdominal muscles.
How to: Lie back on the bed. Bring both knees into the chest and begin to lightly rock back and forth. Bring the arms out into cactus (with the elbows at a right angle resting on the bed) and let the knees fall over to one side. Keep both knees bent or straighten the bottom leg. Shift the eye gaze to the side opposite your knees. Take this pose on both sides.
4. Seated forward bend (Paschimottanasana)
Benefits: This forward fold posture provides a deep stretch to the entire back of the body from the heels to the neck. It calms the nervous system.
How to: Sit up tall with your legs out in front of you. Pull the naval in towards your spine. Reach the arms up and slowly bend forward at your waist. Reach the arms in front of you towards the feet. Drop your chin towards the knees. Hold for a few slow, deep breaths, and then release.
5. Corpse pose (Savasana)
Benefits: This posture relaxes your whole body. It releases stress, fatigue, and tension. It also improves concentration, cures insomnia, relaxes your muscles, and calms the mind.
How to: Lie back on the bed. Exhale and stretch your legs out while keeping your tailbone grounded on the bed. Relax the feet away from each other. Soften the shoulders down and release tension from the lower back. Relax the arms at your sides, palms facing upward. Follow a normal breathing pattern.
Namaste and sweet dreams!