Maybe you find yourself switching the sides all night trying to get into a comfortable pose, your brain keeps making unhealthy scenarios or there are noises that keep you awake all night. There can be numerous reasons for you not falling asleep. The lack of adequate sleep takes a toll on the health and has been linked with health conditions like depression, memory lapses, stroke, and other serious medical conditions.
Some swear by a glass of hot milk and others say listening to soothing music can help you fall asleep faster. Committing to the science of yoga before bedtime can be a great addition to the other alternatives helping you have restful nights and healthy mornings.
There is a mounting evidence that shows yoga poses reduce fatigue when performed to enhance the body-mind’s ability to rest and relax. The practice of yoga postures pacify the mind fluctuations and stretches the body thus assisting in the release of the stiffness that has a calming effect on the body. Also, through stretching, you help your body recover and regenerate. With the science of yoga, you can control the symptoms of insomnia, anxiety, and stress in a natural and better way allowing you to get a good night’s sleep.
So, roll out your yoga mat and practice yoga for deep relaxation before bedtime to give your body and mind better rest and sleep.
Child Pose (Balasana):
On a yoga mat, come on your fours. Gather your breath and slow down your mind. Spread the knees hip-width apart and sit halfway with your hips touching your heels. As you sit back, lengthen your spine up through the top of the head. Exhale, bend forward, and drape your torso between your thighs bringing your forehead to the floor. Keep the arms long and extended either in front or behind. Close your eyes and breathe softly.
Benefits: The pose relaxes the muscles of the front of the body through passive stretching and centres the brain, reduces stress, and helps you get a good sleep.
Reclining Bound-Angle Pose (Supta Baddha Konasana):
Sit on the floor with stretched legs and palms down. Now, with the help of your hands, pull the heels closer to your pelvic area and touch the soles of the feet together. Maintaining the position of your legs, slowly recline back and lie on the floor. Make sure the legs and feet are in Bound-Angle Pose. Open the arms to your side and relax.
Benefits: The pose relieves symptoms of stress and mild depression that can be one of the reasons for you not falling asleep even when you feel tired.
Legs-Up-The-Wall Pose (Viparita Karani):
Sit against the wall on your right side. Exhale slowly swing your legs up to the wall and lower your shoulders and back towards the floor. If it’s difficult to bring both the legs up together, lift one leg at a time. Make sure your hips are close to the wall. Stretch out the arms to your sides, palms up.
Benefits: In the Viparita Karani Asana, you are able to relax your body and mind that helps you get into the restful state easily. Incorporate breathing into the pose for magnifying the rewards.
Happy Baby Pose (Ananda Balasana):
Lie in a supine position on the ground. With an exhalation, bend the knees and lift the feet off the floor. Slowly bring your knees towards your stomach and grip the outer edge of your feet with your hands. Gently open your knees wider than your torso and bring them up to your armpits. Give a gentle massage to the spine by moving sideways while holding your feet.
Benefits: Happy Baby Pose is one of the best yoga poses to reduce fatigue and stress from the mind and allow it to rest in peace.
Reclined Spinal Twist Pose (Supta Matsyendrasana):
Lay your back on top of a yoga mat. Upon exhalation, perform the Knee-to-Chest Pose. Now extend your left leg along the floor and stretch your right hand out to the shoulder height. Release the right knee over the left side of the body. Rest your left hand on the right knee. Turn your head to the right side and softly gaze at the fingertips of your right hand.
Benefits: The pose relaxes the spine and massages the back resulting in increased blood flow that tranquillises the mind helping you sleep better.
Corpse Pose (Svanasana):
Lie on the floor and spread your legs 2-3 inches apart. Loosen up your arms to the sides and spread your fingers. Keep your eyes closed and breathe deeply. Relax each part of the body and try to scan the body while in the pose.
Benefits: Corpse pose is a deeply restoring posture that directs the mind away from the distractions.
Every night, spent six minutes practising yoga for deep relaxation to have restful slumber and to fight insomnia. Wake up fresh and vibrant each morning!
Manmohan Singh is a passionate Yogi, Yoga Teacher and a Traveler in India. He is currently working with rishikulyogshsla.org. The Yoga Alliance affiliated school organizes a number of Yoga events such as Yoga teacher training India, Yoga workshops, Retreats, Pranayama training, etc.