There have been many studies proving that a regular yoga practice can aid in psychological disorders including insomnia, depression and anxiety.
This particular sequence is designed to help you calm the mind, relax the body and most importantly, fall asleep – with ease. So If you’ve tried all the expert tips for a good night’s sleep and are still struggling then give this 15 minute, beginner-friendly sequence a go each night this week.
The best time to practice this sequence is at the end of the day – after your dinner has settled, you’ve switched off from technology and your taking some time to unwind before slipping into bed. Implementing a regular bedtime routine is one of the first steps in sleeping better, so have a think about creating a routine that is conducive to your sleep, and incorporating this sequence.
Here’s a further breakdown of the yoga poses to help induce sleep:
1. Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend)
Uttanasana is a great first pose to allow the blood flow towards the head.
How: Bend into the knees and allow the belly to rest against the thighs. Hang the head heavy, releasing any tension within the neck. Allow the arms to hang heavy, grabbing opposite elbows if you wish. Allow yourself to rock slowly, side to side while listing the hips towards the ceiling.
2. Balasana (Childs Pose)
Balasana is most commonly known as the rest pose in yoga (asana) classes.
How: Beginning in a table top pose with the hand and knees on the ground, the knees can be placed apart or together, depending on what is preferred. Sink the hips to the back of the heels and settle in. Once again, allow the head to hang heavy. Deepen your inhales while calming each exhale.
3. Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose)
Baddha Konasana is a great pose to improve the circulation before bed. In a seated position, place the soles of the feet together with the knees bent into a butterfly pose.
How: At first, draw the feet closer in to the hips, while lengthening the spine. Mindfully begin to lower the belly forward, trying not to round too much in the spine. Hold here for 5 breaths. Lifting the gaze back up, begin to push the feet away from the hips while still allowing the soles of the feet to touch. This time, hang the head forward and allow the upper body to relax.
4. Paschimottanasana (Seated Forward Bend)
Paschimottanasana calms the mind and can help to relieve stress and mild depression.
How: Seated with the legs in front, lengthen both legs out together. Take a moment to lift the lower back and tilt the pelvis forward. Slowly allow the chest to relax forward, while not straining the neck too much. Focus on the belly here. Think about the belly relaxing to the thighs. Ease tension in the neck by allowing the head to hang gently. Take a few deep breaths with the intension of calming the body.
5. Supta Matsyendrasana (Supine Spinal Twist)
Supta Matsyendrasana is a spinal twist which can aid in digestion and help rinse out tension in the spine.
How: Laying on your backside, bend the knees up so that the soles of the feet are on the ground. Place the feet further apart so the knees can fall in. Draw the arms out wide and allow both knees to fall to the left side, while glancing over to the right. Hold for 5 breaths before switching to the other side.
6. Viparita Karani (Legs-up- the-wall Pose)
One of the best poses for sleep, Viparita Karani soothes us into meditation.
How: Laying on your back, place a book or a block underneath the sacrum. Plant the palms safely on the ground, and float the knees up towards your chest. You are welcome to stay here or lifting the legs up towards the ceiling. There is no need to point the toes or straighten the legs. Just allow the legs to lift naturally, and enjoy this pose for a few minutes.
7. Savasana (Corpse Pose)
Lastly, Savasana is the pose of surrender. The pose of letting go of our body’s tension, fully preparing for rest.
How: Laying down, either on the floor or in bed, allow the body to full relax. Letting go of the jaw and the grip in the hands, the body can lay heavily. Enjoy ten smooth breaths before allowing the body to drift to sleep.
Do you have trouble getting to sleep?
Now it’s your turn. There are many yoga poses to help you sleep, but how did you find these ones? If you have any questions or comments, share them via the comment section below.
P.S. Who do you know that may find this ‘yoga for insomnia’ routine helpful? Share it with them now, they’ll thank you later!