Whether you’re an insomniac or you just can’t seem to fall asleep one night there is a simple solution: yoga! Many yoga poses are destined to help quiet the mind and relax the body. The two perfect combinations for a restful night’s sleep.
So, if you’re an advanced yogi or a beginner with no experience here are 4 simple poses that anyone can master. You’ll be snoring away in no time!
Legs-Up-The-Wall Pose (Viparita Karani)
Viparita Karani is a restorative pose that can be extremely calming, especially for those that stand for long periods during the day. It helps relieve tired legs and feet as well as stretches the neck and torso.
To do the pose:
- Start by sitting with your right side against a wall
- Take an inhale and on the exhale swing your legs up against the wall and your head and body to the floor
- If this is too difficult, you can start by lying on the floor and bringing your legs up against the wall
- Try to get your bottom as close to the wall as possible without causing discomfort (you can also add a soft support to your lower back if need be)
- Tilt your chin towards your sternum so that the full length of you neck is resting on the floor
- Your arms can rest at your sides or be placed on the heart and stomach
- Take several breathes in this position and feel the tension draining from your legs into the ground
- When finished, slowly lower your legs to the ground and shake out any remaining stress
Sitting Twist (Siddhasana, variation)
Siddhasana is normally a frontal seated pose (similar to ones you see in meditation) but this one has a twist variation. It’s good for improving circulation and easing tension in the spine.
To do the pose:
- Start by sitting in a cross-legged position with your torso facing forward and your back straight
- Put you left hand on your right knee and take an inhale
- As you exhale place your right hand behind you on the floor and twist your torso
- Hold this position for a few breaths and then release the twist
- Reverse your leg crossing and do the same for the other side
Supported Half Frog Pose (Ardha Bhekasana)
Supported Ardha Bhekasana is great for opening up the hips, inner thighs and the pelvic floor. Areas which generally hold a lot of tension. Releasing the stress in these areas can not only help your mind but your lower back and spine as well.
To do the pose:
- Start by laying flat on your belly with your legs outstretched and your arms beside you (if it’s more comfortable you can lie on a folded blanket or body pillow)
- Bring you arms either under your head or next to it in a cactus pose
- Keep one leg straight while you bend the other into a 90-degree angle
- You can keep it where it is or bring it closer to your armpit if you want a deeper stretch
- If you are feeling strain you can also add a support near your hip and inner groin
- Return your bent leg and proceed to do the same for the other side
Corpse Pose (Savasana)
Savasana is by far the most relaxing pose in yoga and is used to end most yoga sessions. It helps calm the mind, relax the body and lower blood pressure. This pose is one of total relaxation and the most effective at helping with insomnia.
To do this pose:
- Start in a seated position with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor
- Place your hands behind you and slowly lift your pelvis off the floor to tilt your tailbone up and then return back down
- Inhale and extend your legs one by one and then slowly lower your upper body down to the ground
- Your feet should be turned out slightly and your arms resting by your side with palms face up
- Tilt you chin down towards your sternum and lengthen through the top of your head so that your neck is stretched out along the ground
- Feel your body connect with the floor and release your muscles and joints
- Take deep breaths and try to let go of any tension you feel, let the ground be your support as you melt away