5 Yoga Asanas That Are Helpful To Get You Sound Sleep
By: Pinki Tue, 06 Apr 2021 4:43 PM
Yoga can help tone, stretch, and strengthen your muscles, thus increasing your endurance, flexibility, and mobility.
At the same time, certain restorative and relaxing yoga poses help you wind down by activating the parasympathetic nervous system, and transferring from “fight or flight” to “rest and digest mode.”
A national survey reported that the majority of the respondents used yoga for wellness and experienced improved sleep quality as a result of it.
# Legs Up the Wall
By simply inverting your body and lifting your legs, you are already tapping into your nervous system and sending relaxing and unwinding signals into your brain.
Your blood starts rushing toward your heart and inner organs, replenishing them with oxygen and nutrients.
- Place your mat against a wall or a sturdy object high enough so you can rest the full length of your legs on it when you are lying down.
- Lie down and lift your legs vertically into the air, scooting your sitting bones so they are touching the wall. Relax your legs and let them rest on the wall.
- Feel your upper body relax on the floor. Put a pillow under your head for extra support, or use a blanket to cover yourself if you need it.
- Place your hands beside you, on your belly, or over your head, and close your eyes, paying attention to your breath. Slowly start increasing the duration of your inhales and exhales, feeling the energy flow through your body.
- You can stay in this position for 5–10 min or for as long as you feel comfortable.
- Slowly bend your knees into your chest before rolling over and exiting the pose completely to bring the blood flow back into your legs and avoid any sudden movements.
# Child’s Pose
Providing a sense of calm and inner peace, balasana is a great resting pose whenever you feel stressed or when your heart is racing.
That is why it is also cued in every yoga class as teachers encourage using it whenever you feel overwhelmed or the class becomes too hard.
- Start in a kneeling position and open your knees as wide as you comfortably can. If you have knee problems, place a yoga towel underneath your knees to protect them and release the pressure. Lower your torso in between your thighs and stretch your arms long in front of you, palms facing down.
- Spread your fingers wide and grip the mat beneath you, feeling the sensation of pushing yourself into the floor and feeling the Earth resist you. Send your tailbone to the back wall and elongate your spine all the way through the crown of your head.
- Relax your forehead on the floor, and gently move your head side to side to massage your third eye, the center of your intuition. Omit if this does not feel good.
- Stay in this position for 5–10 long breaths or longer if your body asks for it.
- Slowly inhale and gaze forward, rounding up to a kneeling position to come back to the center.
# Reclining Bound Angle
This amazing pose is a lifesaver for your lower back muscles and hips, as it uses gravity to gently stretch and open them out, without any force or tension.
- Lie on your back and bend your knees, placing your feet on the floor.
- Bring your feet to touch and let your knees fall to each side, opening your hips and stretching out your groin. Place your hands beside you or on your belly, close your eyes, and tune in to your breath.
- Feel your shoulders drop down and relax, tension slipping away from your neck and sacrum resting supported on the floor. You can also fold a blanket and place it underneath your spine. You can also place cushions underneath your knees for extra comfort.
- Avoid any pressing or pulling motions. Your knees will open up on their own. Simply close your eyes and feel yourself drift off, noticing your chest lift and drop with every inhale and exhale.
- Stay in this position for 5–10 long breaths or more if it feels good.
- To safely exit the pose, grab your thighs or knees from the outside and gently lift them, joining them in the center. You can bring them up to your chest and gently massage your spine, or you can leave them there and separate your feet, feeling your inner thighs rest on top of one another.
# Reclined Twist
Twists are the best detoxifying tools yoga offers to help relieve stress, constipation, brain fog, and any digestive issues. They can be performed standing, sitting, or lying down.
Reclined twists are usually used for restorative purposes as your body finds itself in a horizontal position, already stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system and telling it that it is time to calm down.
- Lie on your back and bring your knees into your chest, firmly hugging them and feeling your spine elongate on the floor. Bring your knees to one side and let them fall toward the floor, extending your arms in a capital T shape, perpendicular to your body.
- Gaze toward the opposite side of your knees and feel both shoulders on the floor. If your shoulders are lifting, that means you have gone too deep into your twist, so gently lift them. The priority is the shoulders, as every twist starts from your upper spine.
- Use your breath to get deeper in the twist and reap all the benefits. Inhales elongate the spine; exhales take you deeper into the twist.
- You can stay in this position for as long as you want before coming back to the center and repeating the same thing on the other side. Just make sure you stay equally long in it.
# Corpse Pose
The traditional resting yoga pose, Savasana, is the ultimate way to transport your mind and body into dreamland.
- Lie on your back, legs extended and slightly separated so your hips naturally open up. Relax your arms by your sides a couple of inches away from your torso, palms facing up. Feel your shoulders drop and your shoulder blades slide down your back, letting a sense of calm overwhelm your entire body.
- Close your eyes and let your breath return to normal, using every exhale to sink deeper into your mat, feeling the weight of your body supported by the Earth beneath you. Slowly start bringing your attention inward, letting your brain declutter and rest.
- Scan your body and notice any tension or pain and send your inhales and exhales to those areas, allowing your body to do its most important job: repair and recover.