From beating deadlines at work or school, checking emails, and browsing social media, you may be preoccupied with so many things that you find it hard to sleep. This can take a toll on both your physical and mental health. Thankfully, you can develop a better habit like performing a laying down pose to help enjoy a calm and restful sleep. Below, Zuda has provided simple but beneficial yoga poses that you can practice before bedtime.
Reclining Bound Angle
Also known as Supta Baddha Konasana or Reclined Goddess pose, reclining bound angle is a classic restorative pose that can help you sleep better as it calms your mind and body. You get to stretch your inner thighs, knees, shoulders, and groin muscles, helping reduce any stress in your body. Apart from relieving fatigue, insomnia, and mild depression, it also helps regulate blood pressure.
For this laying down pose, you can use up to four pillows for better support and relaxation. One pillow will be under your head, while another will be under your spine. Then, you can place the other two pillows under your knees, especially if stretching in your hip and groin seems a bit strong for you.
First, lie down on your back while bending your legs and placing both arms at your sides, with your palms facing forward. Make sure to keep your feet together and as close to your hips as you can. If you’re not comfortable with the position, keep your feet a bit lower until you can get a good stretch in your inner thighs and hips.
Then, start lifting your chest and allow deep breaths by forming a space between your shoulders. Let your shoulders, hips, and knees sink naturally and deeply into your bed. Depending on how comfortable you are, remain in this pose for five to 15 minutes. To release your lower back, hug each knee into your chest, and then lower and straighten both legs to start your journey through dreamland.
Legs Up the Wall
Another lying down pose that doesn’t need too much strength or flexibility is legs up the wall, also known as Viparita Karani. It helps you maintain a relaxed mind and body while reducing tension and promoting self-healing. With a lowered heart rate as another effect, insomnia, stress, and anxiety can be reduced.
If you’re struggling with sleep, the legs up the wall pose is a good practice to help put all your worries away and fall into a deep slumber. Other benefits of this inversion pose include better digestion and circulation, and back pain, tired legs, headache, and migraine relief. However, consult a healthcare professional before trying legs up the wall if you have specific medical conditions, such as high blood pressure, hernia, and glaucoma.
In this yoga pose before bedtime, you can place a pillow under your hips or head to provide support. To start, keep your hips as close to the wall as you can. You can also do the same with your headboard. Then, bring both legs up onto your wall and place your arms to the sides while creating a letter T. You can use a chair too to do this pose. Choose what’s most comfortable for you.
Make sure your face muscles and your entire body are relaxed and then slowly close your eyes. Focus on your breathing or set a more peaceful atmosphere by playing relaxing songs. Remain in this pose for about two to five minutes to reap the benefits and enjoy a good night’s sleep.
Seated Spinal Twist
One of the sitting down poses that help stretch your upper body, including your neck, shoulders, hip, and back is the seated spinal twist, which is also called Ardha Matsyendrasana. It helps ease lower back pain, enhance digestion, increase flexibility, and promote more restful sleep. To execute this restorative yoga pose, simply sit on a folded blanket while extending your legs in front of you and letting your hand rest on your thighs.
Cross the right leg over after bending your right knee, and make sure your foot is next to your left thigh. Then, it’s time to bend your left knee and keep your left ankle beside your right glute. The right foot should remain on the floor.
After squaring your hips to make sure they’re even, stretch your right arm behind you while keeping your fingertips on the ground. Afterward, slowly twist your body to the right direction and lift your left arm. Position your left arm on your right knee, which is now bent. Inhale and exhale and try to twist a little bit more to the right. Slowly release from the sitting down pose and do the same to the other side.
If you’re a beginner and find it hard to keep your elbow outside of your knee, you can wrap your arm around your knee. Doing the pose more regularly will help you become more flexible. If you’re ready to perform a more advanced version, slightly release your twist when inhaling and then twist some more when exhaling.
Seated Forward Fold
If you’re looking for sitting down poses that will help improve your sleep, include seated forward fold on your list. Also named seated forward bend or Paschimottanasana, this yoga pose helps loosen up not only your hamstrings but also your lower back. Given how relaxing it is, it lets you relieve your stress and uplift your mood. This yoga pose also means letting go, so release whatever tension you’re feeling and allow yourself to sleep like a baby.
To perform the seated forward fold pose, start looking for a comfortable seat, extend your legs in front of you, press your heels to the floor, and then flex your feet. Next, inhale to stretch your arms up over your head and lengthen your spine.
Breathe outward, and bend your body forward, not at the waist but towards the hip area. To maintain position, firmly hold onto your feet. Depending upon your current range, you may alternatively hold your shins or ankles. If you have a towel or yoga strap, you may wrap it around your feet while holding onto it for added comfort and grip.
Do not bend your back. Keep a straight body, particularly on the torso area. Your legs must come into contact with your belly first, touching your chest next, and finally your head. As you inhale, straighten your frontal torso, and fold a bit more every time you exhale. Maintain the position for 60 seconds, and then exhale as you release. To properly withdraw from the position, lift your body in such a way that your tailbone is drawn toward the ground.
Experience Better Sleep With Laying Down Poses and More
Despite the daily hustle and bustle of life, you need to ensure you get the right amount of sleep and relaxation that you deserve. Fortunately, yoga allows you to clear your mind and body.
From laying down poses like the reclining bound angle and legs up the wall to sitting down poses like the seated spinal twist and seated forward fold, you have several options to have a full night’s sleep. Want to learn more yoga poses that will help enhance your overall health and well-being? Check out Zuda’s page!