10 Bedtime Yoga Positions That Help You Sleep Better
Experts advise including restorative and relaxing poses in your yoga routine before bed can help improve sleep quality. Avoid active postures that energize you instead opting for soothing, seated positions instead.
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Set a reminder to complete these 10 poses before sleeping.
1. Cat Pose
Cat Pose is one of the primary poses associated with yoga's benefits, helping improve sleep, relieve neck and back pain, open and stretch chest, hips and spine and open/flex chest/hip/spinal area.
For children having trouble sleeping, Cat Pose may help as an aid for relaxation and sleep preparation. A game such as hiding their favorite toy then encouraging them to search for it can help calm their minds before bedtime. Also known as Wide-Knee Child's Pose this gentle stretch strengthens lumbar spine strength while relieving emotional tension.
2. Bridge Pose
Bridge pose is a mild backbend which strengthens and stretches out the spine, chest, shoulders and hip flexors to relieve fatigue, stress headache indigestion insomnia as well as stimulate thyroid gland and endocrine system for mental clarity.
Bridge pose can be modified for those suffering from lower back issues by placing a yoga block under their hips, interlacing their hands behind their back to walk them in, pushing down into their arms in order to elevate the torso slightly higher.
After practicing yoga poses and movements, it's time to rest. Corpse pose (Savasana) provides an ideal calming position that encourages deep restful sleep.
This bedtime yoga routine can help ease you into restful slumber and boost energy during the day. But please keep in mind that yoga may not be appropriate for everyone as some poses could potentially cause injury - always consult your physician prior to trying any new exercises, especially those which involve physical exertion such as yoga. Also try eating lightly prior to practicing.
4. Forward Fold
Forward Fold is an essential pose in many yoga practices, helping relieve stress and promote restful sleep. According to Stevens, forward folding may also ease headaches while increasing blood flow to the brain.
Beginning to practice this pose can be a challenging endeavor, so she suggests beginning by using a strap to secure your legs up. That way, you'll reap all the benefits without straining too much; though pregnant women should avoid this position. Making this part of your bedtime ritual could improve sleep while decreasing risks related to injury.
5. Butterfly Pose
Mimicking the pose of a delighted newborn, this gentle pose promotes relaxation and improves sleep quality. Unfortunately, it's not suitable for pregnant women or people with tight hips or knee injuries.
This pose helps stretch and lengthen the back, shoulders, neck, jaw muscles that may tighten during sleep as well as relax them. Additionally, this pose can relax jaw clenchers.
6. Triangle Pose
This relaxing posture stretches the back, neck, and shoulders as well as strengthening core muscles and improving balance. It is particularly helpful for people suffering from low back pain and tight hips.
Triangle Pose practice requires keeping your body in an alignment that protects against injury, such as back and shoulder discomfort. Doing this will minimize risks such as strains and ruptures in the spine and shoulder ligaments.
To make this pose more rejuvenating, it can be done over a bolster or pile of pillows - this will enable your parasympathetic nervous system to kick into gear and calm both body and mind in preparation for sleep.
7. Reclining Bound Angle
This restorative pose can help promote restful night's rest by relaxing your muscles, relieving tension, and decreasing headaches due to stress or insomnia.
Sanskrit terminology refers to this posture as Supta Baddha Konasana; it helps promote blood flow to both your lower back and heart, as well as stretching inner thighs and groins for better internal organ health and relieving back pain.
Addition of a bolster or pillow under your back, as well as blocks under each knee can further facilitate comfort during this pose.
8. Half Moon Pose
This pose can help to relieve stress and foster a restful night's rest while strengthening shoulders, back, and hips. Simply stand with feet six inches apart and fold your torso toward the ground until hands are flat on the floor - bend knees as necessary!
This pose stretches the shoulders, chest, back, hips and thighs, opening and strengthening the spine while improving balance, coordination and flexibility.
Avoid this pose if your blood pressure is low or if you experience neck, back, hips or knee discomfort. Also pregnant women should refrain from performing it.
9. Warrior II
Warrior II, or Virabhadrasana 2, strengthens and tones legs and hips while alleviating backaches. It can also calm the mind. However, this pose should not be attempted by those suffering from high blood pressure, headaches or neck injuries.
Stand with feet parallel, approximately three to four feet apart, and place the right foot in front of the left, angling its knee so that hips are stacked over left knee. Relax arms to stretch the chest forward. Take four deep breaths in this pose.
10. Corpse Pose
Savasana, also known as Corpse Pose or Corpse Pose in Sanskrit, is used at the end of yoga routines to allow your body to rest. The name derives from Sanskrit words shava (corpse) and asana (posture).
Benefits of this final pose include relieving muscle tension and relaxing your mind - potentially helping prevent injury, aches and pains while giving you a peaceful night's rest.
To practice this pose, lie on a flat surface such as a mat. If pregnant, use a bolster under your knees or elevate your head and chest with a pillow for additional support of your back.
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