June 15, 2017

There is nothing better than good night’s sleep, and there’s no better way to set the tone than yoga. No, you don’t really need to be a professional yogi or spend your entire evening trying yoga poses for sleep in order to reap the full benefits. There exists simple poses that you can do for a few minutes before tucking into bed that can greatly improve your sleeping rewards.

This article explores the five best yoga poses for sleep that will benefit you regardless of what your daytime schedule looks like. They only take ten minutes and are easily doable at home, in your bedroom if you wish. Just grab a yoga mat and you’re good to go.

1. The wind-down twist

Sit down upright, with your legs crossed in the classic yoga style. Place your left hand on your right knee, and the right hand palm down on the mat, just behind your back. Exhale deeply but gently, then allow your upright torso to twist from left to right, complete with your face. Take another deep breath at the end of the twist, then exchange the position of your hands and repeat.

This pose helps straighten your spine to its normal upright pose, while at the same time stretching the back muscles that may have been cramped by different movements during the day.

Pose duration: 2 minutes

2. Supine Spinal Twist (Supta Matsyendrasana)

Lie flat on your back with your hands at your sides forming a 90 degrees angle at the elbows with the palms facing up. Bring your right knee all the way up to your chest, then outstretch your right hand and twist your knee gently to the left. Take two slow deep breaths then repeat the same with your left side. If it is comfortable for you, you may outstretch both arms and bring both knees to the chest simultaneously, then twist to each side and pause to take breaths.

The supine twist is a good aid in digestion as it churns your belly contents and stimulates your stomach to produce relevant enzymes. It also stretches a tense spine.

Pose duration: 2 Minutes

3. Child’s pose (The Balasana)

Start by assuming a kneeling position with your heels facing up. Bring the back part of your thighs to rest upon your calves, then fold your torso forward with hands fully outstretched and palms facing down until your forehead touches the mat. Make sure your chest comes as close as possible to your knees. Hold this position while taking slow shallow breaths.

This pose will help to calm your mind down, while at the same time stretching respective areas along your length- the spine, the thighs, the calves and the front of your feet. You may gently massage your brow while at it by gently shaking your head from side to side with the forehead on the soft mat.

Pose duration: 2 minutes

4. Hero pose (The Virasana)

From the Child’s pose, get your torso back up so you are now in a kneeling position. Get your spine and neck straight, facing straight ahead. Try to bring your shoulders into line with your hips. Just hold this pose and breath gently.

This pose should help you gain some physical stability, while also improving mental stability by helping you to calm down. You are on your way to sleeping a hero, a calm hero!

Pose duration: 2 minutes

5. Corpse mode (Savasana)

Round up your sleep preparation with the true rehearsal of sleeping by adopting the corpse pose. Simply lie flat on your back with your body fully stretched and place your hands on your sides. Close your eyes and take relaxed breaths, while focusing your mind on 'release mode,’ allowing it to let go of the days tensions and create a rosy picture that welcomes you into slumber land. This last pose could actually be done on the bed itself and, if possible, let sleep take you away while you are at it!

Pose duration: 2 Minutes

Yoga generally affects how your body performs different functions when you get to sleep, so for a deep yogi your day’s activities should determine the specific poses you take to at the end of the day. The above poses can however benefit you whether you are an office worker or a field runner.

Note: The five steps above can be done in any order, but they are best done as listed, as they begin with the seemingly most complex and gradually ease you into complete relaxation, seamlessly handing you to your beautiful slumber.

Have a good night, won’t you?