Yoga Sequence for a Better Night’s Sleep
July 15, 2016 | Stress Relief | No Comments|
Not sleeping well? This bedtime yoga sequence can help.
If you find yourself tossing and turning, waking up multiple times throughout the night, or having trouble falling asleep altogether, your restless mind is likely to blame. It can be difficult to switch your brain into sleep mode when life is hectic during the daylight hours. But before you turn to a sleep aid to get the shut-eye you need, try a more holistic approach. Doing yoga can relax your body AND your mind. Try the yoga sequence below before bed, and you’ll be sound asleep in no time.
Child’s Pose + Pillow
- Spread the knees wide, bring big toes together to touch, and soften your chest over a pillow.
- The arms can rest towards your hips or by your sides – whatever is more comfortable for you.
- Your only job here is to soften – the shoulders, back, belly, hips – LET IT ALL GO!
- Stay for at least a minute.
- Place the pillow directly under your seat and slide your booty to the edge of it.
- Bring your legs into a cross-legged position and interlace the hands behind the head.
- On an inhale breath – lengthen up, open the elbows wide, expand across your chest, and let the head drop slightly back.
- On an exhale breath – round the body, magnetize elbows in towards one another, and gently hug the belly in.
- Repeat this movement for 5-10 breaths.
- Come into your cross-legged position, using the pillow underneath your seat to gently prop you up.
- Drop the right ear towards the right shoulder, extend the left hand out to your side, and bring your right hand overhead and rest it as shown in the photo.
- Feel free to explore the direction of the gaze here, move slowly and with care, and be sure to send the breath to the neck region.
- Stay for 5-10 breaths, then switch sides.
Legs Up the Wall
- Find a wall, your headboard, or possibly use the ground if necessary.
- Place the pillow against the wall and maneuver your body so that your butt and backs of the legs are connected to the surface. The easiest way to do this is – start with your side pressed up against the wall, then windmill your legs up as you lie down. Voila!
- The hands can rest out to your sides, on your belly, overhead, or wherever is comfortable.
- Stay here for 5 minutes, do nothing, relax, and surrender to the posture.
Upavista + Wall
- From the previous posture, simply spread the legs wide while keeping contact with the wall.
- Stay here for 1-5 minutes, depending on your flexibility and how restorative you’d like to make the practice.
- Start lying on your back, bend the knees and plant your feet into the bed, then bring the arms into a T shape.
- Let the knees spill over to the left side and breathe into the right side body – make space!
- Stay for a minute.
- Inhale the knees back through center and repeat on the opposite side.
Supta Baddha Konasana + Pillow
- Place the pillow directly behind you in a vertical position. Make sure the pillow is connected to the low back.
- Lower yourself down over the pillow, bring the soles of the feet together, and the let the knees open wide.
- The arms can rest on your hips, your stomach, your heart, or out to your sides.
- Let everything soften here – feel free to stay for as long as your heart desires.
All photography courtesy of The Journey Junkie.