5 Yoga Poses Away from a Better Night’s Sleep
Whether you suffer from insomnia, or you just want to relax for a few minutes before sleep, bedtime yoga can help you have a more restful night’s sleep. Taking just a few minutes in bed before you fall asleep to do these simple yoga poses may help you fall asleep faster, sleep deeper, and stay asleep longer.
As you climb into bed for the night, take just a few minutes before you do these simple poses, to bring your focus to your breathing. Feel the breath moving in and out of your nose, as your chest and abdomen rise and fall. By turning your attention to your breath, you give the mind a chance to relax and to let go of all the thoughts that are streaming through it all day. Continue to focus on your breath for a minute or two before moving into the first pose.
Janu Sirsasana (Head-to-Knee Pose)
When you feel ready, begin your in-bed yoga series with Janu Sirsasana (Head-to-Knee Pose). Straighten your left leg and bend your right knee, placing your right foot on the inside of your left leg. The right leg and knee should comfortably release into the bed. If not, support your right knee with a folded blanket or pillow underneath it. Hinging at the hips, fold forward as you reach your hands towards your left foot. Remember to breathe into the stretch and not to pull yourself deeper into the stretch. Stay here for three to five breaths, and as you are ready, inhale as you straighten back up. Straighten your right leg and bend your left leg, placing your left foot on the inside of your right leg. Repeat the same steps on this side.
Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclining Bound Angle Pose)
Next, move from sitting to lying on your back for Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclining Bound Angle Pose). Once you are lying down, bend both your knees and bring the soles of your feet together. Let your knees drop open. Lengthen your spine and along the bed and then rest your hands, palms face up, along either side of your body. Breathe here for 2-5 minutes. As you are ready to come out of this pose, straighten both your legs.
Supta Matsyendrasana (Reclined twist)
Next, preparing yourself for Supta Matsyendrasana (Reclined twist), bend your legs and hug them both into your chest. Extend only your right leg along the bed, while keeping the left leg bent into the chest. As you are ready, drop your left knee across your body to the right. Extend your left arm straight out, so that your spine is in a twist. Breathe here for three to five complete breaths. When you are ready, bring your left knee back across your body and bring your left leg up to meet the right as you once again hug your knees into your chest. Lengthen your left leg along the bed and repeat on the opposite side.
Balasana (Child’s Pose)
Next, move into Balasana (Child’s Pose). Coming onto your hands and knees, spread your knees apart wide and bring your big toes together. Release your backside towards your feet and bring your belly to rest in between your thighs, with your forehead resting on the bed. You can then either extend your arms straight out in front of you, along the bed, with your palms face down, or you can bring the arms back along the sides of the thighs with the palms facing up. Stay here for 2-5 minutes.
Savasana (Corpse Pose)
Finally, come to rest on your back in Savasana (Corpse Pose). Lying on your back with your arms and legs naturally falling open, you can begin a few rounds of left nostril breathing. Place your index and middle finger on your forehead, between your eyes, and use your thumb to close the right nostril. Breathe in and out of the left nostril for several breaths to bring a sense of calmness and relaxation.
Follow this simple sequence of poses whenever you climb into bed – a more restful night’s sleep is just a few moments away!