7 Yoga Poses That Will Help You Fall Asleep Faster

Yoga is an incredibly effective practice for the mind and body,  which has its roots in ancient India and dates back to over seven thousand years. It teaches you to control your body, mind, and emotions and makes you stronger, both physically and mentally.

It’s no wonder that more and more people are choosing to incorporate yoga practices into their daily life.

It gets even better!

Some yoga poses have potent sleep-promoting properties and are so easy you can even do them in your bedroom! The following are seven easy-to-do yoga asanas for better sleep.

1. Child’s Pose (Balasana)

Why it works: 

Balasana gently stretches your lumbar area and hip flexors located on the inner side of the thigh. This is beneficial for people who work at the office and sit at their desks most of the time. The child’s pose improves blood circulation and removes stiffness, thus reducing symptoms of neck and back pain. 

How to do it:

  • Get down on your hands and knees.
  • Pull your pelvis a bit back and lower your hips towards your heels. 
  •  Place the knees wider than your hips.
  • Bend forward and walk your hands forward. 
  • Put your forehead on the ground or on a prop like a block/a pillow.
  • Breathe slowly. Stay in Balasana for five deep breaths.

Interesting fact: In 2015, the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health conducted a national survey on the use of supplements, massage, and yoga practices for wellness. The results were impressive: 55% of respondents said that yoga helped them improve their sleep, while stress levels were reduced in a whopping 85% of participants. 

2. Legs Up The Wall (Viparita Karani)

Why it works: 

Leg swelling is the most common problem if your work requires hours of standing or moving a lot. Swollen legs can feel heavy and painful; or, you may develop burning or tingling sensations in the calf area, which can be a significant disruptive factor for your sleep. Viparita Karani allows you to improve blood and lymph circulation in the legs, thereby helping you relax and get deeper sleep.

How to do it: 

Viparita Karani is so simple, you can even do it in your bed.

  • Place your legs against the wall while keeping your lower back pressed to the ground.
  • Try to bring your tailbone as close to the wall as you can, but remain comfortable. If you feel too much strain on your hamstrings, stop right there or slide a bit away from the wall.
  • Remain in this pose as long as it feels comfortable (5 to 10 minutes is good.) 

3. Standing Forward Fold (Uttanasana)

Why it works: 

Computer neck syndrome is a thing that we all experience to some point due to the abundance of gadgets in our lives. This pose can unlock your stiff neck and T-spine area, stretch your leg muscles, and put you in a state of deep relaxation. 

How to do it:

  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart.  
  • Slightly bend your knees and bend down from your hips, folding your upper body over your legs.
  • Allow your upper body, arms, and head to hang heavy and slightly loose.
  • Sway back and forth and from side to side to feel all sides of your feet on the ground.
  • Relax, exhale and place your hands on the floor, next to the feet or let them rest on any part of the leg that you can reach comfortably. Stay here for 5-7 breaths. 
  • To come out of the posture, gently begin to straighten the torso while breathing slowly.

Friendly tip: As you master your yoga routine for sleep, you may try combining it with other proven methods for falling asleep faster. Controlled breathing techniques or progressive muscle relaxation paired with yoga will give you a more pronounced soothing effect. 

4. Sarpasana (Snake Pose)

Why it works: 

Snake pose is targeted at the same parts of your body as the previous one. It relaxes deep knots in your T-spine area and takes the stiffness off the shoulder region. But along with that, this gentle backbend also works on your lumbar area and hips. An ultimate relaxing combo!

How to do it:

  • Lie on your stomach. You can use a soft pillow or blanket to keep the pressure off.
  • Raise your upper body, inhale, and stretch your arms behind you with your fingers interlaced.
  • Lift your hands towards the ceiling and open up your chest.
  • Press your toes into the ground and try to hold this position for 2 to 3  breathing cycles.
  • Relax. Then repeat at least4 to 5  times.

5. Reclining Goddess Pose (Supta Baddha Konasana)

Why it works: 

Sometimes it’s our gut that prevents us from getting proper sleep. Bloating, cramps or other unpleasant things can turn traveling to the Land of Nod into a real challenge. Reclining Goddess pose may help relieve the tension in the abdominal area, improve blood circulation, and stretch the deep muscles.

How to do it:

  • Lie down in supine. You can use a pillow or blanket for cushioning your back.
  • Bend your knees and move them to the sides so that the soles of your feet would touch.
  • Place your palms on the sides (next to your knees) facing up. You can also stretch them back,  above your head and allow them to relax completely. 
  • Ensure your spine and shoulders are completely relaxed. 
  • Exhale and bring your heels close to the groin, allowing your knees to open up and allowing a deep stretch in inner thighs. 
  • With every exhalation, relax and open your hips even more.
  • Stay in this pose for at least 2 minutes, slowly inhaling and exhaling.

A 2013 study conducted on females reported that yoga practices helped make women calmer and more relaxed during different stages of their menstrual cycle. Although the researchers didn’t mention which yoga poses were included in the session, chances are that one of them was the Reclining Goddess pose. 

6. Supine Spinal Twist (Jathara Parivartanasana)

Why it works: 

Supine Spinal Twist extends the muscle called quadratus lumborum which starts at the pelvis and runs up to the lower rib. It’s the deepest abdominal muscle that becomes the most common cause of lower back pain when stiff. So, if you can’t sleep because of back pain, try this position, it could be a real game-changer.

How to do it:

  • Lie on your back with your arms stretched to the sides (in line with shoulder).
  • Bend your knees and bring them closer to your chest. 
  • Now drop your knees down to the left side and gently turn your head to look to the right. 
  • Stay in this position for at least a minute, then straighten your knees.
  • Repeat the same supine twist with knees on the right side.

7. Corpse Pose (Savasana)

Why it works: 

Savasana is the final pose in most yoga sessions. The beneficial effects of yoga on your parasympathetic nervous system become the most potent in this position. Savasana reduces blood pressure, heart rate, and levels of stress, thereby inducing a deeper sleep.

How to do it: 

  • Lie on your back with your legs straight. Keep the arms by your sides, palms facing up.
  • Breathe easily.
  • Try to gradually relax every part of your body, moving from your toes to the crown, while breathing normally. 
  • With every inhalation allow the body to sink deeper into the mat and with every exhalation, let go of all the tension, aches and pains. 
  • When you feel complete relaxation, shift the awareness to your breath and remain in Savasana from 10 to 30 minutes — or until you fall asleep.

Also Read: https://www.juruyoga.com/yoga-can-boost-your-immunity-and-gray-matter/

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