8 of the Best Yoga Poses for Sleep: Nod off Faster and Wake up Fresher

Geoffrey Lions
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Legs-Up-The-Wall Pose (Viparita Karani)

Legs-up-the-wall pose is a very restful inversion pose that improves circulation, and allows the body to rejuvenate during the evening. The pose is easy to remove and helps open up the hamstrings and shoulders.

To get into this pose, begin by lying down near a wall. Prop one leg up on the wall with the ankle directly on the floor (do not hook the toes on the floor). The other leg should be extended out on the floor (you can prop this leg up too if this is too difficult). Then, shift your body towards the wall and lay your back, shoulders, and head on the floor. The shoulder should relax down and rest comfortably on the floor.

Restorative Bridge Pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana)

Benefits:

  • Great for back pain
  • Improves posture
  • Eases menstrual cramps

To Do:

Lie on your back. Bend your knees and place your feet on the floor with your heels as close to your bum as possible. Rest your hands on your belly. Inhale as you gently press your feet into the floor. Lift your hips from the floor as your knees drop toward the floor. If you’re a beginner, keep your knees slightly bent! Exhale and relax your neck and shoulders away from your ears. Relax your jaw and breathe steadily. Hold for up to 10 deep breaths.

Special Considerations:

If the pose makes you feel unsteady or you have any back injuries, consider resting your back against a bolster or on a thickly folded blanket.

Reclining Bound Angle Pose (Supta Baddha Konasana)

Many of us are familiar with the idea that making time for exercise helps us to fall asleep easier and faster, and stay asleep longer. A great way to add exercise to your sleep schedule is through stretching, a form of yoga. The reason for this is because it increases circulation and strengthens the lower back which is important if you suffer from back pain.

Reclining Bound Angle Pose will compress your abdominal organs, helping with digestion. The pose also specifically targets the liver which is important for detoxification and getting even better sleep. You will also feel the effects of Reclining Bound Angle Pose on the spine helping reduce stiffness and pain.

Wide-Knee Child’s Pose (Balasana)

For this pose, lie down on your back with your knees up and your feet down. Then, slide your buttocks down to your heels as you extend your legs out on the floor. When breathing out, raise your arms up and over your head, and drape them across your body. Let your head and neck relax, and let your eyes close, if possible. Stay in the pose for as long as you need to calm your mind.

Benefits:

  • As an alternate pose, try raising your knees and keeping your arms above your head. This will help to stretch out your back muscles and also release some tension in your shoulders.
  • Stretches out your legs and back
  • Improves mind/body connection

Happy Baby (Ananda Balasana)

This is a simple lying-down pose that stretches the hamstrings and ankles. It can be performed with bent legs to make it easier for beginners while the toes are pointed to the sky for intermediate level students. This pose also stretches the hips, chest and abdomen, and relieves tension.

Happy Baby is not only a relaxing pose but also a beneficial one. It can help improve breathing and circulation, and relieve anxiety and stress. After a particularly long day at work, lying down and doing this pose for even a few minutes is better than doing nothing at all.

Do It Right

Lie on your back and then bend your knees. Bring your toes to touch your heels. Hold the pose and relax. Breathe slowly and deeply. Relax your shoulders and arms, and close your eyes. Concentrate on your breathing. Feel your body relax, and let your thoughts go. Stay in this pose for about 30 seconds, then gradually bring yourself back up and change positions.

Lizard Pose (Utthan Pristhasana)

This pose stretches the hips, knees, and ankles. It also stretches the groins and the backs of the legs, as you will feel a cottony sensation in your calves, hamstrings, and inner thighs.

This pose also stretches the chest and openness. It activates the lower abdominal organs. It gives a good stretch from the hips to the shoulders.

Yoga students often stretch their arms out straight and bring them in up and over the head, which is called “Forearm Plank.” This pose stretches the arm, chest, back, and lungs. Your breathing will slow down as a result. Your chest will feel more open by the time you finish this pose. Slow breathing in this pose is recommended. This pose is especially good for people people who have a hard time sleeping. It helps you let go of anxiety and it helps to relax the mind.

Seated Forward Bend (Paschimottanasana)

Sit on the floor, then bring the soles of your feet together. Slowly lean forward and touch your toes.

This is the quintessential yoga pose for sleeping. If you are a part- or full-time yoga practitioner and have strong back muscles, this pose can cause some serious relaxation in your chest and back.

According to Yoga Journal, this pose helps you sleep better by relaxing the body and calming your mind. You can even rest your arms alongside your legs, then try saying your mantra or prayer to help you relax even more.

When you sit for a long time, pressure is placed on the back of your pelvis and tailbone. This pose softly releases that tension and stretches out the muscles in these areas, which can help prevent lower back pain in the future.

This pose also stretches your spine, which is why it is used to open the chest in other yoga practices. Half an hour to a full hour of practicing this pose before bed can leave you with little time to question why you can’t sleep.

Corpse Pose (Savasana)

Corpse pose is a favorite yoga pose for when you need to relax or go to sleep. The pose is not complicated and can be done to suit individual needs.

Using this pose as an opportunity to rest the mind and calm down can relax the body. The posture allows you to lie on your back and relax the muscles, promoting rest and sleep.

Cushion your spine by placing a folded blanket or towel under your knees for comfort. Gently close your eyes and breathe in a steady rhythm.

Focus your attention on breath. To help you relax even more, keep your awareness on your breath and each exhale.

With practice, this pose can allow you to enter a state of rest and relaxation.