4 Beginner Yoga Poses for Better Sleep
By: Taylor Borman
If you are like me, falling asleep at night can sometimes be a challenge. Maybe you’re starting a new job, your family is visiting from out of town, or your monkey brain just won’t be quiet. Trust me, it isn’t fun tossing and turning late at night because you are stressing out about something you can’t control.
That’s where yoga comes in. A soothing practice before bed can help calm the mind, lower stress levels and relieve tension in the body to help you sleep soundly at night.
So, ready to unwind?
First, clear off your bed, shut off all electronics and maybe break out some soothing aromatherapy oil. Now you’re ready. Try these four relaxing, beginner yoga poses to help you sleep better tonight.
1. Standing Forward Bend (Uttanasana)
This simple forward fold will kick off your nighttime practice by easing your body and mind. Not only does it stretch the whole back side of the body, especially the hamstrings and lower back, but it calms the brain and relieves stress, anxiety and insomnia.
Start by standing tall with your feet straight in front of you, heels on the ground, and then slowly bend forward from the hips. As you move your torso down, bring hands meet your feet. Relax your head and breathe into the backside of your body. Keep a slight bend in your knees if you feel any discomfort in your lower back.
2. Child’s Pose (Balasana)
Child’s Pose is a true resting pose to calm the whole body. It massages the internal organs and stretches the lower back, hips and thighs. The pose is great for soothing the central nervous system and relieving tension.
From a kneeling position, pull your big toes to touch behind you. Open your knees wide to leave room for your upper body, then bring your chest to the ground. For extra support, place a pillow under your torso. Take long deep breaths and massage your forehead side to side to ease tension at the brow.
3. Legs up the Wall Pose (Viparita Karani)
Legs up the Wall Pose is one of the most grounding, nourishing and calming poses out there. If you spend a lot of time on your feet, this pose will start to feel incredible in a matter of seconds. Not only does it help relieve tired leg muscles, it is super calming for the nervous system and helps quiet the mind.
To start, lie on your back with your sit-bones as close to the wall as comfortable for you. From there, extend your legs up the wall so the backs for your legs are resting fully against it. Close your eyes, breathe and enjoy the beauty of this posture.
4. Corpse Pose (Savasana)
Now it’s time for everyone’s favorite posture to rest and reset, Savasana. This pose is an opportunity to reconnect with your breath, tune into your body and center your mind. Do this move right before bed and we’re sure sleep will soon follow.
Lie on your back with your legs stretched out long and your arms at your side, palms up. Take up as much room as you need and close your eyes. Breathe deeply. If you are doing this pose in bed, sweet dreams!