5 of the Most Soothing Yoga Poses to Help You Sleep Better
Yoga is an ancient spiritual path which was founded in India. Yoga has been practiced in India for thousands of years, but only during the 20th century it was introduced to the West.
Even though in India yoga is practiced for spiritual purposes, in western countries people tend to practice it as a posture-based form of physical fitness, and for stress relief and relaxation. Nowadays yoga is more popular in some countries than going to the gym.
Yoga is a practice for the consciousness, soul, and body. HATHA YOGA is a form of yoga that has various effects depending on the ASANA-s (postures) we do. It can be done by both young people and older people. Older people may prefer yoga in place of more vigorous exercise, especially since it can be done at home with just a little space and a yoga mat.
It is said that there are 84 important ASANA-s, among the thousands that exist. There are ASANA-s that help for weight loss, weight gain, inner peace, relaxation of the body, for conceiving a baby, for a good sleep, for different body aches, for health improvement and so many more. Here, we will share five soothing poses for a good night’s sleep.
Practice these yoga poses for half an hour before bed and they will help you to start the next day with a fresh and energetic consciousness and body.
It is recommended that we start the ASANA-s with light warm-up exercises for the neck, spine and joints.
THE CAT AND COW POSE (MARJARYASANA)
First, we will sit on our hands and knees. For the cat pose we need to exhale as we tilt the crown of our head and the tailbone down to the ground and arch our spine into a C-curve, pulling our shoulder blades apart.
Then we come to the cow pose by inhaling and tilting the crown of the head and the tailbone towards the ceiling while hollow out the lower back. We can flow into these poses as many numbers of times by inhaling and exhaling to the cow and cat pose alternatively. This ASANA relaxes the spine, which is essential for a good night sleep.
AGAINST THE WALL (Modified SUCIRANDHRASANA)
Transitioning on to our back, we position ourselves so that our tailbone is pointing towards the base of the wall, and we place our glutes a foot away from the wall. We then place the bottom of one foot on the wall, and while keeping our tailbone in contact with the ground, we flex the opposite foot and gently place our ankle on the opposite thigh. We keep our top foot flexed throughout the pose, with the toes pulling back to the shin, to protect our toes from being injured. To add intensity, we can place our tailbone closer to the wall and gently press the top knee open to the side with our fingertips. When we are ready and feel it is enough, we switch legs. This ASANA relaxes the hips, very helpful for sound sleep.
LEGS UP THE WALL (VIPARITA KARANI)
From our previous pose, we unfold our legs straight up the wall. If we can bring the base of the tailbone even closer to the wall so that the tailbone touches the wall it will be a good hamstring stretch.
This ASANA also helps to drain the lymph and lactic acid from the legs, which helps to prevent injuries, and it also decreases the symptoms of fatigue and soreness if we had spent our whole day standing. It also relaxes the leg muscles.
YOGA MUDRA POSE
For this ASANA, we come to a knee sitting posture, then bend forward and sink our hips towards our heels, while we settle our chest between our thighs. We need to make sure that we can settle comfortably and breathe deeply.
Then we rest our forehead on the mat and walk our fingertips in front of us stretching our arms forward. This pose relaxes the spine and the whole body.
CORPSE POSE (SAVASANA)
For this ASANA, we lie down flat on the mat. We spread our legs apart and also our hands away from the body. The palms of the hands should face upwards. We just deeply relax our muscles throughout all the body, from toes to head, and breathe in and out slowly, while we free our consciousness of the inner chatter. We turn our consciousness only on our breath. We let our breath come naturally, and feel our body deeply relaxing. You might even fall asleep while you do this pose.
Next, just feel the effect of good and sound sleep after the yoga sequence, and for best results, practice these ASANA-s regularly.
April 22, 2021
Also available in: Română