Yoga Poses for Better Sleep: The figures are worrying: 23% of Chileans say they use sedatives to fall asleep. Not getting enough sleep or having a low quality of sleep increases the risk of heart disease and influences hormones that help fight various infections. If you are looking to sleep longer, fall asleep faster, or, in case you wake up in the middle of the night, have facilities to fall asleep again, yoga can be a great ally. Here is a guide to sleep better.
It is not news that sleep, and the quality of sleep directly affect our quality of life. Sleeping well helps to think, react quickly, and settle memory; it also affects our mood and our health in general. Not getting enough sleep or having poor sleep quality increases the risk of hypertension, heart disease, and influences the release of hormones that help fight various infections. People who tend to sleep little are prone to chronic diseases such as diabetes from eating foods high in calories, sugar, and carbohydrates and not having enough energy during the day.
Whether you are looking to sleep longer, fall asleep faster, and in case you wake up in the middle of the night, have facilities to fall asleep again, yoga can be your great ally.
Its practice not only helps to improve your strength, flexibility, and stress levels; It can also improve your quality of sleep, especially if you suffer from insomnia.
Yoga has multiple practices and sequences of poses that have different goals. Some are more energetic, ideal to do at the beginning of your day, as well as more relaxing and restorative postures that help prepare your body for going to sleep.
That said, here you will find 9 postures that will help you relax all kinds of muscular and mental tension, in addition to calming your breathing and clearing your mind, for you to sleep better.
- 1 Yoga
- 2 Benefits of Yoga at Rest
- 3 15 Best Yoga Poses for Better Sleep
- 3.1 Fingers on the Forehead
- 3.2 Chandra Bhedana or Lunar Breath
- 3.3 Uttanasana
- 3.4 Agnistambhasana or Bonfire Pose
- 3.5 Savasana or Dead Man’s Pose
- 3.6 Viparita Karani or Leg Up Pose
- 3.7 Virasana or the Hero Pose
- 3.8 Balasana or the Child’s Pose
- 3.9 Urdhva Mukha or Upward Facing Dog
- 3.10 Ustrasana or the Camel Pose
- 3.11 Baddha Konasana or Butterfly Pose
- 3.12 Supta Matsyendrasana or Upper Twist
- 3.13 Setu Bandha Sarvangasana or Bridge Pose
- 3.14 Apanasana or Knees to the Chest
- 4 Final Word
It is an ancient tradition that originated in India and consisted of exercises that work the mind, body, and spirituality. Yoga helps to free the mind and get rid of thoughts thanks to the control of our emotions. Practicing yoga regularly improves physical condition, flexibility, and endurance, but it also helps to control stress and sleep better.
All of you who already know him will know that this discipline symbolizes the connection between body, mind and soul, and seeks a total benefit for the person. How?
- Through concentration
- The meditation
- The asanas (postures)
Many studies have shown the benefits of this technique for the integral well-being of people. The United Nations Organization recommends the practice of yoga for good health. But when it comes to getting a good night’s sleep, what are those benefits? Keep reading!
Benefits of Yoga at Rest
This practice’s benefits are countless; they influence physical and mental health and well-being, which has made it a very complete and popular exercise. Yoga provides:
- Inner peace
- Improves blood circulation
- Muscle strength and flexibility
- Relaxation and concentration
- Burn calories
- The body is better oxygenated
- They improve the functions and movements of the body.
- Correct postural problems
- Avoid joint pathologies
- Provides energy and rest
All these benefits are great, but why is it good for rest? As we have already mentioned, yoga is a broad discipline that helps balance the body and mind. An imbalance in these facets can be one of the causes of insomnia for many people (who do not even know it). The perfect harmony between the different asanas and breathing favors the functioning of the hormonal system, an important aspect of sleep regulation. Also, to get to sleep, it is crucial to be relaxed, which is easily achieved thanks to yoga’s regular practice.
Stress is the worst enemy of sleep, causing many of its disorders, such as insomnia. With Yoga, stress levels are reduced and daily relaxation is achieved, including at rest, thanks to meditation. Since it favors the production of serotonin, melatonin and activates the parasympathetic system, which favors a deep and quality rest.
15 Best Yoga Poses for Better Sleep
Stress is the worst enemy of sleep, causing many of its disorders, such as insomnia. With yoga, stress levels are reduced, and daily relaxation is achieved, including at rest, thanks to meditation. It favors serotonin and melatonin production and activates the parasympathetic system, which favors a deep and quality rest.
Fingers on the Forehead
This is a very simple exercise that helps us control our breathing and concentration. This movement clears the nervousness and tension accumulated during the day. It is so easy that you can do it every day before going to sleep.
How to Do It?
Stand on the end of the bed and sit down. Take a deep breath through your nose and close your eyes. Next, bring your hand to your forehead and place your index and middle fingertips right in the center of the forehead, over the two small bumps on your forehead.
Chandra Bhedana or Lunar Breath
The lunar breathing asana helps relax muscles and promotes inner peace. It is another very simple exercise that you can practice daily.
How to Do It?
Get on the floor or the bed, close your eyes and take a deep breath. Now plug the nostril on the right side with the ring finger of the right hand. With the blocked nostril, you should inhale and exhale deeply and calmly for a few minutes through the left nostril.
This Yoga posture helps relieve headaches, reduces stress, and prevents insomnia.
How to Do It?
It is very simple, standing up, separate your feet at the height of the hips and flex the trunk forward. The hands should rest on the ground, but you can wrap them around the legs if they do not reach. Do you dare to try?
Agnistambhasana or Bonfire Pose
This exercise helps to loosen the hips, making the body also release the tension little by little and help you fall asleep.
How to Do It?
Extend the left leg forward and bend 90º at the knee. Then flex your right foot and place it on top of your left knee so that your right leg rests on your left. If this position causes pain in the hip, you should bring your left foot closer to the pelvis. And if you can’t do it, you can get into a sitting position with your knees bent and crossed (in Indian).
Once your legs are in place, bring your hands forward as we exhale, thus increasing the stretch. You have to hold in this position for a minute or so, then alternate your leg.
Savasana or Dead Man’s Pose
The Savasana or corpse asana helps to relax the entire body, minimizes mental activity, and encourages sleep. It is an effortless posture that can be practiced before sleeping in your bed.
How to Do It?
You get into bed and lie on your back (face up), open your legs, your arms are placed at a 45º angle, and your hands are relaxed. Now you have to focus on breathing, how the air enters and leaves the body, trying to make each exhalation last a little longer than inspiration. Relax so much that you will fall asleep!
Viparita Karani or Leg Up Pose
This asana allows you to focus on conscious relaxation from stretching and preparing your mind for rest. This pose helps drain bad blood from the legs, which cools the circulatory system. Being ideal for practicing it at night before sleeping for about 5 minutes.
How to Do It?
You have to lie down on the floor or mattress and lift your legs; you can use a wall to support your legs. There is also another variant that you can do if you need support, raising your legs and holding the kidney area with your hands.
Virasana or the Hero Pose
Kneeling on the floor, sit on your heels with your back straight and your pear parallel to the floor. Hands-on knees, take 7-10 deep breaths. This pose will relax your breathing and connect your mind to your body and the present.
Balasana or the Child’s Pose
Bring your head above your knees on the floor and stretch your hands forward. Take 5-7 deep breaths. With this pose, your front muscles relax while the back muscles are passively stretched, releasing the tension and stress they retain during the day.
Urdhva Mukha or Upward Facing Dog
Hands-on the floor and in line with the shoulders, shoulders relaxed, open the chest, and elbows straight. Opening the chest activates blood circulation, improving your breathing, calming your heartbeat.
Ustrasana or the Camel Pose
On your knees, put your hands behind your feet or on your hips and open your chest towards the sky. Your head can be thrown back or look up to avoid neck injuries. Take 5 deep breaths. By stretching the spine, this pose relaxes all kinds of tension built up in the lower back. It also improves your digestive system and prepares you for sleep.
Baddha Konasana or Butterfly Pose
Sitting on the floor, bring the soles of your feet together in front of you, take them with your hands and let your knees open, relax your back, let it curve, and close your eyes. Baddha Konasana stretches the thighs, knees and hips, releasing tension and stimulating the heart by improving blood circulation.
Supta Matsyendrasana or Upper Twist
With your back on your mat, bring your knees to your chest and roll them to one side, while looking the other way. You can put your hand on your knee to increase the twist (do both sides). With this posture, you work on the spine’s realignment, which helps your digestive system relax and the blood circulation through your body.
Setu Bandha Sarvangasana or Bridge Pose
Back on your mat, feet on the floor, knees bent. Arms at the sides of your body and your hands touch the heels. Raise your hips, activate your thighs and take 5 deep breaths. With this pose, you stretch your chest, neck, back, and hips, which calms your brain and nervous system, helping you breathe better and relax your body.
Apanasana or Knees to the Chest
With your back on your mat, bring your knees to your chest and squeeze tightly with your arms. Breathe for 10 seconds here. Bringing your knees to your chest creates your internal thoughts, which calms your mind and redistributes your energy.
You already know, practice this sequence every night before going to sleep and you will feel the difference and the benefits of sleeping better. I invite you to try and tell me how it goes!
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