Sometimes no matter what you do, you cannot sleep. If you’ve been struggling to get your mandatory 8 hours sleep at night, yoga for sleep can help you.
Yoga poses help relax the body and ease the nervous system by releasing the stress stored in it. Research in the field of yoga has proven that yoga helps induce sleep and even increases the quality of sleep.
Here are 10 yoga poses that will help you sleep like a baby:
The Butterfly Pose – Badhakonasana
The butterfly pose got its name because the movement of the legs resembles a butterfly flapping its wings. This is an amazing posture to open up the hips and give an excellent stretch to the inner thighs.
Sit up straight and then bend both your feet and gently bring the feet in facing each other. Remember that your legs should form a diamond shape while left and right foot are touching each other. Now, gently and repeatedly press both your knees downwards in a butterfly effect, hold your feet with your cupped hands. Keep your spine straight throughout.
Repeat this one more time.
You can also do another variation of this in which you bend forward while your feet are cupped in the same position without the butterfly effect. This variation helps open the back-hip muscles. Don’t push too hard in your forward bending. This variation is to be done gently.
Cat-Cow Pose – Marjaryasana and Bitilasana
When we look at cats and cows, we see that they are peaceful animals who are always relaxed. The cat-cow yoga for sleep pose helps you relax the spine and neck muscles.
Place your palms on the floor and come onto your fours just like animals. Keep your spine straight and relaxed. For the cats pose, Exhaling bend your spine upwards and your neck downwards and stay there for 6 counts. Inhaling, gently bring your spine in the centre. For cow pose, inhale and then drop your belly downwards and your neck upwards and stay there for 6 counts exhaling come back to the centre.
Repeat this one more time.
Bridge Pose – Setu Bandha Sarvangasana
This pose involves raising your hips to form a bridge-like posture, just like it bridges the gap to you and your sleep.
Lay on the floor with your stomach facing the ceiling and leg straight. Then fold your knees touching your feet on the floor. Bring your knees closer to your hip. While your hands are straight and palms facing downwards lift your hips upwards and elevate them as much as possible.
Stay there for six counts and exhaling gently come back. Repeat this pose one more time.
Standing Forward Bend – Uttasana
Get ready for a full-body opening, relaxing yoga for sleep pose.
Stand straight and breathing in raise both your hands and bring them above your head with your arms touching your ears. Exhaling, push your hips forward gently yet firmly and bend forward and downward and touch your feet with your hands.
Feel the stretch from your head to toe. Inhaling come back up and gently take your hands down from the side. Repeat this once more.
Head to Knee Pose – Paschimottanasana
Forward bend yoga for sleep poses are excellent to soothe the nervous system and destress the mind.
Sit straight with your legs spread forward. Keep in mind your legs will be parallel to another and touching each other. Gently lift your hands from the side and bring them above your head while your arms are touching the ears.
Push your hip forward and bending forward, touch your feet with your hands. Your head should be touching your knee, if possible. Stay there for 6 counts and gently come back. Repeat this asana once more.
Reclining Bound Angle Pose – SuptaBaddhaKonasana
This is a beautiful restorative pose to restore the peace of the body, especially the hips, pelvis and inner things.
Lay down with your back facing the floor and your legs straight. Gently fold your knees and bring your feet inside towards each other. The soles of your feet should be gently touching each other while your hands are gently placed on the floor in a relaxed fashion.
Stay in this pose for as long as you feel comfortable.
Wind Relieving Pose – Pawanmuktasana
This is a wonderful pose to release excessive gas in the stomach before sleep. It brings relief to the stomach.
Lay flat on the floor relaxed with your back facing the floor. Gently breathing out, lift your legs and bring them towards your stomach from above. With both, your hands hug your legs and feel the pressure on your stomach.
Stay there for 6 counts and gently release the pose. Repeat this pose once more.
Camel Pose – Ustrasana
Get ready to open your heart and relax your muscles with this fantastic pose.
First, sit in Vajrasana and then gently come up on your knees. Breathing in lift both your hands and bring them above your head and bend further backwards, touching your hands to feet. In this position, your heart would be exposed outwards inducing a feeling of the opening of the chest and front core area of your body.
Stay in this position for 4-6 counts depending on what feels comfortable. Don’t stress your body too much. Gently release the pose. Repeat this once more.
Child’s Pose – Balasana
This pose will help you sleep like a baby.
Sit in Vajrasana and gently lift your hands and extend your arms forwards. Lay your hands gently on the floor with your head touching the floor in between your arms. Stay in this position for as long as you feel comfortable and deeply relax your body.
Release the pose and repeat one more time.
Corpse Pose – Shavasana
The last pose of your yoga for sleep routine will perfectly prepare you for a goodnight’s sleep.
Lie down on your yoga mat with your back facing the floor and spread your hands and legs on the floor. Relax your entire body from head to your toes. Release all the remaining stress in your body. Stay in this pose for 4-5 mins. Gently open your eyes or drift into sleep.
All of these yoga poses are taught in yoga retreats for people with sleep problems. We advise you to practice these poses on the floor on your yoga mat and not your bed to get a peaceful and relaxed sleep.