5 Yoga Poses for a Good Sleep
By Alexandra Black, Group Exercise Manager, Virgin Active
Yoga has many benefits on the body and mind – you can strengthen the body through asana and you can calm the mind through meditation. Through the 5000-year-old practice of yoga, you can use these techniques to improve your sleep as well.
It is important that you choose the right type of yoga when the goal is better sleep. While Vinyasa Flow is performed to raise the heartrate, styles like yin or restorative can be a better option just before bed to their effect of slowing the heartrate, leading to reducing stress and clearing the mind.
The best way to enhance the benefits of yoga for sleep is to add it in to your ritual. You can do things like reducing caffeine and screen time just before bed, perhaps take up a journaling practice, and add these 5 poses into your nightly routine.
You can do these poses on your bedroom floor or even in your bed for a sleepy feel!
1. Siddhasana variation – seated twist
Sitting in a cross-legged position, keep your belly button straight but twist from your upper spine. Twist right for five breaths, and twist left for five breaths.
3. Viparita Karani – legs in the air pose
With a pillow or bolster under your sacrum, bring your legs up to the air. By having your hips higher than your heart, this increases bloodflow. Stay here for five to ten breaths.
4. Supta Baddha Konasana – reclining butterfly
Lay back on a pillow or bolster to open the chest, with feet in a butterfly position (feet together, knees out wide). Stay here for five breaths.
5. Savasana – corpse pose
Lay down in bed or on the floor, removing any pillows from behind your head. Feel yourself melt into the bed or Earth.
You can also try this breathing technique which will calm the body and bring you into a deep sleep. Breathe in and out through the nose. Breathe in for four counts, hold it in for seven counts and exhale for eight counts. Continue this for five rounds or until you fall asleep.