Many of us find it challenging to get sleep, and many times we find ourselves tossing and turning while trying to catch up on better sleep. Various studies indicate that a significant portion of the world population tends to suffer from occasional spells of insomnia, which is nothing but difficulty in falling asleep.
The good news is that the humble yoga workout can help regulate your sleep patterns. Restorative is a type of yoga that’s perfect for the evenings. It uses floor-based poses that let your body relax, aided by the support of bolsters, blankets, and pillows. Studies indicate that yoga routines can not only help you fall asleep but can improve the quality of your sleep.
You do not need to go to any gym for these yoga poses; your bed is the ideal place for doing mentioned restorative yoga poses before sleep. These will help you feel relaxed and comfortable, and you may even find that you drift off before you finish your practice!
Legs Up the Wall (Viparita Karani)
This pose targets your glutes and hamstrings and is a lovely way to stretch out those hamstrings, which are often tight from standing or sitting all day. It’s a gentle inversion, relieving your lower body and providing a calming effect on your central nervous system.
Hold for 15 seconds.
Happy Baby (Ananda Balasana)
This pose is super easy to come into from the leg up the wall posture and is a lovely way to relieve tension in both the lower back and the mind. Have a little smile on your face as you do this pose; it will invite a release of any stress from your day that you’re holding on to.
How to do
- From the wall, bring your knees back into your chest and grab the outside of the sides of your feet.
- Extend your legs and bring your knees wide, letting your elbows fall inside your thighs.
- Push into your hands, feeling a nice stretch.
- Gently roll from side to side or forward and backward to give your lower back a little massage.
Hold for 10-15 seconds.
Lizard Pose (Utthan Pristhasana)
Unlike Happy Baby, Lizard Pose can be a challenging one for beginners. However, when mastered, it can help to induce deep sleep. It encourages a real focus on your breathing which helps to open up your hips and chest and target hamstrings and quads. Also, it prepares your body for other yoga positions.
How to do
- Start in downward dog, then step right foot outside of right hand and bend right knee, coming to a lunge position with right thigh parallel to the floor, toes turned slightly out.
- Come down to rest your elbows on the ground.
- Keep neck and spine in one line and press left heel away, keeping hips square.
- Rest the left knee on the ground for a more relaxed stretch.
Hold for 15 seconds. Switch legs; repeat.
Sleeping Swan (Hamsasana)
This pose will help you open through your hips, which can become closed and tight when sitting, and stretch through your lower back. It stretches your spine and targets the neck, shoulders, back, hips, and legs.
How to do
- Sit on the floor with a pillow in front of your body.
- Bend right knee, bringing the sole of the right foot to the left inner thigh.
- Lift butt and extend left leg behind the body.
- Staying centered, gently hinge forward from the hips, placing the head on the pillow.
- Extend arms forward, elbows slightly bent.
Hold for 8 to 10 breaths, then roll back up. Switch sides; repeat.
Seated Forward Fold (Paschimottanasana)
It is another great pose for your spine that provides a gentle massage for your internal digestive organs, which can help your dinner to go down before bed. This pose targets your hamstrings and calves.
Hold for 10-15 breaths.
Before-Bed Bridge (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana)
The Bridge Pose is considered the best for inducing sleepiness, so use blankets and bolsters to support your body while practicing. It also helps renew energies and quieten the mind to induce sleep. It mainly targets your hips and legs.
How to do
- Start by lying on your back with knees bent, feet flat on the floor, arms extended by sides, palms up.
- Bend your knees and place your feet hip-width apart directly beneath your knees.
- Inhale and lift your pelvis.
- Keeping shoulders down, engage abs and press into heels to lift hips and back, forming a diagonal line from shoulders to knees.
Remain here for 10-15 breaths or 1 minute. Slowly lower yourself and allow your low back to sink to the mat.