Advertising
Advertising

No More Insomnia: 5 Simple Yoga Poses For Better Sleep

No More Insomnia: 5 Simple Yoga Poses For Better Sleep

Do you have trouble sleeping? If you do, you’re not alone – and it could be more damaging than you think. According to recent research, people who struggle to sleep at night are more likely to experience anxiety, depression and diabetes.

If you are ready to improve your sleeping pattern, try yoga. Yoga is one of the best ways to relax your mind and ease tension in the body, helping you to get a great night’s sleep. We have picked out 5 of the best yoga poses for sleep, as they target different muscles in your body to make sure you are truly relaxed for bed time.

You don’t need a yoga mat or any equipment for these exercises – just lie on your bed and go through each pose before falling asleep! Here are 5 simple yoga poses for sleep:

Advertising

1. Salabhasana

Salabhasana is known for helping to reduce stress while encouraging sleep. This is because the pose helps to relax the muscles in your back and stomach, reliving indigestion and back pain. It also helps to sooth the chest and neck while removing leg pain.

Salabhasana
    1. Start by inhaling deeply in the plank pose.
    2. Raise your shoulders up and clasps your hands together behind your back.
    3. Exhale slowly and root the top part of your feet into the ground.
    4. Inhale deeply as you slowly lift up your chest and arms.
    5. Relax and hold this position while breathing slowly.
    6. To finish the yoga pose, release your hands and exhale slowly, pushing your body into downward-facing dog.

    2. Supta Baddha Konasana

    Supta Baddha Konasana is a wonderful pose that helps you to reach a deep state of relaxation within 5 to 20 minutes. The pose stretches the thighs while opening up the lower body, improving circulation and removing pressure. It also benefits your nervous system!

    Advertising

    Supta Baddha Konasana
      1. Start by placing a pillow or a bolster at the base of your back.
      2. Bend your legs and gently place the soles of your feet together, but don’t push – just relax.
      3. Lie your body back across the pillow or bolster, and allow your body to open up and relax into the position.
      4. Breathe slowly and hold the position for at least 5 minutes.

      3. Jathara Parivartanasana

      This pose translates to ‘stomach rolling around’, and it is known to help with insomnia by relaxing the lower back and helping with digestion.

      Advertising

      Jathara Parivartanasana
        1. Start by lying on your back.
        2. Bring your arms out to the side, with the palms facing down in a straight T position.
        3. Slowly bend both knees into the chest.
        4. Exhale slowly while you drop both knees over at the left side of your body.
        5. Slide your knees as close to the left arm as possible. This twists the spine and the lower back, providing relief for the muscles.
        6. Hold this position for 5 to 10 minutes, then repeat on the other side of your body.

        4. Upavistha Konasana

        Upavishta Konasana removes tension from the lower back, legs and groin. It can also relieve arthritis and ease sciatica, and it is great for relaxing the mind.

        Upavistha Konasana
          1. Start by sitting upright on the floor with a straight back.
          2. Extend your legs in front of you into a V shape, placing your hands on your buttocks for balance.
          3. Don’t stretch your legs too far apart – this position should be comfortable.
          4. Inhale and push backward to lengthen the spine, then exhale and bend forward from your hips.

          5. Supported Savasana

          This is the final pose before you go to sleep, as it really helps your mind to relax.

          Advertising

          Supported Savasana
            1. Lie back, letting your arms and legs relax.
            2. Focus on breathing slowly and deeply, and close your eyes. Lay like this for at least 5 minutes.
            3. Come out of the pose by slowly drawing your knees into your chest, then lie down to sleep.

            More by this author

            Amy Johnson

            Amy is a writer who blogs about relationships and lifestyle advice.

            If You Feel Trapped, Do These 9 Things To Take Your Life Back If You Feel Trapped, Do These 9 Things To Take Your Life Back This List of 50 Low-cost Hobbies Will Excite You Daily Routine of Successful People That Will Inspire You to Achieve More 15 Inspirational Weekend Activities to do by Yourself 15 Amazing Design Ideas For Your Small Living Room

            Trending in Exercise

            1 8 Yoga Poses to Help You Achieve Strong and Toned Inner Thighs 2 5 Breathing Exercises for Anxiety (Simple and Calm Anxiety Quickly) 3 3 Home Exercises To Fix Your Rounded Shoulders In One Month 4 Workout Every Day: Thursday Music Playlist 5 Cut down on drinking! Time for a post-holiday detox

            Read Next

            Advertising
            Advertising
            Advertising

            Published on March 8, 2019

            How Adding Flow Yoga to Your Workout Routine Boosts Your Gains

            How Adding Flow Yoga to Your Workout Routine Boosts Your Gains

            When we fall into a workout routine, our moves become automatic, and the body quickly adapts. This is called muscle memory.[1] While teaching your body how to properly execute squats, push-ups, or crunches is a benefit, overly relying on these moves to consistently grow gains won’t yield the kind of results you want. That’s because the muscles work in the same way every time.

            Simply put, they’re not being “surprised,” so they get lazy.

            Supplementing your routine with flow yoga is one way of surprising your muscles, especially if you are new to the yoga practice and have never tried the postures. It’s like taking a new road home when you drive, deviating from your usual route. Science has found that by doing so, you’re creating new neuropathways in your brain.[2] The same is done in your muscles when you try a new routine.

            How is this done? Let’s dive right into it.

            How Flow Yoga Boost Your Gains in Your Workout Routine

            Think about your current workouts:

            If you lift weights, you rely on external tools to engage your various muscle groups. Over time, your shoulders, legs, or biceps will come to expect the weighted plates or dumbbells, in the repetitive sequences that you remember.

            In flow yoga, we use the body as the weight. Add gravity and hundreds of different postures and combinations, and you have a workout that uses the same muscle groups, but in many different ways.

            A pose such as plank is a full-body workout, with every muscle engaged to keep the body in one long line. While it’s a stationary pose, it requires muscle control and activation, with no room for passivity.

              A Flow sequence, on the other hand, requires your muscle to switch from one pose to another swiftly, providing you with a more balanced and wholesome use of your major muscle groups.

              Advertising

              Not only do these poses and routines re-energize the body in a refreshing way, they also allow you to learn something new, which is powerful for the mind.

              Bottom line? Complementing your exercise regimen with flow yoga is like hitting the shuffle button on your workouts, using your muscles in ways that “surprise” them, which in turn boost their growth and performance.

              Energizing Flow Yoga with Added Cardio

              Flow yoga is also known as “Vinyasa.”[3] In Sanskrit – the sacred language of the practice and its Indian roots – Vinyasa is roughly translated to “one breath, one movement.”

              This guideline, first and foremost, enhances your breathing, and teaches you how to go from our typical shallow, chest-only breathing, to a more deeper, belly-chest breath that uses the entire lung system.

              Not only is this beneficial for a myriad of healthcare reasons (combat allergies, eliminate toxins, reduce stress, ease anxiety), it also greatly impacts our muscles,[4] and therefore our workout.

              Flooding your muscles with rich oxygen will only keep them healthy, while the cardio benefit will get you warmed up to take on the more challenging postures in a flow yoga class. This prevents injuries and cramping.

              The best example of energizing cardio in flow yoga is the Sun Salutation sequence. Each pose is completed on an inhale or an exhale, until the sequence is finished. One full sequence may be repeated several times, encouraging you to take fuller and deeper breaths. The cycles warm up and loosen the body and prepare the muscles for stationary poses that are held longer.

              Here’s how to do a Sun Salutation Flow:

              Advertising

              Due to the Sun Salutations, the muscles are not thrown into a challenging workout, but rather primed and prepared with energizing breath.

              Why is this important, you ask? Because happy muscles are warmed-up muscles.

              The Best Thing About Flow Yoga

              The best thing about practicing flow yoga? You’re building strength and flexibility.

              Strength and flexibility are like the Mecca of a wholesome workout routine. Before we get into why this is important, let’s break these two down individually to see how they stand up on their own:

              Meet Strong Stan

              Strong Stan is at the gym, doing bicep curls with massive dumbbells. His muscles have peaked in size, and he proudly displays them.

              While he loves to lift weights, Strong Stan often skips stretching or warm-ups. He just doesn’t see how that could help him continue his muscle gains, so he jumps right into a heavy workout.

              While it’s not evident to a passerby, Stan’s muscles are hurting. Without sufficient flexibility or deliberate stretching, Stan’s muscles are shortening and getting tighter. This eventually leads to joint injuries,[5] because un-stretched muscles have limited range of motion.

              Big muscles are a sure indicator of strength, but here’s the kicker – choosing not to prioritize flexibility will keep them inherently at risk.

              Meet Flexible Fiona

              Flexible Fiona is in a flow yoga class, easing herself into a backbend.[6] She effortlessly gets into the pose, and “hangs” out there for a few breaths while the teacher cues the class.

              Even though the teacher instructs the students to engage their glutes and be mindful that this is an active pose, Flexible Fiona opts otherwise, and relaxes into the posture by sacrificing the strength she ought to be building.

              Advertising

              To many in the class, Fiona’s execution of the backbend would be a success – maybe even something to envy. However, what Fiona doesn’t realize is that her excessive flexibility is actually a detriment to her joints.[7]

              Flexibility has been defined as the “absolute range of motion” by Tony Gummerson, Martial Arts instructor. For people who are naturally flexible, that line of absolute range is often blurry and, in practice, overlooked.

              It’s very easy for Fiona to go above and beyond her range of motion, since her flexibility parameters are much wider than what Strong Stan may experience in a similar pose.

              Because she doesn’t feel the stretch in the same degree of motion as other students in class, Fiona has to push the envelope of her flexibility. This puts too much pressure on the joints that are already overworked, and it overstretches the muscles that are now prone to tearing.

              Your goal is to create muscle and joint balance and wholeness.

              What Strong Stan and Flexible Fiona have in common is that they’re both missing vital pieces of muscle awareness.

              In Stan’s case, heavy and tight muscles crave flexibility. Without it, not only would Stan hit a plateau in his gains because of a sure injury, but he would miss out on having the lean and toned muscles that we all want to have.

              In Fiona’s case, her overstretched muscles are not getting a workout at all. Rather, her excessive flexibility is resting on her joints, which leads to definite injury.

              So what can you do? It’s quite simple.

              You have to give your muscles the opposite of what they’re used to.

              If you’re a Stan and hate stretching, focusing on your flexibility is key. You will lengthen your tight muscles, and you’ll create new muscle memory by practicing routines that are new to you and your muscle groups.

              If you’re a Fiona and hate strengthening, focusing on this priority is vital. Your muscles are used to being passive as you stretch, so shaking up the usual and putting them to work will not only keep you injury-free, but that much closer to the muscle gains you’ve been looking for.

              Fortunately, flow yoga is the whole package, and can be the one-stop-shop for both Stan and Fiona.

                Final Thoughts

                If you’re serious about using flow yoga to supplement your workout routine to boost gains, sign up for a class at your local gym or yoga studio. There are a number of styles of yoga to try, but as we’ve discussed in this article, the Vinyasa style is your best bet to complement a moderate exercise regimen.

                Many studios offer beginner-style Vinyasa classes, where the instructor will explain the basics, and break down the sequences in a pace that is suitable for entry-level students. From here, the student can build upon their practice, and opt for more challenging, fast-paced classes, such as Power Flow or Ashtanga.

                Working out is a lesson in teaching your muscles. The gains that we grow are the result of that experience, and it all comes down to conditioning our body in a way that is healthy, efficient, and balanced.

                With a practice like flow yoga, we can offer supplemental training to our current regimen that will work our muscles in ways that are new, refreshing, and “surprising.” This method will keep our muscles toned and lean, as long as we prioritize the balance between strength and flexibility to ensure that we’re meeting both of these needs. Our muscle gains and body health depend on it.

                More Resources About Yoga and Fitness

                Featured photo credit: Edit Sztazics via unsplash.com

                Reference

                Read Next