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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:

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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!

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    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.

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      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.

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          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.

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            Amy Johnson

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

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            Published on July 18, 2019

            11 Best Core Strengthening Exercises to Do At Home

            11 Best Core Strengthening Exercises to Do At Home

            No matter where you are in your fitness journey, chances are you wouldn’t mind a little more definition in your midsection.

            Whether you have a six pack or a beer belly, those abs could probably be a little bit sharper. Not to mention developing better core strength is hugely important when it comes to improving your overall strength and athleticism, as well as protecting you from injuries.[1]

            The good news? Your abs and core muscles can handle a lot of training.

            While most of your muscle groups do best with just two training sessions per week,[2] you can hit your abs every other day to great effect. You don’t even have to leave the house!

            Here’s my guide to the 11 best core strengthening exercises you can do at home with no equipment.

            1. Planks

            Let’s start with the mother of all core-strengtheners, the plank.

            Planks not only work your abs and obliques, they challenge those core muscles deep inside your body that help promote stability and power. They can also reduce back pain and improve your balance and posture.

            Get down into pushup position, feet behind you, hands under your shoulders. Lock out your arms and legs, squeeze your core muscles, and hold your body stiff (like a plank!) for as long as you can.

            For a more challenging variation, try a forearm plank with your arms out in front you. Lay your forearms on the ground for support, with your elbows under your face rather than aligned with your shoulders.

            2. Side Planks

            To hit your obliques even harder, try this challenging variation: the side plank.

            From plank position, rotate onto one side. Prop yourself up on your elbow and one foot with your body straight and stiff.

            Don’t forget to squeeze your core as you hold this position for as long as you can.

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            Switch sides and repeat to avoid creating muscle imbalances.

            3. Reverse Crunches

            The regular stomach crunch is a fine exercise, but when it comes to abs and core strength, you’ll want to opt for moves that are a lot more challenging.

            When you can crank out 50 crunches without a problem, it’s probably time for something new.

            The reverse crunch packs a wallop for your lower abs and can be done anywhere, anytime, just like the standard crunch.

            Lay on your back with knees bent in crunch position. Place your hands flat on the ground by your side and lift your pelvis, bringing your knees up toward your face, then back down again.

            Engage your lower ab muscles to do the work, not your back. Repeat for a few sets of 12-20 reps.

            4. Flutter Kicks

            The lower abs are a problem area for a lot of people, so we’ll want to work them hard.

            If that sounds like you, flutter kicks are just what the doctor ordered.

            Lay flat on your back in leg raise position, hands at your sides or pressed into the floor. Raise your legs together about 6 inches off the floor, then alternate lowering one and raising one a few inches in rapid succession.

            It should look like you’re kicking the air, and it should give you quite a burn in your abdominal area.

            5. Arms High Sit-Ups

            Imagine a crunch, but way harder!

            Lay down on the ground in sit-up position, knees bent, feet flat on the floor in front of you.

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            Raise your arms up to the sky and keep them elevated as you perform a few sets of sit-ups.

            Engaging your arms in this way makes the move extraordinarily difficult and taxing. You’ll get a lot more mileage out of this move versus traditional crunches.

            6. L-Sits

            The L-Sit is outrageously difficult to perform well, but if you can build your strength here, the benefits are phenomenal.

            To perform an L-Sit, you’ll need a stable surface to press off of. You can do them on the floor, but it’s a little easier if you can elevate yourself on a pair of dumbbells, two sturdy chairs, or a similar apparatus.

            Sit on the floor with your legs out in front of you. Lock your arms in place at your sides, palms on the ground or surface, and press. Bring your legs into the air, perpendicular to your upper body, using the tension from your locked arms.

            Hold this position as long as possible for an intense strength building workout.

            7. Stomach Vacuums

            And now for something different!

            It’s easy to work your front-facing abdominal muscles, but there is another muscle group in your core that’s frequently overlooked: The transverse abdominis.

            This muscle isn’t visible through your skin, but it’s incredibly important in stabilizing your body, creating good posture, and holding your belly in tight to your spine.

            To strengthen this muscle and get a flatter stomach, try stomach vacuums.[3]

            Standing straight and tall. Exhale all of the air out of your body and simultaneously pull your belly in tight. Imagine sucking your belly button back into your spine.

            You’ll feel the transverse abdominis engage. Hold as long as possible, rest and then repeat.

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            8. Star Planks

            Planks are too effective to not utilize multiple variations of them in your routine.

            The star plank engaged similar muscles to the traditional plank, but is a lot harder to hold for time.

            From the push-up or standard plank position, walk your feet out wide and your hands, as well.

            Your body should form an X position. Elevate your core off the ground, squeeze tight, and hold for as long as possible.

            9. Boat Pose

            Yogis know all about core strength, so if you want a tighter tummy, you should take a page out of their playbook.

            Boat pose is an extremely difficult isometric hold that builds exceptional balance and core power.

            Star in sit-up position. Crunch yourself up toward your knees, then lift your feet off the floor until they’re about level with your face. Balance on your butt, squeeze your core, and hold this position as long as you can.

            Your body should form a V with the only point of contact being your butt on the ground. Holding boat pose should be extraordinarily challenging!

            10. Mountain Climbers

            Ab work alone won’t shred stomach fat. But when you combine abs and cardio, that’s when you’re onto something magical.

            Mountain climbers fit the bill if you’re looking to blast your core and also work up a good sweat.

            Get down into plank position. With your arms locked and your body tight, drive one knee at a time off the floor, up toward your chest, and then back to its original position. Repeat in quick succession.

            It should look like you’re climbing a hill, and it should exhaust you in a matter of seconds!

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            11. Russian Twists

            Finally, let’s give the obliques a little more love.

            Get down into sit-up position and perform a crunch toward your knees. From here, lean back so your torso is at a 45 degree angle to the floor, clasp your hands in front of you, and twist side to side in rapid succession.

            You’ll feel your obliques engage after just a few reps.

            For a more difficult variation, lift your feet off the floor similar to boat pose while perform the move, or perform the twist using a heavy medicine ball for added resistance.

            The Bottom Line

            The biggest piece of the puzzle when it comes to six-pack abs is a low body fat percentage. That’s best accomplished by sticking to a smart diet and building your fully body strength.

            However, if you want to improve your athleticism, overall strength, or even your longevity, you can afford to work your abs a bit more frequently — 3-4 times per week is perfect.

            If you hit them hard enough, you’ll probably see some great improvement in definition as well!

            Cranking out endless crunches is one way to go about core training, but there are so many better and more challenging moves you can try without ever having to leave your living room.

            Give them a shot!

            Featured photo credit: Luis Quintero via unsplash.com

            Reference

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