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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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            Published on July 13, 2018

            13 Pregnancy Yoga Exercises for The Last Trimester

            13 Pregnancy Yoga Exercises for The Last Trimester

            Practicing yoga during pregnancy is a great way to nurture you and your baby. It can also help you cope and prepare both your mind and body for any pregnancy demands and challenges that you may face especially during the third trimester.

            Yoga during pregnancy helps you to create space for both your baby and your internal organs. However, make sure that you only do what feels right and works, avoid muscle strains and extreme pressure exercises.

            There are plenty of yoga techniques that can help you to prepare for labor in the 3rd trimester. Before you try out yoga, make sure you talk to your doctor. This way, you may know the do and don’t during this stage. The following are some of the common yoga exercises to try out during the third trimester.

            1. Birth prep exercises

            This mainly entails simple exercise designed to reduce pains and aches and can as well as help position the baby in a good pelvic alignment. Include this technique in your workout rest brakes, warm-up, and as part of your daily poses.

            Here’s an example of it:

            2. Cat cow

              This is a great pose for lengthening your spine and strengthen your core muscles.[1]

              This pose is a great technique for all pregnancy stages. It will help strengthen your belly as the pregnancy continues to grow.

              This asana also relieves the back and allow a better circulation of spinal fluids and blood.

              Practice belly breathing when performing this pose. It will aid in calming your mind and reducing morning sickness.

              It should be done about 5 times for best results.

              3. Warrior II

                This technique is great for strengthening your core and legs and as well as lengthen your spine. Even though this technique is a little bit challenging, it is said to help alleviate backaches during pregnancy.

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                4. Bridge pose

                  This pose is convenient if you want to open up your hips and strengthen your glutes, core, and hamstrings.[2] Also, it can be practiced in all the trimesters.

                  Begin on the side and roll to the back as you move your body into a bridge pose. This helps avoid stressing your rectus abdominals.

                  Avoid this exercise if you feel uncomfortable on your back.

                  5. Cobblers pose (Baddha Konasana)

                    This technique is said to improve the health of the reproductive system.[3] During pregnancy, it aids in opening up the pelvis, therefore ensuring an easy and fast labor.

                    It is also said to calm the mind and improve blood circulation. This yoga practice can be performed as follows:

                    • Sit on a mat and stretch out your legs.
                    • Fold your knees and bring your feet at the center.
                    • Then straighten your back.
                    • Using your palms hold your feet for a few seconds.
                    • Release.
                    • Repeat this about 4 times.

                    6. Warrior I

                      This technique helps you explore your upper body. It helps to open up your chest and strengthen your legs. This technique helps restore the health of your spine and help make space for the growing uterus.

                      Also, it helps your mind relax and stay focused and maintain balance. It can be performed as follows;

                      • Place your feet apart in a hip-width position.
                      • Pivot on the left foot.
                      • Make your right foot to face forward.
                      • Lower the pelvis, then assume a lunge.
                      • Look forward and lift your arms above your head.
                      • Hold that position as long as possible.
                      • Release the pose.
                      • Repeat the process with the left foot forward.

                      7. Corpse pose

                        This technique aims at relaxing your body and mind.[4] It boosts your energy instantly and hence it’s convenient for battling any fatigue during the pregnancy.

                        Also, it helps in fighting off any side effects of pregnancy such as pain, morning sickness, and nausea. This pose can be performed as follows:

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                        • Lie on your back.
                        • Let your palms rest beside you while facing upwards.
                        • Close your eyes and then relax- your arms should be alongside your body.
                        • Breathe.

                        8. Spiraling movement

                        This entails moving your pelvis in circular motions and moving your hips. These movements help to massage down the baby’s head onto the cervix.

                        Also, these movements helps you keep your pelvis mobile and relaxed while loosening your muscles and ligaments.

                        You may consider using a fitness ball to help in the movements.

                        9. Child’s pose

                          This is a resting pose. It helps to focus on your breath, breathe more deeply, and also it’s a good position to rest between labor contractions.[5]

                          This is a great position that will help you find peace and promote a healthy and a happy pregnancy. It’s safe for all trimesters.

                          Relax and move your knees apart, then rest your head on your fists, hand, or on the floor. You should avoid this position if your pubic symphysis is sore or open. Relax in this position, eyes closed.

                          10. Chanting

                          Making your own sounds during pregnancy and birth is a powerful way to regulate your breathing, it enables you to focus and relax as you deal with the pain that is associated with pregnancy and labor.

                          Practicing voice sounds can help you open up and have an easier and more comfortable labor. You can do this as follows:

                          • Sit comfortably.
                          • Close your eyes.
                          • Placing your index fingers on the lobes of your ears, take a deep breath.
                          • Exhaling slowly, make gentle humming sounds.
                          • Do this 5 to 10 times.
                          • You can also do this while lying down with arms by the side of the body.

                          11. Standing hip rotations

                            This moves will help strengthen your pelvis as well as relax.[6] You can do this as follows:

                            • Stand with feet wide apart but comfortable.
                            • Slightly bend your knees.
                            • Place your hands on your hips and rotate your hips.
                            • Try to keep your upper body still.
                            • Focus on rotating the hips and the belly.
                            • Inhale while moving your hips forward and exhale while moving them backward.
                            • Do this as many times as you wish.

                            12. Tree pose

                              This is a balancing technique. It helps strengthening your legs and core. It also improves posture and alleviates back pain. How to perform this pose:

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                              • Feet on the ground, shift your weight forward and backward until you gain balance.
                              • Shift your weight to one foot.
                              • You can also lift one of your foot to your ankle to gain balance.
                              • Bring the foot higher to your inner thigh.
                              • Put your hands in a prayer position.
                              • Hold this for 5 breaths.
                              • You can also raise the arms above your head.
                              • Repeat with the other leg.

                              This technique is safe for all stages during pregnancy.

                              13. Meditation

                              Over the years, meditation has been used to manage a lot of conditions such as depression, stress, anxiety, and much more.

                              During the last trimester of your pregnancy, meditation can help to move gracefully as you approach labor. It will help you ascertain a more peaceful state of mind by avoiding stress and anxiety especially if you are giving birth for the first time.

                              Develop the habit of practicing meditation on a daily basis.

                              Guidelines for pregnancy yoga

                              There are some poses, however, that you should avoid while pregnant. They include plank cross, locust pose, boat pose, plow pose, and much more. Consult with your doctor on the best exercises.

                              Here’re some guidelines you need to know before practicing yoga:

                              1. Do what feels right.

                              Starting yoga especially in your last trimester can be challenging while it’s really important in preparing both your mind and body for labor and pregnancy-related demands.

                              To avoid accidents or extreme positions, you should practice yoga poses with the guidance of a trained tutor.

                              When choosing which yoga poses to perform, listen to your body and do what you feel comfortable doing. Since all women do not have the same challenges and experience during pregnancy, avoid doing poses that your friends are doing if they don’t feel right to you.

                              2. Do fewer poses.

                              In case you are into physical exercises, it’s important to soften your training to avoid harming both your body and the health of the baby. Also, avoid long hours of training. You can talk to your doctor to guide you on the most convenient techniques to practice.

                              During pregnancy, your body tends to have higher temperatures and it may feel hotter than usual. It’s recommended to avoid practicing yoga in a heated environment. Perform these techniques in a suitable environment with fresh and adequate ventilation.

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                              3. Don’t get distracted.

                              Reduce distraction while practicing yoga. For instance, a telephone can interfere with proper meditation.

                              4. Stay comfortable.

                              Wear loose and comfortable clothing.

                              5. Do not eat before yoga.

                              Practice yoga on empty stomach. Most techniques are effective in the morning.

                              6. Always warm up for a few minutes.

                              You can walk around, loosen your joints, move your limbs and warm up your muscles.

                              7. Stay hydrated.

                              Make sure that you are well hydrated especially when practicing challenging and sweaty poses. Dehydration, especially during the last trimester of your pregnancy can have severe sequences such as false early labor or preterm labor.

                              Yoga techniques are the best kinds of workouts to try out during pregnancy. Especially if practiced together with mild exercises such as walking, it can help the expectant mother deal with both emotional and physical changes with ease.

                              Also, it will help mothers feel relaxed and stay in shape during the last trimester of pregnancy.

                              Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

                              Reference

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