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6 Yoga Poses You Can Do In Bed Before Sleeping For Better Health

6 Yoga Poses You Can Do In Bed Before Sleeping For Better Health

Sometimes, it’s hard to unwind after a long day, and it can be difficult to fall asleep even when you are exhausted. Fortunately, there are many ways to relax after the day is done that can help you fall asleep. One way is to practice some yoga in the best place on earth: your bed. Now let’s get started so you can start sleeping better tonight.

1. Child’s Pose

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    1. Sit up comfortably on your heels.
    2. Roll your torso forward, bringing your forehead to rest on the bed in front of you.
    3. Lower your chest as close to your knees as you comfortably can, extending your arms in front of you.
    4. Hold the pose and breathe.

    Health Benefits

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    • Releases tension in the back, shoulders and chest
    • Helps alleviate stress and anxiety
    • Flexes the body’s internal organs and keeps them supple
    • Calms the mind and body
    • Encourages strong and steady breathing

    2. Thread the Needle Pose

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      1. Begin on your hands and knees. Place your wrists directly under your shoulders and your knees directly under your hips. Place your shins and knees hip-width apart. Center your head in a neutral position and soften your gaze downward.
      2. On an exhalation, slide your right arm underneath your left arm with your palm facing up. Rest your right ear and cheek on the bed, then gaze toward your left.
      3. Keep your left elbow lifting and your hips raised. Do not press your weight onto your head; instead, adjust your position so you do not strain your neck or shoulder.
      4. Soften and relax your lower back. Allow all of the tension in your shoulders, arms, and neck to drain away.
      5. Hold for up to one minute. To release, press through your left hand and gently slide your right hand out.

      Health Benefits

      • Gently compresses the muscles of your upper chest.
      • Opens the upper and outer muscles of your shoulder.
      • Detoxifies and calms your body with the slight twist.
      • Sends fresh blood to your upper extremities.

      3. Supta Virasana

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        1. Place your hands by your sides.
        2. Exhale and lean backward toward the bed.
        3. Take your weight onto your hands and then your elbows and forearms.
        4. When you are leaning on your elbows, put your hands at the back (on the pelvis)
        5. Now release the buttocks and lower back by pushing yourself downward toward your tailbone.
        6. You can finish reclining by going onto the bed or by reclining onto a support. If you are using blankets for support ensure that you have at least two of them at the same height. This will help to support your spine while you are moving downward.
        7. Hold this posture for about 30 seconds and up to 1 minute.

        Health Benefits

        • It helps the digestive system to function better and improves digestion.
        • The tendons, ligaments and many smaller muscles in the knee are also stretched during this posture.
        • It helps to relieve tired legs.
        • This pose is also useful as it helps to relieve menstrual pain symptoms.
        • It stretches the abdomen, ankles, deep hip flexors and thighs as well.

        4. Viparita Karani

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          1. Exhale. Lie on your back, making sure that the back of your legs press against the wall/headboard, and that the soles of your feet face upwards. It will take you a little bit of movement to get comfortable in this position.
          2.  Place your buttocks a little away from the wall or press them against the wall.
          3. Make sure your back and head are resting on the floor. You will find that your body forms a 90-degree angle.
          4. Lift your hips up and slide a prop under them. You could also use your hands to support your hips and form that curve in your lower body.
          5. Keep your head and neck in a neutral position and soften your throat and your face.
          6. Close your eyes and breathe. Hold the position for at least five minutes. Release and roll to any one side. Breathe before you sit up.

          Health Benefits

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          • It gives the front of the torso, back of the legs, and the back of the neck a good stretch.
          • It helps to relax tired, cramped feet and legs.
          • It relieves a mild backache.
          • This is an asana that helps to soothe and calm the mind.

          5. Savasana

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            1. Lie down on your back. As you recline on your bed, place your feet spread slightly apart from each other. Put your arms at your side with your palms facing up. Your fingers should be curled up naturally.
            2. Tighten and lift your legs. Inhale deeply as you tense your body. Tighten your buttocks and raise your legs slightly off the ground.
            3. Relax your body. Exhale, breathing inward as you release the pose. Lower your legs and unclench your fist as you relax

            Health Benefits

            • Calms the brain and helps relieve stress and mild depression.
            • Relaxes the body.
            • Reduces headache, fatigue, and insomnia.
            • Helps to lower blood pressure.

            6. Jathara Parivartanasana

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              1. From Reclined Bound Angle Pose, stay on your back supported by the pillow and gently guide your knees together using your hands.
              2. Bring your knees over to the left with arms out by your side, palms facing up. Imagine your breath like a wave rippling through your spine, releasing tension with each exhale. Stay here for a minute and then switch to the other side.

              Health Benefits

              • Improves digestion
              • Opens tight shoulders
              • Helps release lower back
              • Quiets the mind

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              Published on October 11, 2018

              7 Killer Upper Back Stretches to Reduce Pain and Boost Endurance

              7 Killer Upper Back Stretches to Reduce Pain and Boost Endurance

              Building and maintaining a strong upper back depends not only on strength-training, but stretching and nutrition as well. Stretching the upper back muscles, along with a healthy diet can help alleviate pain while improving endurance.

              Did you know that stretching your upper back builds endurance for sports, your job – which may require heavy lifting – and simple, everyday activities? Many people who exercise don’t recognize the importance of having a strong upper back, and often neglect this part of the body, focusing more on the lower back where injuries are more prone to occur.

              Upper back endurance is necessary for runners, hikers, golfers, tennis players, bowlers, cyclists; the list goes on and on. If saving time is important to you, you want to reduce chronic back pain, boost your energy levels, or you simply need ways to get through a day at the office while confined to a computer, you’ll begin to understand why the following upper back stretches and exercises are necessary.

              Here are seven stretches, combined with exercises, to help you maintain a strong upper back:

              1. Lat Pull-Downs

              By contracting and lengthening your latissimus dorsi muscles, trapezius, deltoids, rhomboids, teres major, along with the other muscles groups in and around your upper back, you are building muscle endurance and increasing mobility.

              Seated at a lat pull-down machine, select a weight stack that is comfortable. Remember, you’re not preparing for a bodybuilding competition, you just want to exercise the back, so heavy weight is unnecessary.

              Grab the wide bar above your head, palms down, and using a wide grip, pull the bar down to your chest and contract your upper back muscles.

              Keep your head up, looking at the bar. This also helps keep your spine straight and provides a clearance so that the bar doesn’t hit your face. Slowly return the bar to the top and repeat for 15 reps. Do three to four sets.

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              Here’s the correct technique by Denice Moberg:

              2. Indoor Rowing

              If upright exercises like walking on the treadmill or running outdoors bore you, you can strengthen your core using a rowing machine. Not only will you chisel your back, but the elongation of the upper back during the stroke motion creates a good stretch.

              First, select a tension that is challenging but not a struggle. Make sure that your feet are securely placed in the machine’s foot straps, nice and tight to prevent the feet from moving while rowing.

              Next, slide yourself in the rowing saddle forward toward the row bar and pull the bar toward the mid-section of your trunk area, which is the finish. Pulling the bar, bring your elbows beyond your back while contracting your upper muscles and rear shoulders.

              Your back should be straight with a slight angle of around 100 degrees. Do not hunch.

              During the catch, your legs should be at a 90 degree angle while locking out your arms completely. As a stretching exercise, repeat this motion for five minutes.

              Here’s how you can do it:

              3. Side Plank Rotation

              If you’re short on time, floor exercises such as planks strengthen your core and can be done at home or during your lunch break at work. They can be done in 30 to 60 second increments.

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              There are a few plank variations:

              The low-position forearm plank in which your body weight is supported by your elbows; the straight-arm plank, which is a high-position plank; side plank in which your body is turned to one side and supported by one straightened arm; the stability-ball plank which is more challenging for your trunk; and the plank that gives you a good stretch is the side plank rotation.

              To begin the side plank rotation, begin in the high plank position. Slowly turn your body to one side while stacking one foot on top of the other. Extend the opposite arm toward the ceiling and as you lower your arm, reaching underneath your body and rotating your trunk.

              Done properly, you will feel the stretch along your rhomboids and shoulders. Repeat the rotation – reaching and tucking – 10 times. Switch sides.

              Here’s a Side Plank Rotation demonstrated by Train Aggressive:

              4. Yoga Stretches

              A good way to incorporate breathing with stretching and gain flexibility in your core is Kundalini yoga – an intense yoga practice – gets your blood flowing and works wonders for the spine and posture.

              The “Cat-Cow” pose is a great upper back warm-up, and when combined with the “Breath Of Fire”[1] or “fast breathing,” energy is sent through the entire body which stimulates the flow of cell activity and increases lung capacity.

              On all fours, arms straight and directly below your shoulders, and knees directly below your hips, hunch your back, inhaling as you tuck your head into your chest, then exhale while arching your back and raise your head toward to sky.

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              The rapid inhaling and exhaling in this exercise is known as the “Breath Of Fire,” as mentioned above. Increase the pace of both the “Cat-Cow” and “Breath Of Fire” and repeat this movement for up to five minutes.

              This is how to do a Cat-Cow pose for energy:

              5. Side Bends

              This is a simple stretch to elongate the space between your ribs and increase range of motion, which helps achieve flexibility in the abdominals, spine, and lateral core.

              Seated or standing with your back straight, raise your arms above your head and firmly hold your wrist. Gently pull your trunk to one side and hold for 20 to 30 seconds. When finished, repeat on opposite side.

              Note: If standing, keep your feet shoulder width apart, if seated keep your feet flat on the floor.

              Let’s take a look at how to do a standing side bend:

              6. Pole Stretch

              By creating opposing force and pulling on a stationary object, you are stretching your lats. The upper sides of your back. Here, you are performing a static stretch which is a stretch held beyond its normal range.

              Find a pole, mounted gym apparatus, or other floor-affixed object and, while standing, pull on the object with slightly bent knees and back flat at a 45-degree angle.

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              Continue to pull while extending your arms, feeling the stretch in your lats and rhomboid muscles. Hold for 30 seconds. Repeat if needed.

              7. Shoulder Blade Stretch

              The shoulder blades are connected to the rhomboid muscles in the upper back. Sudden, quick movements like pulling a heavy object or even tossing a near-weightless object overhead, like a tennis ball during a serve, can strain the unstretched muscles between your shoulder blades, causing spasms.

              Here’s how to avoid muscle strain:

              Standing tall with feet shoulder width apart, gently pull your elbow across your chest, just beneath your chin, and hold for 15 seconds. If you do not feel immediate relief, try lowering or raising the elbow and perform the stretch again. Different angles can make a big difference.

              There you have it – Seven upper back stretches and exercises to reduce pain and improve endurance. But while upper back stretches are important, a diet rich in antioxidants is equally key.

              Bonus Tip: Getting a Diet Rich in Antioxidants

              Antioxidants, also known as “Super Foods,” prevent the build up of free radicals in your body and control oxidative stress. These free radicals are toxins that get in the way of endurance, flexibility, and cause inflammation, among other fitness obstacles.

              How do you incorporate antioxidants into your diet? Here are some common foods and beverages rich in antioxidants:

              A good combination of quick and easy targeted cardiovascular exercises, static stretches, range-of-motion stretches, and yoga poses can increase upper back endurance and boost your energy levels, making your activities – both sedentary and active – manageable and fun.

              Once you begin to incorporate these methods of relief into your routine, you will begin to walk taller, run farther, and hike longer!

              Featured photo credit: Geert Pieters via unsplash.com

              Reference

              [1]Yogapedia: Breath of Fire

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