Yoga poses for better sleep
Struggling for a few hours of sleep every night? You should give yoga a shot.
Restorative yoga is regarded as one of the best cures for insomnia as it helps relax your mind and body to induce better sleep. Moreover, the deep breathing techniques and gentle stretching helps better regulate your body’s systems. This improves the supply of oxygen and blood to your brain. However, be sure to consult your physician prior to adopting any yoga session for insomnia in case the root cause of your sleep-related problem is deeper than mere stress or anxiety. So, here they are – 7 yoga postures to help you sleep better.
Corpse body or savasana: This may look simple but Savasana is a very important yoga posture to attain total body and mind calmness. All you need to do is lie flat on your back on a yoga mat. Allow your hands and feet to splay outwards with your palms facing up. With your eyes closed, allow your mind to drift from the top of your head to the tip of your feet. As you do this, allow each part of your body to relax completely while you focus on that part. This technique can be performed during any part of the day for around 5-6 minutes per session.
Adho mukha svanasana: This technique is popularly known as the downward facing dog. Place your palms and knees on the yoga mat with your knees aligned directly under your hips and your hands a little ahead of your shoulders. This posture should be such that your toes are facing upwards. Now, exhale and slightly lift your pelvis away from the floor. Do not allow your head to dangle freely and hold it firmly in between your arms. Maintain this posture for minute or two and then relax. Repeat this for a total of 5-6 times per session.
Uttanasana or standing forward bend: This posture is very useful for soothing the mind and promoting stress relief. Besides this, it also facilitates an intense extension in your spine and legs by releasing the hamstrings. To do this posture, stand in front of your bed with your hands on your hip. Inhale deeply and while exhaling, slowly bend your body from your hips until your head rests on the bed. If you face any kind of stiffness initially, use some pillows on your bed. Take a deep breath again and lift your kneecaps up. Maintain this posture for as long as possible. However, ensure that you do not over arch and strain your back.
Viparita karani: This posture is alternately known as Legs-up-the-wall pose. With your back on the yoga mat, gradually extend your legs up the wall. Keep your arms on the floor with your palms facing upwards. Close your eyes and then gently stretch your heels by extending it towards the ceiling. Ensure that you take long and steady breaths while performing this technique.
Sarvangasana or shoulderstand: This posture should be done only after a person has achieved a certain amount of flexibility. Any kind of uncomfortable sensation and you should immediately skip this step. To do this posture, inhale and then with a moderate sudden movement, lift your legs up in the air. Use your hands to stabilize your hips as you perform this. In case you find this difficult, you can even use the walls for extra support. You can also start initially with a half shoulder stand of about 45 degrees and then proceed to the full posture.
Pranayama: Usually this is done in a sitting posture and involves steady-controlled breathing. However, you may also start with a lying posture as this will enable you to really feel your breath moving through your body due to the floor contact. The sitting posture is done in a comfortable, cross-legged position. Start the natural inhalation-exhalation process and try not to engage your mind in different thoughts. Always keep in mind to inhale only though your nose without involving your mouth. On inhalation, fill your belly with air and then gradually exhale using your nose. Repeat the process for around 5-6 breaths and then relax.