If you have trouble falling asleep or wake up when you hear your own breath, you may want to strike a pose. By this, we mean a yoga pose. That’s because yoga can help you sleep better!
How does yoga help you sleep?
- Yoga is known to help people fall asleep because it helps lower cortisol, a.k.a. the stress hormone in the brain. When you’re not stressing, you can relax easier and fall asleep faster.
- Yoga also eases pain in the body which tells your brain it can just chill out. It makes sense that it would be difficult to relax and fall asleep if you feel uncomfortable or uneasy.
- Yoga also helps to keep your nervous system in check by letting you naturally unwind and avoid the “fight or flight senses” which may have been triggered earlier in the day.
There are certain poses that will give you more quality shut-eye than others. Let’s take a look at the 6 yoga poses to help you fall into a deep sleep. The best thing about all of these poses is that they’re not difficult to do and won’t take up a lot of your time!
Viparita Karani (Legs Up the Wall)
Start by lying on your back and putting your legs up a wall. Keep your legs straight so that your body looks like it’s in an “L” shape. Relax and hold this pose for at least 30 seconds. Focus on your breathing so that you can really get the benefits of this pose.
Put a mat or towel on the floor and lie on your back. Press the bottoms of your feet against each other and let your knees fall out to the sides so your bottom half looks like a butterfly.If you’re feeling a strain on your knees, put a pillow under them to make this pose more comfortable. If you’re not comfortable you won’t be able to melt into the pose.
Think of this pose as the ultimate relaxation pose. Use a towel or mat on the floor so you can lie down perfectly straight with your arms by your side, palms facing up. Take a deep, slow breath. Focus on each inhale and exhale. This will help to calm your body and get that deep sleep you’ve been wanting.
Begin on all-fours with your hands and knees on the floor. Make sure you are in proper alignment with your knees under your hips and wrists under your shoulders. Start with your back flat and abs engaged. Take a big breath in. When you exhale, round your spine towards the ceiling. Tuck your chin in towards your chest and let your neck release. This is your cat-shape part of the pose. To get into cow, inhale, arch your back and let your abs relax. Lift your head and tailbone towards the sky without putting any pressure on your neck. It’s recommended to cycle through each pose about ten times to get the full benefit.
To get into this extremely relaxing pose, kneel on the floor. Let your big toes touch as you sit on your heels. Separate your knees about hip width. As you exhale, lay your torso on your thighs. Lay your hands on the floor alongside your torso with your palms facing the ceiling. Release the front of your shoulders towards the floor. Breathe deeply. Feel free to stay in this pose anywhere from 30 seconds to a few minutes.
Sit up tall with your legs out in front of you at hip width or wider. Place a folded pillow between your legs so you can rest your forehead on the pillow as you fold your torso over your legs. Don’t worry if you can’t get your upper body to reach the pillow. You can always bend your legs a little more or get a taller pillow.
When your body is relaxed, so is your mind. That means you can fall asleep faster and lessen the chance of waking up in the middle of the night. A solid night’s sleep is just a few yoga poses away.