There are many benefits of yoga. It helps relieve stress, anxiety and depression. It also helps promote better blood flow throughout the body and improves the body’s physical strength too. But did you know that it has a very positive impact on sleep as well? A study1 published in the journal of Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback, used Yoga as treatment for chronic insomnia on patients who were suffering from this disorder, and the results yielded improvements in the subjects’ sleep quality. Yoga helps keep your emotions, stress and anxiety in control and helps you unwind. So, for all those insomniacs out there, now would definitely be a good time to start yoga!
4 Poses to Help Promote Sleep
The Viparita Karani or Legs up The Wall Pose
For this pose, place a pillow or a cushion against the wall. You can also put a pillow against the headboard of your bed. Lie on top of the pillow. Your sit bones should be at the headboard or wall. Keeping your heels stacked right above your glutes, extend your legs high towards the ceiling. Your shoulders and head should be resting against the mattress. Extend your arms on your sides facing palm up. This will allow you to be able to receive the restorative energy that will flow into your whole body with every breath.
The Salabhasana or Locust Pose
Lie down on your stomach with a pillow providing your hips and tummy with support. Extend the back of your neck and gaze down. Gradually interlace the fingers of both hands towards the small of your back, inhale deeply, extending the arms behind you and lift the hands towards the ceiling while pressing your toes against the mattress. Exhale and try to hold. Inhale again deeply and lift the chest and head up while gazing forward. Hold this position and exhale. Upon exhaling, you should lower your back and release your hand towards your sides.
The Supta Baddha Konasana or Reclined Angle Pose
Lie down on your pillow lengthwise. Your back should be on the pillow. Bring your feet soles together and allow your knees to naturally drop out towards your sides. With each exhale, recline towards the pillow and toward earth. Stay in this position for two-to-five minutes and sink deeply into this relaxing hip inner opening pose.
The Jathara Parivartanasana or the Supinal Spinal Twist
This pose starts with you taking the reclined angle pose position. You need to stay on your back and using your hands, guide your knees together. Gently bring your knees to your left side with your arms out and palm facing upwards. Inhale and exhale while imagining your breath to be like a wave gently rippling through your spine smoothly. Release tension with each exhale. After one minute, take a switch to the other side.
These are our top yoga pose picks that promote better sleep. A few other poses which have been known to promote better sleep are Sukhasana or the easy forward bend, Uttanasana or the standing forward bend and Halasana or plow. Make sure that you consult your doctor or a professional yoga trainer before practicing these poses. Yoga would be more effective in dealing with sleep related issues if you do it a few hours before bedtime. This will enable you to control your thoughts and release your tensions and stress just before bedtime.