You woke up, rushed through breakfast just to sit in traffic. You had a long stressful day at work and find it difficult to wind down once you have returned home. Look no further to relieve your stress and insomnia. Here are five yoga poses to help you sleep like a baby.
- Standing Forward Fold- choose a narrow or wide stance. Feel free to bend your knees and fold your torso over your thighs. Hands may be wherever they are comfortable- try reaching toward the earth, grabbing opposite elbows or your big toes. Engage inner thighs and ground down through your feet. Release your head, neck, and shoulders. Take 10 breaths here, fully engaging the back body. This pose is great for insomnia, headaches and general relaxation.
- Legs Up The Wall- this pose will not only help you relax but rejuvenate your body by increasing blood flow up into your head. Lay flat on your back with your bum as close to the wall as possible. Place your legs straight up the wall and feel supported in the pose. Feel free to use props such as a blanket under your sacrum or an eye pillow.
- Wide Legged Child’s Pose- From a kneeling position, bring your big toes together with your knees wide. Extending your arms forward, sit back onto your heels. Activate your arms by pushing your palms into the earth. Rest your forehead on the ground and breathe deeply. Bring awareness to the expansion and contraction of your lungs on your thighs. Feel your back body expand and your lower back release. This pose is an incredible calmer for the central nervous system.
- Reclined Bound Angle- Lay flat on your back, bend your knees and bring the soles of your feet together. Feel free to use props to make this a fully restorative experience- perhaps by placing a bolster under your spine/ sacrum, blanket under your head and blocks under your knees. Allow yourself to relax into this pose and experience all of its calming benefits.
- Corpse Pose- Lay flat on your back, with a neutral spine and pelvis. Feet may be shoulder width apart or slightly wider. Arms are outstretched with palms facing the ceiling. Relax the jaw, neck, shoulders, hips, calves and feet. This is a pose of stillness not only physically, but mentally. Experience this quiet stillness for at least 5 minutes perhaps under your covers right before bed.
Try to turn off your electronics at least 30 minutes before bed to aid in your relaxation. Reminder: props are your friend! Use them whenever and however you would like to in order to assist in your experience of the posture. Stay in these poses for a couple minutes each, focusing on bringing awareness to the breath. You may also want to try alternate nostril breathing. Experiment and find what works for you! Listen to your body and it will do the rest.