What yoga pose can I do to sleep better?

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Kristin M. McGee
Yoga Expert

One of my favorite yoga poses before bedtime is Goddess. Lie down, bend your knees and place your feet flat on the floor or your bed. Next, let your knees drop open to their own sides and bring the soles of your feet togther (like a butterfly position). Place your hands on your belly and start to watch the rise and fall of your abdomen as you breathe in and out. You can close your eyes and feel your shoulders start to relax and your hips and lower back open and release. 

From Goddess, you can bring your knees together and hug your knees in to your chest and rock a little side to side as if you're rocking a baby. A gentle twist to each side with the knees bent up like this is also nice and soothing and can release the lower back and shoulders. 

When we are carrying tension in our bodies, it can lead to stress in the mind and make it harder to doze off. Try breathing deeply and taking these restorative postures before bed and hopefully you'll sink in to a wonderful peaceful sleep. 

Several poses such as the child’s pose, corpse pose, happy baby pose, and the goddess pose will relax all tension from the body, help balance your energy flow and clam the body helping you attain a relaxed state and a good night’s sleep.

If I had to pick one pose, it would be Legs up the Wall. Sit with your side against the wall and your knees bent; as you lie back, bring your legs up on the wall. You don't have to be at a perfect 90 degree angle as your hamstrings might be tight and this would prevent you from relaxing completely. So make sure you are comfortable and do not feel any tension in your body. Additionally, you can place a soft cloth over your eyes. It will help you become more still and let go of the events of the day. Stay as long as you like and as it feels good.

 

Harris H. McIlwain, MD
Rheumatology
The child’s pose can be done several times a day. This is a great yoga posture to practice as you prepare for sleep, or if you need a calming moment in a stressful day.

Kneel on the floor on your hands and knees with your hands under the shoulders and your knees under your hips, with your toes touching. Stretch your neck forward and lengthen your spine through the tailbone. Gently rock the weight of your body back toward your feet, letting your hips stretch further back as you continue to lengthen and stretch your spine. Stretch your arms forward and walk your fingertips as far forward as they will go on the floor or rug, lengthening your arms fully. Stretch from your shoulders.

 As your hips stretch backward, focus on the stretch from your armpits to your hips, lengthening the sides of your torso and back. If you are flexible, continue stretching and relax your neck as your forehead touches the floor. Pressing the forehead against the floor or pillows helps to calm your mind as the forehead and eye muscles completely relax. If this is hard, put one or two pillows under your forehead. Rest a few seconds and allow your forehead and eye muscles to relax.
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.