Wednesday 23 October, 2019

Yoga Minute: Five poses to help you sleep

You're tossing and turning but you can't seem to fall asleep. Sounds familiar?

Insomnia is one of the most common ailments which affects people worldwide. Sleep is critical for the body to carry out necessary functions such as cell repair, memory processing and other important factors for health.

But never fear, if you do suffer from insomnia, there are some techniques which can help.

Yoga postures can aid in lessening sleeplessness; try these easy techniques courtesy DoYouYoga:

 

1. Child's pose

This is a simple but very relaxing pose involving lying face-down with knees tucked in.

Sink your hips back to your heels and settle your chest between your thighs. Your big toes are touching one another and your knees are as far apart as they need to be to help you settle comfortably and be able to breathe deeply.

With your forehead resting on the ground or a blanket, walk your fingertips out in front of you, stretching through the arms. You can also roll your forehead from side to side on the ground to give yourself a mini face massage.

 

2. Legs up the wall 

This is a great pose to help relax the spine and assist with sleep.

Lying down flat facing the wall, unfold your legs straight up the wall. If you can, bring your tailbone closer to the base of the wall, perhaps even to the point where your glutes are touching the wall. This pose can be a great gentle hamstring stretch.

It also helps drain lymph and lactic acid from the legs, which helps prevent injury and decrease the symptoms of fatigue and soreness if you spend a lot of time on your feet. Let the looseness that you brought into your lower back with the figure four stretch help you feel more comfortable in this pose.

 

3. Spinal Twist

This pose helps with releasing tension in the back and opening up the chest. 

Lie flat on your back. When you’re ready, bring your arms out into a ‘T’ with your hands in line with your shoulders and let your knees fall over to one side.

You can keep both knees bent, straighten the top leg, or choose to straighten both legs. If you’re not feeling as much of the twist as you’d like, it may be helpful to adjust your tailbone, bringing your glutes further over to the middle of your mat so that your back is in one straight line down the center of your mat area—this may intensify the stretch in the lower back.

If you’d like a neck stretch, take the eye gaze to the side opposite your knees. Take this pose on both sides.

 

4. Happy Baby Pose

Bringing both knees back into your chest, grasp your two big toes with the index and middle finger. Then pull the heels up to the ceiling, keeping the tailbone down on the ground.

Your knees should be pulling into your underarm area, and you can rock back and forth to gently massage the spine. This is a great pose for relieving abdominal discomfort and is a perfect final spinal relaxation pose.

 

5. Reclining pose

In this pose, lie on your back and bring the soles of the feet to touch one another and let the knees fall open, pulling the heels as close toward the pelvis as is comfortable.

This pose brings a gentle stretch into the pelvis, low abdomen, and inner thighs. Pull your shoulder blades underneath you, putting space between the tops of your shoulders and your earlobes, and then bring your left hand to rest on your heart and your right hand to rest on your belly.

Allow yourself to feel your breath as you bring it down into your chest to the very bottom of your lungs. Let your breath come deeply and evenly, relax your face, and close your eyes if it’s comfortable for you.

Sweet dreams!

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