3 Yoga Poses to Help You Get More Sleep
Christine Chen, Certified Yoga Teacher and Author | My Body
You must sleep to be healthy and happy! Because of the risks associated with not getting enough sleep, such as illness and lack of healing, and the benefits of getting quality rest, like strong immunity and mental focus, we are seeking natural solutions for sleep more than ever before. No one wants to be a cranky, sick, distracted person, right?
It’s true what you hear: yoga can help you sleep better, because of its core philosophy of cultivating inner calm and peace no matter what’s going on.
Here are three poses to try for deep, healing sleep every single night.
Whether you’re ignoring the buzzing noises coming out of the person next to you or distractions in general, this pose uses reclined twists to help release worries and overstimulation on a profound level, while breathing deeply and evenly helps calm and quiet your entire nervous system.
- On your back in bed, fold your knees together to the left of your body, but keep your chest facing the ceiling.
- Breathe deeply, matching inhales and exhales in tempo and intensity – think: easy and breezy.
- After a dozen or more deep breaths, switch your knees to the other side and repeat.
- Tip: If the twist feels uncomfortable, try putting a pillow under your knees so the twist is less intense.
Free Your Mind
Yogis call it the “monkey mind,” the one that swings from one thought to the next and doesn’t seem to stop. Use this meditation to clear and calm your mind, which will tell your body to relax, too.
- Close your eyes. Inhale deeply; then, open up your mouth and release.
- Visualize depositing your scattered thoughts in clouds in your mind.
- Start to inhale and exhale smoothly and as calmly as you can.
- With each exhale, imagine clouds floating away to reveal soft, peaceful blue sky.
- Repeat until there is only space to rest instead of think.
This poses gently stretches the tissues that form joints and softens the tight, holding spots in your body.
- Lie down, and hug yourself into a little ball, knees toward your face.
- Release, with a big exhale, into a big “X” shape – arms wide, legs apart.
- Inhale through your nose; then, exhale with a long sigh out of your mouth. Repeat.
- Imagine you are melting into your bed, your bones and muscles getting heavier.
These Happy-Go-Yoga poses are from my personal practice and teachings, offering traditional yoga in a modern way for contentment and health in today’s busy world. Rest well and be well!