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Yoga for Better Sleep

  • 18 January 2017
  • By Shveta Bhagat
Yoga for Better Sleep

Yoga is known to be one of the best aides for relaxing, sound Sleep. Here are some DIY techniques to help you have a great night’s sleep. So Stretch your body, let go of all tensions, breathe freely and get into these multi-beneficial poses.

Standing Forward Bend
Stand straight with feet together and arms alongside the body. Balance your weight equally on both feet. Breathing in, extend your arms overhead. Breathing out, bend forward and down towards the feet. Stay in the posture for 20-30 seconds and continue to breathe deeply. This asana helps stretch the back muscles, invigorates the nervous system by increasing blood supply, and makes the spine supple.

Cat Stretch
Come onto your fours. Form a table such that your back forms the table top and your hands and feet form the legs of the table. Keep your arms perpendicular to the floor, with the hands directly under the shoulders and flat on the ground; your knees are hip-width apart. Look straight ahead. As you inhale, raise your chin and tilt your head back, push your navel downwards and raise your tailbone. Compress your buttocks. Follow this by a countermovement: As you exhale, drop your chin to your chest and arch your back up as much as you can; relax the buttocks. This helps massage the digestive organs and improve digestion, thereby helping you to sleep well. Also improves blood circulation and relaxes the mind.

Happy Baby Pose
Lay on your back and draw your knees into your chest. Reach down and grab the outsides of your feet. Make sure to square your feet toward the ceiling. Make sure your ankles are lined up directly over your knees and knees are forming a 90 degree angle or are perpendicular to the floor.

As you exhale you will gently persuade your knees in toward your armpits. If you are really flexible start to bring them closer to the floor alongside your body. A deeply relaxing stretch for the back which also helps calm the nervous system. Lie on your mat and pull your knees to your chest.

Legs-up-the-wall Pose
Lie down straight on your back. Now lift one leg up, followed by the next, and let your feet rest on the wall. Extend the arms along the sides, palms facing up.

Now close your eyes and keep taking deep breaths as you relax into the pose. You may use an eye cushion over your eyes to block the light and completely relax. Stay in the pose for as long as you comfortably can and then slowly come out, bringing the legs down. An excellent pose to relieve tired legs and feet, helps increase blood supply to the brain and relieve mild headache, and calms the mind.

Yoga Nidra at Bed time
Lie down straight on your back in Corpse Pose (Shavasana). Close your eyes and relax. Take a few deep breaths in and out. Remember to take slow and relaxed breaths. Start by gently taking your attention to your right foot. Keep your attention there for a few seconds, while relaxing your foot. Then gently move your attention up to the right knee, right thigh and hip. Become aware of your whole right leg.

Gently, repeat this process for the left leg. Take your attention to all parts of the body: genital area, stomach, navel region, chest. Take your attention to the right shoulder and right arm, palms and fingers then repeat this on the left shoulder and left arm, throat, face and finally the top of the head. Take a deep breath in, observe the sensations in your body, and relax in this still state for a few minutes. Now, slowly becoming aware of your body and surroundings, turn to your right side and keep lying down for a few more minutes.

Rolling over to the right side makes the breath flow through the left nostril which helps cool the body. Taking your own time, you may then slowly sit up, and whenever you feel comfortable, slowly and gradually open your eyes.


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