Yoga for Better Sleep

Ease into a restful night with a quiet yoga practice focused on deep breathing to calm your mind and release physical tension. This combination of breath and movement activates your parasympathetic nervous system, which helps counteract stress. Many of the restorative versions of the poses shown here use a prop underneath your forehead to encourage relaxation around the eyes and additional soothing of your nervous system.
Props – Bolster, block, blanket 
Breath – Breathe with long, full, deep inhalations and exhalations
If you have 10 minutes try this practice before bed time.

Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend)
1 min
[10–15 breaths]
Walk your feet to your hands. With feet hip-width apart and a slight bend in the knees, hold your elbows. Exhale and lengthen down through the crown of your head. To come up, release your arms, root through your feet, and slowly rise.


Reclining Bound Angle (Supta Baddha Konasana)
2 min 
[30-40 breaths]
This pose eases tension in your hips and groin area. Lie down on the mat. Bend your knees, and place your feet on the floor, close to your tailbone. Bring the soles of your feet together and allow your knees to relax away from each other. If you have tight hips, you can adjust your feet so that they are further away from your tailbone. Take your hand over the head and hold opposite elbows.


Legs Up the Wall 
5 min 
You can use a cushion or bolster under your hips. To modify this pose, place the soles of your feet together or open your legs wide.
Sit with your right side alongside a wall. Swing up your legs against the wall as you lie on your back, placing your hips against or close to the wall. Rest your arms in a comfortable position.
Follow your breath and focus on releasing tension in your body.
Stay in this pose for up to 5 minutes.


Upavistha Konasana (Seated Wide-Legged Standing Forward Fold)
1 min
[10–15 breaths]
Sit with your legs wide open 4 to 5 feet apart. Inhale and lift your chest. Exhaling, fold forward from the hips. Place your forehead on a block. Inhale and slowly rise.


Wide Knee Child Pose (Balasana)
2 min
[30 breaths]
This resting pose provides a sense of calm and stability. For this pose kneel on the floor and bring your big toes together. Separate your knees hips-width apart or as wide as the edges of the mat.
Exhale and sink your torso onto your thighs.


Savasana (Corpse Pose)
End this sequence here with Savasana for 2-3 minutes or as long as you want.


Anuja Chowdhry
Anuja Chowdhry

Yoga instructor – Anahatha Yoga 
Anuja has completed 200 hours of Hatha Yoga teacher training course and 300 hours of advanced Hatha Yoga teacher training with the International Yoga Academy with Master Yogananth Andiappan as her main teacher. Anuja is also an active member of Andiappan yoga community a non-profit, volunteer-run organization whose mission is to share Yoga with those who may not be able to afford Yoga classes or those with special needs. She has also been teaching Yoga privately to a passionate and active group of students who have credited her teaching style.


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Picture Credit : Anuja Chowdry

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