Whether it is too many sweets before bedtime, an exciting day ahead, or anxiety about events of the day, insomnia is a serious problem. When our minds buzz, so do our bodies. Lack of sleep can have major consequences, including disease, illness, added stress, irritability and so much more.
This is where yoga comes into play, of course! Doing just 10 minutes of yoga before bedtime will help calm you down, de-stress from your day, and slow everything down in preparation for a good night's sleep.
These poses are designed to cool and calm the body and slow down the heart rate, which will in turn get you ready for bed. So try out this 10-minute yoga sequence to help you sleep the next time you're tossing and turning.
1. Legs up the Wall
Legs up the Wall is the beeeeeest. It helps slow down the mind, it reduces tension in the legs, hips, hamstrings, calves, and quads, and it helps relieve back pain.
Close your eyes, place the hands on the belly, and take 10 slow, deep inhales and exhales. Feel the hands rising and falling. Listen to the rhythmic sound of your body. This is guaranteed to slow you down.
Hold for 2-minutes.
2. Reclined Pigeon Pose
Wiggle back from the wall a bit. Then cross the right ankle over the left knee. Reach the right hand through the space between the legs and the left hand around the left leg. Clasp the hands behind the left thigh or on the left shin for a hip opener.
Hold for 10 breaths before switching sides.
3. Supine Twist
Draw the knees toward the chest. Then open the arms out to a T-pose with the palms on the ground. Let the knees fall toward the left. Look over the right shoulder. Try to stack the hips one on top of the other. You might need to slide the left hip back in order to do this.
Hold for 10 breaths and then switch sides.
4. Seated Forward Fold
Slowly make your way up to seated. Take some time to rest in a fetal position before moving anywhere. Go slooooow. Then make your way up. Stretch the legs out in front of you. Shake them out if you need to.
Take a huge breath in, reach the arms up. Stretch up tall. Exhale slowly and drip over the legs. Let the head hang heavy. Breath slowly and mindfully. Listen. Let the body be quiet.
Hold here for 2-5 minutes.
Four poses in 10 minutes might not seem like much, but you will be surprised how much they can slow you down and help you relax if you take to them with the intention of calming the body and mind. Evenings should be reserved for winding down. This practice is the perfect way to do just that.
Do you use yoga to help you sleep? Share your experiences with us in the comments below!
Did you know?
When you commit to building heathy sleep habits, you take the first step to become your healthiest self - one full night of good sleep at a time. Check out our Complete Guide to Sleep Disorders - a resource to help you get your quality sleep back. Learn more about sleep disorders, their causes, symptoms and how to overcome them.