Sometimes, counting sheep just doesn’t cut it. So, if you’ve been struggling to get your 8 hours recently, yoga may be the solution. Previous studies have proven that yoga can have a positive effect on your sleeping pattern by easing your nervous system and helping you control your breathing. If you want to give it a go, we’ve created a yoga chart featuring our favourite poses that will help you relax your body and mind before hitting the sheets.
The Sleep Matters Club Bedtime Yoga Chart – Transcript
Struggling to drift off to the land of nod?
Yoga may be the answer.
Studies show that over 85% of people claim yoga helps to reduce stress. 55% of people say it helps them to get better sleep.
How can yoga help you sleep?
- It calms your central nervous system.
- It eases any physical discomfort.
- It makes you mindful of your breathing.
Want to give it a go?
Here are the top 10 poses to try before bed. Grab a yoga mat and hold each of these for roughly 10 to 15 breaths or 1 minute for maximum zzz’s.
1. The Butterfly Pose – ‘Badhakonasana’
This pose got its name because the movement of the legs resembles the flapping of butterfly wings. It also opens hips and is a good stretch for the inner thighs.
- Sit upright.
- Bend knees and bring feet in.
- Legs should form a diamond shape with feet touching.
- Repeatedly press your knees gently downwards in a butterfly effect.
- Cup both feet with hands and keep spine straight throughout.
2. The Head to Knee Pose – ‘Janu Sirsasana’
This pose is good for stretching your quad muscles. Forward bends are also designed to calm the nervous system and soothe a stressed mind.
- Sit with one leg extended.
- Fold other foot into inner thigh of extended leg.
- Forward fold over extended leg and hold onto either your calf or your foot, depending on flexibility.
- Repeat on other leg.
3. The Seated Twist – ‘Parivrtta Sukhasana’
A great pose for stretching your neck and your spine which improves digestion and blood circulation.
- Sit upright and elongate spine.
- Place right hand flat on the floor behind you and left hand on right knee.
- As you exhale, twist round to the right, looking over your shoulder.
- Hold for a maximum of 5 breaths and then switch sides.
4. Legs up the Wall – ‘Viparita Karani’
This pose is excellent for relaxation and stress relief as it’s calming for the nervous system. It’s also very easy to do.
- Lie on the floor next to a wall
- Stretch legs up the wall at 90-degree angle.
- Attempt this pose for up to 5 minutes max.
5. The Easy Forward Bend – ‘Variation of Sukhasana’
This is a simple pose to try before bedtime and stretches the shoulders, back, hips, knees and ankles. To make this pose more comfortable, sit on a pillow or block.
- Sit cross legged.
- Lean forward over knees with arms stretched out in front of you.
- Keep forehead as close to the ground as possible.
6. The Bridge Pose – ‘Setu Bandha Sarvangasana’
This pose involves raising the hips to create a sturdy bridge-like stance. It is good for your core and helps stretch the chest, neck and spine.
- Lie flat on back.
- Bend knees with feet hip-width apart and soles flat on the floor.
- Gently roll pelvis upwards one vertebra at a time until hips are as elevated as possible.
- Keep your arms by your side and hands flat on the floor.
7. The Standing Forward Bend – ‘Uttanasana’
This is one of the most common poses used in any yoga practice. It helps to relieve stress, promote a healthy sleep pattern and ease headaches.
- Stand with feet about 6 inches apart.
- Fold torso to the ground reaching towards the floor until hands are flat.
- Bend knees if hands aren’t able to reach the floor.
8. The Plow Pose – ‘Halasana’
This is a handy pose for opening your shoulders and relieving any back pain. It also helps with blood flow around the body.
- Lie on your back and extend legs over your head.
- Place feet onto the ground behind you with toes touching the floor.
- Hands can be placed on your back or flat on the floor, depending on which is most comfortable.
9. The Child’s Pose – ‘Balasana’
This is one of the most relaxing poses and is often used at the beginning and end of a practice. It isn’t too different from the easy forward bend.
- Sit on your knees.
- Fold torso over knees with arms extended and stretching out.
- Rest forehead on ground and take long deep breaths.
10. The Corpse Pose – ‘Savansa’
This final pose is best for getting your body into sleep mode by focusing your attention on breathing and relaxing each muscle group in your body.
- Simply lie flat on your back with your arms by your side.
- Face your palms upwards and stretch your feet out.
- Focus on relaxing each muscle at a time as you make your way up from toes to head.
We hope this helps you unwind your mind and body and get a good night’s rest!
Do you know any other yoga poses that could help you sleep? Let us know in the comments below!
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