Sometimes, counting sheep just doesn’t cut it. So, if you’ve been struggling to get your 8 hours recently, bedtime 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.
Yoga is best performed on a firm surface, usually the floor, using a yoga matt to soften the feeling. We do not recommend performing yoga on a bed or sofa bed. If you are struggling for floor space and this is your only option, please consult with a yoga professional for advice.
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 bedtime yoga help you sleep?
It calms your central nervous system.
It eases any physical discomfort.
It makes you mindful of your breathing.
The 10 best yoga poses to help you sleep
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 bedtime yoga guide helps you unwind your mind and body and get a good night’s rest! For more information on yoga an its benefits, try the NHS yoga guide on for size.
Do you know any other yoga poses that could help you sleep? Let us know in the comments below!
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