Stretching Your Way to Better Sleep with Yoga

Whether we’re working from home or not, the busyness of our lives has many of us always looking for ways to relax and unwind. With our faces hitting screens from the early morning into the late hours of the night, falling asleep is also not as easy as it used to be.Namaste, we have a solution. According to the National Health Interview Survey, over 55% of people who did yoga found that it helped them get a better night’s rest.


Yoga is a restorative practice and a great way to reduce tension and stress both in the body and mind. While many poses serve different purposes, there’s a handful you can do to improve the quality of our sleep. Whether you’re on your mat or in your bed, here are five token yoga poses to try before you hit the hay.


Wide-Knee Child’s Pose (Prasarita Balasana)


How to do it:

1. Kneel on the floor and bring your big toes together.

2. Separate your knees hips width apart or as wide as the edges of your mat.

3. Exhale and sink your torso onto your thighs.

4. Let your hands relax alongside your torso, so your arms are pointed to the back of the room, palms facing up.

5. Hold this position for 3 to 5 minutes.


Legs Up the Wall Pose (Viparita Karani)

If your job requires you to be on your feet most of the day, then this is the pose for you. The Legs Up the Wall pose is perfect for alleviating any swelling, soreness or discomfort in your feet and ankles by recirculating blood flow. It has also proven to support better digestion, alleviate cramps and relieve symptoms of mild depression.


How to do it:

1. Find an empty spot on your wall and place your mat perpendicular to it.

2. Sit down on the mat and place both of your legs upright on the wall.

3. Relax your arms by your sides.

4. Hold this position for 3 to 5 minutes.


Sleeping Swan (Kapotasana II)

If you find yourself tossing and turning at night, your muscles are likely in need of a stretch. The Sleeping Swan pose works to open the hips, stretch your legs and improve any discomfort in the lower back.


How to do it:

1. Begin on all fours and bring one knee forward in a bent position.

2. Place your ankle somewhere in front of your hip and flex your foot.

3. Stretch the opposite leg backwards.

4. Place hands and arms forward and lower your back toward the ground.

5. Stretch your back forward as you inhale and exhale.

6. Hold this position for less than 5 minutes.


Corpse Pose (Savasana)

The Corpse pose is the ultimate position for promoting restoration, reducing headaches and lowering blood pressure. This pose is as easy as lying flat on your back and grounding yourself into the surface. Breathing is incredibly important in this position and allows you to release any tension in the body, decrease your heart rate and bring you into an optimal state of relaxation.


How to do it:

1. Lie on your back with your legs straight and arms at your sides.

2. Rest your hands about 6 inches away from your body with your palms facing up.

3. Let your feet drop open.

4. Allow your body to feel heavy and let your breathing flow naturally.

5. Relax your face and rest your eyes.

6. Hold this position for up to 10 minutes.


Butterfly Pose (Baddha Konasana)

Being at your desk all day long can seriously hinder your quality of sleep. The Butterfly pose is one of the best positions to give your legs and knees a little TLC after many long hours of sitting. It improves your flexibility, stretches your inner thighs and helps to stimulate your bladder, kidneys and stomach before bed.


How to do it:

1. Straighten your spine with your legs straightened outwards.

2. Bend both knees to form a winged butterfly pose.

3. Bring your feet toward your pelvis as close as you can and join them, holding them with your hands.

4. Slowly move your angled legs like a butterfly flapping motion.

5. Hold this position for up to 5 minutes.

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