Yoga For Better Sleep

Do you have trouble falling asleep? You are not alone-Sleep depression is one of the leading causes to health problems such as anxiety, depression, poor eating patterns that can lead to diabetes and congestive heart failure.

Without enough sleep our nervous system runs on overdrive and the body depletes its natural source of energy. Yoga helps bring conscious awareness to release and let go of tension in the body that we unconsciously carry throughout our day.

This practice is designed to help you restore and learn how to relax and wind down after a long day. Hold each pose for approximately 1-5 minutes in each one.

It is important to approach this practice gently and never push through any painful experience.

Thanks to Genevieve Monroe Yoga, PranaShanti Yoga Centre and Lole for showing us how it's done!

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Childs Pose (Balasana)

  1. Come into a kneeling position.
  2. Allow your big toes to touch, as your knees come slightly apart.
  3. Lean forward and lay your belly onto your thighs, let your hips settle towards your heels.
  4. Rest your head your mat, a block or a cushion
  5. Sweep your hands beside your torso towards your feet to release the shoulders
  6. Breathe deeply, allow your ribs to expand and relax with every breath.
  7. Hold for as long as you feel comfortable

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Cat/Cow (Marjaryasana/Bitilasana)

  1. Come to your hands and knees.
  2. Align shoulders over the wrists and hips over the knees,
  3. Spread your weight evenly between the hands and legs.
  4. Inhale; lift your tailbone as you relax your belly and chest.  Look to the ceiling.
  5. Exhale; tuck your tailbone under, round the spine and draw your chin to your chest as you broaden through the back of the shoulders.
  6. Repeat 5-10 times

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Seated Fold (Paschimottanasana)

  1. Sit on a folded blanket with  your legs straight in front of you.
  2. Inhale, and keeping the front torso long, lean forward from the hips. Lengthen the tailbone away from the back of your pelvis.
  3. Keep your head raised as you lead with your heart and fold forward, don't forcefully pull yourself into bend.
  4. Spread your toes to help lengthen your hamstrings, bend your knees just slightly to release any tightness.
  5. With each inhalation, lift and lengthen the front torso just slightly; with each exhalation soften and relax a little more fully into the forward bend.
  6. Hold for 1 minute or approximately 5-6 long breaths

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Bridge Pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana)

  1. Lay on your back
  2. Bend your knees and place the soles of your feet on the floor
  3. Slowly lift your hips and balance your weight between your feet and shoulders
  4. Interlace your fingers under your hips, press your arms into the floor
  5. Hold for 1-3 breaths
  6. Slowly lower one vertebra at a time

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Lying Thread The Needle (Supta Kapotāsana)

  1. Lay on your back
  2. Bend your knees and place your feet on the mat
  3. Cross your right ankle on your left thigh
  4. Thread your right arm through the space created by your legs
  5. Interlock your fingers around your thigh
  6. Gently guide the leg towards your body
  7. Keep your head and shoulders down on the mat
  8. Hold for 3-5 breaths, then switch legs

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Waterfall (Viparita Karani)

  1. Sit with one hip close to the wall.
  2. As you lay down, lift your legs up towards the ceiling
  3. Rotate so that both legs and bum are against the wall
  4. If your lower back or hips are tight, you may need to wiggle away from the wall a few inches
  5. Rest your arms either onto your belly or comfortably beside, close your eyes, and stay here for long as you need.

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Recovery Pose (Fetal Pose)

  1. Lay on your back
  2. Bend your knees and place the soles of your feet on the floor
  3. Stretch your right arm over head
  4. Roll over onto your right side
  5. Place your left hand on the ground by your chest
  6. Rest in this position for as long as you like

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