Yoga is becoming a staple, both for yummy mummies in Notting Hill and the Upper East Side, and for the average, every day girl-about-town who needs to get rid of the stress in her life and really center herself. In addition to being a stress reliever and a great way to exercise, yoga can also help you get all the restful beauty sleep you need to bound up out of bed every morning and really sink your teeth into your life which is why we are going to highlight the top seven yoga poses that are sure to help you sleep.
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This is one of the most common yoga poses. You start out on your hands and your knees, with the latter in alignment with your hips. Your hands should be placed flat on the mat, palms down, ahead of where your shoulders are positioned. At this point you want to breathe out deeply and lift up your pelvis. Your tailbone should be lifted as well, but your heels need to remain pressed firmly against the floor. Position your head so it is between your arms, but be sure to hold and keep it steady; it should not simply hang. Hold the pose while breathing deeply through your nose.
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Here you begin with a kneeling position, so your heels touch your backside. However, you need to open your knees so they align with your hips. Breathe in deeply and breathe out deeply, slowly but steadily lowering your chest down to touch your thighs and knees as you do so. At this point, your arms swing forward for a moment, then bring them back and let your palms face skyward as they rest next to your feet. At this point you can also let your forehead touch your mat if you like. Continuing to breathe deeply, keep the pose steady.
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You begin by laying down on your stomach. Your hands are positioned so they are flat on the floor, located beneath your shoulders. Your legs need to be stretched out behind you and kept together. At this point, start pressing your toes and your feet down against the mat as firmly as you can. Make sure your forehead rests against your mat. With a deep inhale, lift your forehead, your nose, and your chest up off of your mat. At the same time, your hands need to remain facing down and you should press your hips down onto the mat. Keep breathing deeply as you hold this pose, up to five times, and then breathe out as you slowly lower back down to the mat.
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You begin on your back, with your backside placed against a wall. Your legs need to be stretched up against the wall and your arms should be curled above your head, palms skyward. Basically you want to try to let your heels climb up the wall to the ceiling. Steady breathing is key here.
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Sit down on your mat and extend your legs, then reach forward. The idea here is to make sure your arms are straight, partly so they can help press down your thighs as you work to pull your heels away from your hips, and vice versa. You need to reach for your toes and work to lengthen your spine upwards and away from your hips. You breathe deeply the entire time, and try to deepen the bend every time you exhale.
Photo Credit: myyogaonline
You want to lie down on your mat, on your back. Your legs are extended but do not touch. Your arms remain at your sides and your palms face skyward. With your eyes closed, you simply want to take a mental journey from your head all the way down to your toes, and relax each separate part of your body as you think about it. Ideally, you want to remain this way for a minimum of five minutes.
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Bending at the waist, all you then need to do is flop your body forward at the waist. Although your feet stay steady and firm, your knees should be soft, as should your head. Let your neck be wobbly. Make sure your jaw and arms are relaxed as well.
As you can see, these poses encompass relaxation, stretching, and serenity. Arguably far more effective than over the counter or prescription medications, not to mention cheaper, they will not leave you with a groggy kind of hangover in the morning. In fact, by using yoga to sleep better, you can improve all aspects of your life. Do you know of any other yoga poses that help you sleep?
Top photo credit: dwanearmbruster
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