By Naomi Traimer
Posted in Yoga & Sleep
The best yoga poses to help you reach a blissful sleep!
If you have problems falling asleep, yoga is an amazing exercise and tool that can help you promote a feeling of wellness and relaxation and in turn help you reach that blissful state of sleep . According to Harvard researchers, this discipline is ideal to relieve insomnia. They affirmed that the daily practice of yoga improves the quality and quantity of sleep, both in people who cannot sleep because of stress related problems, or for those who suffer diseases such as cancer, arthritis, depression and fibromyalgia.
Do your daily asanas!
The study discovered that, among all of the benefits that practicing yoga can bring to your life, sleep efficiency is one of them, that is, the time it takes to fall asleep is reduced, and the quality of rest is improved. It also helps to relieve menopause symptoms, which include, at no surprise, sleep deprivation in some women. Yoga is also great for older adults, who have increased difficulty to fall (and remain asleep).
Performing asanas (which is the name of each pose in yoga) also helps you stretch your muscles and reach a state of physical relaxation which, combined with meditation, can help in relieving stress and worries from your mind, which in consequence affect your sleep habits. Beware, though, not all poses are conducive to relaxation, some schools of yoga, such as Ashtanga or Bikram yoga are more physically demanding, and instead of help you relax might activate you if you practice them at night, so it is recommended to practice them in the morning or at least 3 hours before your bed time.
Janusirsasana (head to knee pose): To perform this asana, sit on the floor with your back and legs straight. Bend your right knee and put your right foot sole under your left tight, resting your right knee on the floor (if you can’t rest your knee on the floor, place a cushion or a pillow under it). Inhale and straighten your column, then exhale while you bend your torso, chest towards the knee, keeping your neck and back straight. Use your arms to reach forward and, if you can, grab your right foot or your right ankle. Keep your eyes on your foot and focus on breathing rhythmically. Breathe in and out several times, and feel your muscles relaxing. Repeat with the other leg.
Baddha Konasana (bound angle pose): Sit on the floor with your back straight, put the soles of your feet together and hold them in place with your hands. Inhale and straighten your column, then exhale and bend your torso chest towards the floor and keeping your back as straight as possible. Focus on your breathing and feel your hips and lower back relaxing.
Adho Mukha Svanasana (downward dog pose): With your hands and knees on the floor, inhale and firmly place your foot soles on the floor, as your body makes a triangle with the floor as a base. Hold the pose for three minutes while you focus on your breathing. When you finish, go back in four and then lie on the floor in fetal position for a minute.
Shavasana (corpse pose): Lie on the floor, on your back, with your arms and legs extended. Focus on your breathing and feel how your body relaxes. This asana is ideal to practice just before bed.