close
Magazine
Advertisement
 

4 Soothing Yoga Pozes to Help You Sleep

Boost relaxation and beat insomnia by soothing your mind and body before bed. Here are four easy yoga poses to get you there.

Yoga
iStock

Often have trouble sleeping? You’re not alone – and it could be costing you more than just a restless night and sleepy day, according to recent research, which showed that people with insomnia are much more likely to experience associated health problems such as anxiety, depression, diabetes and congestive heart failure.

But don’t despair – a good night’s sleep really is within reach. One oft-recommended treatment is to establish a relaxing bedtime routine. A good place to start? A pre-bedtime yoga practice.

“Yoga gets you in touch with the breath,” says Canadian yoga instructor Darcie Clark. “When you slow down and stay in a pose you can feel different areas of the body that are tense and holding on from your day and gradually let that go as you sit and breathe through the pose.” And stretching in general has a calming effect, making bedtime the best time for it.

Ready to begin? Ideally, says Clark, do each pose in the sequence for one to five minutes, holding each position gently without strain or pain. Can’t manage the full sequence? Pick your favourites and build them into your routine as you can – even in bed, if that works for you. And remember: always listen to your body, don’t push yourself past your comfort zone and don’t do anything that hurts. Speak to a yoga teacher for further modifications to these poses that will work with your body.

Advertisement
1. Janu Sirsasana (head-to-knee pose)
1. Janu Sirsasana (head-to-knee pose)
iStock
  • Sit on the floor without slouching, legs extended straight in front of you and knees bent if necessary to keep the spine from rounding.
  • Bend the right knee and open the hip, bringing the sole of the right foot into the inner left thigh and the right knee toward the ground. If it doesn’t reach, support the right knee with a cushion.
  • Inhale and lengthen the spine.
  • Exhale as you bend forward from the hips over the left leg, keeping the spine and neck long, and place the hands on either side of the left leg. Gaze at the big toe of the left foot as you focus on the breath moving in and out.
  • Repeat on the other side.

Make it easier: Those with tight hamstrings will find all forward bends easier with a folded blanket or cushion under the sitting bones.



Advertisement

More in Sleep

13 things your dreams reveal about you

13 things your dreams reveal about you

Creative? Conservative? Close to death? All can be revealed by the character of your night-time imaginings
How to sleep better every night

How to sleep better every night

Top secrets to superior slumber.
The two questions most asked by desperate and exhausted parents

The two questions most asked by desperate and exhausted parents

The No. 1 question on the lips of almost every parent of a newborn is: When will my baby sleep through the night? The second is usually: When can I sleep train my baby? According to Sydney-based Cheryl, The Sleep Coach – an internationally certified child sleep consultant – the answers are simpler than most people think.
25 Things You Need to Know About Sleep Right Now

25 Things You Need to Know About Sleep Right Now

Will a lack of shut-eye make you fat? Do white-noise machines cause deafness? Are night owls wealthier than early birds? Wake up to the secrets of slumber.
7 Surprising Ways to Get More Sleep

7 Surprising Ways to Get More Sleep

There’s no blanket solution for insomnia. But if you’ve tried everything, here may be the bedroom secret that helps you reclaim your night-time rest.

Advertisement