If you often have trouble falling asleep , you’re not alone: many people toss and turn for hours before finally managing to fall asleep and get some effective rest. When it happens regularly it can leave you feeling constantly tired throughout the day, possibly overusing sugar and coffee to stay awake, and even becoming depressed and gaining weight as a result of too little rest. Rest is a very serious thing!
Doing the following yoga poses before bed will help you fall asleep (and stay asleep). They are all very simple, so even if you have never practiced yoga and think of yourself as not being “flexible”, you will find that you are able to master these poses without any problem. More and more scientific studies are showing the health benefits of yoga, so why not take advantage of them? You have nothing to lose, and everything to gain…
The first time you do these poses, it is good not to stay in them too long. A minute can be a lot at first. Later, the pose can be extended to five minutes or even longer.
1. Balasana – Child’s Pose
If you have knee problems, this is probably not a good idea. But for everyone else, this pose will relax your nervous system, your back, your shoulders, your belly, and your mind. If your rear end doesn’t reach your heels, fold a blanket over a few more times and tuck it under your butt so you can really get it right. You can stretch your arms out in front of you or let them relax at your sides. Set an alarm so you know when to leave the pose. While in child’s pose make sure to breathe deeply, especially on your back.
2. Supta Baddha Konasana – Reclining Goddess Pose
Some people call this pose the butterfly pose: lying on your back, prop up your knees, place the soles of your feet together, and carefully let your knees drop to your sides. Most of us will not be able to fully do this pose. Our knees will be at least 5 centimeters away from the ground. So to relax, put a stack of books or a rolled up blanket or pillows under each knee. Let your arms hang out at your sides, totally relaxed as well. Breathe all the way into your lower abdomen.
3. Supta Matsyendrasana – Supine Twist
Lying on your back, prop up your knees and then drop to the right side. You can stabilize the legs by holding the left thigh with the right hand. But, at the same time, stretch your left arm to the left and gently roll your head to the left. Here too you will have to relax both shoulders on the ground as much as possible. And yes, breathe! Then repeat the pose on the other side.
4. Matsyasana – Fish Pose
Lying on your back with your arms on the floor at your sides, slide your hands – palms down – under your rear end. As you do this, begin to lower your entire forearm to the ground as you bend your elbows. The effect is to gently lift your upper body up and open your chest outwards. You can hold your head up, if your throat and neck are uncomfortable, or gently drop your head back toward the floor. Take five to ten deep breaths and then carefully remove your hands from under you. Lie down and enjoy the open feeling in your chest.