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Need more sleep? For those who often suffer from racing thoughts and persistent restlessness before falling asleep, you may want to consider practicing yoga before hitting the sheets. Certain yoga postures have the ability to help quiet both the mind and body, proving to induce a more restful sleep.
Combining these three poses with slow, steady and concentrated breathing can further enhance the effects. Try these poses about 15 minutes before getting into bed.
1. Child’s pose
How: Start by kneeling down and then bringing your bottom towards your feet. Spread your knees outward and fold forward, bringing your chest and forehead towards the ground. Allow your arms to fall forward onto the ground as well so that they frame your head. Use a pillow or cushion under your chest for added support. Hold here for 3-5 minutes.
Why: The act of bringing your head towards the earth brings about a grounding and calming sensation. It also helps to relieve any tension you may be holding onto in the body.
2. Butterfly (folded forward or reclined)
How: Sit comfortably on the floor, bringing the soles of your feet together and allowing your knees to fall out to either side. You can use pillows or cushions to prop up the knees, which may allow for a more comfortable place in the pose for your hip flexors. Fold forward bringing your head towards your feet with the option of using a cushion to support your head. You may also choose to recline backwards, resting your back onto a cushion. Hold here for 3-5 minutes.
Why: This pose allows your hips to open up which can release a lot of physical and emotional stress you may be holding onto.
3. Feet up the wall
How: Lay down perpendicular to a wall. Allow your arms to fall out beside you in a “T” shape. Bring both legs up the wall, keeping them straight and sealed together. Let your entire upper body relax into the ground. Hold here for 3-5 minutes.
Why: You reap the rewards of an inversion in this pose, allowing gravity to do the job of reversing your blood flow and helping to move stagnant fluids through the body. The use of the wall provides a feeling of support and allows the body to fully relax in the inverted posture.