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6 Poses to Help You Sleep Through the Night

A restful night’s sleep is part of a healthy lifestyle and just as important as eating right and exercising. But for most of us, sleep is the first thing we sacrifice. If you’re like me, when bedtime rolls around, you spend an hour “unwinding” with a book or a TV show. Then you spend the next hour laying in bed worrying about a big meeting you have the next day, and then stressing out about not getting enough sleep for your meeting. Most sleep issues are rooted in stress, anxiety, and fatigue (ironically). Yoga can focus your attention and reduce anxiety in your daily life, but it’s also very effective at night when you want to slow down your mind and body. Here are 6 poses you can do before you crawl into bed to prepare yourself for your best night’s sleep. Stay in each pose for 3-4 minutes to let your body relax and get the full benefit of the posture. childs pose small Childs Pose (Balasana)
  • Start in a tabletop position stacking your wrists below shoulders and knees below hips.
  • Press into your hands and spread your knees wide to the outer edges of your mat making sure there is room between the thighs for the torso and chest to rest.
  • Press your hips back toward your heels as you exhale.
  • Extend your arms forward, or reach the hands back toward your heels, your choice, keeping your spine straight and lengthened.
  • Make sure the center of your forehead is on the ground. If you feel tension or cannot place your forehead to the ground, stack your palms or fists under your forehead to bring the ground up to you.
bridge pose small Bridge Pose (Setu Bandha Sarvagnasana)
  • Lie flat on your back.
  • Bend your knees and place your feet flat on the floor, hip distance apart.
  • Place your arms alongside your body, palms facing down. (Ideally the fingertips graze your heels, but this is not necessary).
  • With your feet pressing into the floor, inhale as you lift the hips up, rolling your spine off the ground vertebrae by vertebrae.
  • Clasp your hands underneath the body and use this leverage to roll the shoulders closer together.
rabbit pose small Rabbit Pose (Sasangasana)
  • Start in Child’s Pose.
  • Grab onto your heels with thumbs on the outside of your feet and draw your knees in closer together so they are stacked under your hips.
  • Exhale as you pull your forehead further in towards your knees while keeping your head on the ground.
  • Slowly lift your hips, rolling onto the top of your head while keeping your knees firmly on the ground.
reclining bound angle small Reclining Bound Angle Pose (Supta Baddha Konasana)
  • Start in a seated position.
  • Bring the soles of your feet together so they are touching in front of you, drawing them in toward your root.
  • Allow your knees to reach toward the floor on either side.
  • When you are ready, keep your legs and feet as they are and slowly lower onto your back. Notice the length of your spine against the floor. Be mindful that your low back doesn’t arch up toward the ceiling.
  • You can put one hand on your heart and one hand on your stomach or keep them straight resting on the floor, palms facing up slightly away from your body.
supine twist small Supine Twist (Supta Matsyendrasana)
  • Lie flat on your back.
  • Extend your arms away from your body, palms up, making a T shape.
  • Inhale and draw your right knee in towards your chest.
  • Exhale as you cross the right knee and leg over the left dropping it towards the ground, keeping both shoulders  and your left hip grounded.
  • When you are ready, do the pose on the other side, twisting in the opposite direction.
corspe pose small Corpse Pose (Savasana)
  • Lie flat on your back.
  • Extend your legs slightly apart and let your feet fall open to the side.
  • Extend your arms along side your body, slightly away from your torso and let your palms face up.
  • Close your eyes and surrender to gravity. Breathe deeply and fully without force.
 

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