The emphasis on getting a good night’s sleep is gaining more and more momentum. However, this is one thing we all tend to forgo, given our hectic lifestyle.
Keeping your mind and body calm and relaxed will allow you to sleep well. And, yoga is one of the best body-mind relaxing techniques that you could try.
So, how exactly does yoga help in getting you the right sleep?
- The gentle stretches help the body release and let go of any strain and stress it experiences throughout the day.
- The circulation levels get a boost.
- Digestion is improved.
- Your brain gets better circulation when you relax.
- An improved state of relaxation sets the stage for releasing serotonin and melatonin, the sleep hormones.
Here are a couple of yoga poses that you could try to get better sleep.
Balasana – Child Pose:
Just relax your lower back and keep that stress away with this relaxing pose. Let your head rest on a cushion placed in front of you to allow you to hold the pose deeper. You can even massage your forehead from left to the right to help you relax better.
How to Do it:
- Sit on your knees with your buttocks resting on the heels.
- Keep your head, neck, and spine aligned in a straight line.
- Inhale and spread your knees apart at a hip distance.
- As you exhale, fold forward from the hips, allowing your torso to rest in the space between your thighs.
- Balance your posture by extending your hands in front of you, palms and elbows resting on the bed.
- Let the forehead rest on the cushion or floor.
- Retain the posture while breathing slowly and deeply, as long as you want.
- Take a deep inhalation and gently come up to get back into the initial posture.
- Stretch out your legs and relax.
Matsya Kridasana – Flapping Fish Pose:
A great way to relax, it is quite often included (with modifications) in the practice of pre-natal yoga to ensure that the women could relax in the most comfortable fashion during pregnancy. It gives your abdomen a good stretch and helps in doing away with your tummy troubles, including constipation.
How to Do it:
- Lie on your abdomen allowing your cheek to rest on the cushion made by stacking your palms atop each other. Let your head face the left.
- Inhaling, bend the right knee and bring it closer to your chest level while your right arm is folded in such a way that the elbow comes closer to the knee.
- Close your eyes and relax as long as you wish to. Breathe deeply and slowly.
- Exhaling, stretch your legs and slowly repeat with the other side.
Chandra Bhedana – Left Nostril Breathing:
A simple and relaxing Pranayama can easily improve the circulation levels, calming down your senses. It cools down your body temperature, preparing it to get slowly into sleep mode. You can even lie down to your right and practice this breathing technique and slide into sleep.
How to Do it:
- Sit down in a comfortable seated posture of your choice.
- Close the right nostril completely with the right thumb while you can use the right ring finger to close the left nostril partially. The index and middle fingertips rest in the middle of the right palm while the little finger points towards the ceiling.
- Inhale deeply via the left nostril for a count of 5 and close it completely.
- Open the right nostril and exhale completely.
- Repeat the same procedure till you complete 10 such rounds.
In this breathing technique, you always inhale via the left nostril while exhalation is done through the right.
Except for the breathing technique, it is advisable to practice these gentle yoga poses half an hour before bedtime. Maintain a sleep routine for yourself and avoid caffeine and television. You will soon find yourself sleeping deep!