Gently Guide Your Body to Sleep with 5 Simple Yoga Poses

By Assia Stepien - Yoga -

For me yoga represents pure health, nature and positive vibes and there is so much to learn! The possibilities are endless and I truly believe yoga can change the world.

I’d like to start by sharing some therapeutic aspects of yoga with you today. Yoga is a great form of exercise but also very relaxing and therefore excellent at promoting a peaceful nights sleep. There are a few yoga poses that can specifically help with sleep. The headstand being one.

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From the pictures you might think that the headstand pose looks quite difficult, but the poses you need are actually quite the opposite! I will explain why – for relaxing your body and winding it down to sleep after a long and busy day, you don’t need to stand on your head, you just need to place your feet over your torso (happy days!). This encourages blood flow to your heart, where it recharges the body with oxygen.
The following five simple yoga poses can change the way you ease your body to sleep. They are all variations of the Viparita (Leg-up-the-wall) pose. You will need a wall and a something comfortable to lie on (bed, carpeted or rugged floor) and the following items are optional;- a yoga mat , pillow and something relaxing/enjoyable to read. The idea of reading is to enjoy something that brings you pure pleasure and stops your mind from wandering, worrying, or simply over-thinking.
For each of the poses: 
  • Start with finding a wall, take your favourite pillow and a yoga mat and place it on the floor (or just lie on your bed).
  • Lay down on the mat and place your slightly bent legs against the wall with feet facing upwards.
  • Place the pillow under your head for comfort.
  • You can read your favourite magazine or a book while resting your legs and feet on the wall.
  • Try to keep in this position for 10 minutes whilst reading or simply relaxing your mind.

1. Viparita (Leg-up-the-wall) pose. 

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2. Viparita Karani (straddle split legs-up-the-wall pose)
To make this easing experience a bit more diverse you can separate your feet from each other and relax while your hips are opening too!
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3. Viparita Karani (feet-on-the-wall-pose)
After few minutes bend your knees and place your feet on the wall, stay there another few minutes reading away!
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4. Viparita Karani: Baddha Konasana – bound angle pose
For the last pose from the wall series join the soles of your feet together, keeping the hips open and easing the body into sleep mode for another few minutes.
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Now, very slowly, come out of this last wall position.
5. Paschimottanasana – Seated Forward Bend
Simply sit on the mat and bend forwards with your legs slightly bent and head relaxed. Keep this pose for as long as it is comfortable. Remember you are not stretching, you are simply easing your body with gravity pulling you down, keeping your torso down over your legs.
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Just remember, when trying to relax your body before going to sleep make sure you are not pushing yourself as it will further awaken your body, which is quite the opposite from what you would like to do!
 Read, relax, unwind and ENJOY the last few minutes of your day!

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