While a busy day may likely have you dreaming of bedtime, you might find yourself struggling to actually doze off once you finally get in bed. Although it might seem counterintuitive to get out of bed and get moving, the perfect fix to unwanted restlessness could be a bit of restorative yoga.
Performing the following 5-pose yoga sequence before bed and holding each pose for about 2-5 minutes can help your body unwind, de-stress and ultimately achieve a restful sleep.
Standing Forward Bend Pose
To perform Standing Forward Bend pose, or Uttanasana, stand with your feet several inches apart and gently reach down towards your toes. If necessary, you can bend your knees while reaching down to make the pose more comfortable. The key here is to feel a release of tension in your back, legs and hips. Performed properly, this pose will have a calming effect on the brain, alleviating stress and helping you relax.
Moving onto Child’s Pose, or Balasana, gently kneel on the floor and sit on your heels. Keeping your feet together but spreading your knees hip width apart, slowly bend your torso forward to rest it along your thighs. Extend your arms forward as you rest your forehead on the ground and release tension throughout the body.
The Legs-Up-the-Wall pose, or Viparita Karani, is pretty much what it sounds like. With your back on the floor, slowly lift your legs and rest them vertically along the wall. The pose improves circulation by allowing the blood to travel down through your legs and make its way back to your heart. That, in turn, has an overall soothing effect on your body.
Happy Baby Pose
Keeping your back on the floor, gently pull in your knees to transition into a Happy Baby Pose, or Ananda Balasana. Reach out your hands to grab the outside of your feet, and then gently open your knees wider than your torso while pushing feet towards the ceiling. As you push your feet upwards, create resistance by pulling back down on them with your hands. Breathe deeply while holding the pose to release tension and relax the body.
To complete the sequence, gently release your legs and extend them on the ground. Lying with your hands by your side and your body stretched out along the floor, hold the Corpse Pose, or Savasana, for several minutes as you clear your mind and focus your attention on breathing and overcome what’s left of your restlessness.