I am frequently asked for yoga tips to help with insomnia and sleep deprivation. The following sequence can be done every night in your pjs, some of which can be done in your bed directly before you go to bed if you like. This short routine will help you to wind down so you can sleep great right through the night. You can extend the sequence by holding the postures for longer.
Many sleep experts believe having regular routine signals the body it is time to prepare for sleep, so try slotting this sequence in after you wash your teeth and you could soon be sleeping like a baby!!
1. Easy Forward Bend – sitting with your legs loosely crossed, on your exhale hinge forward, feeling free to sit on a pillow and resting your head on a pillow/s to make the pose more comfortable. Breathing deeply and holding for as long as you like.
2. Standing Forward Bend – standing with your feet hip width apart, on your exhale hinge forward from the hips and fold forward, resting your hands on your knees/thighs or interlocking your fingers on the inside of your big toes, keeping your legs straight.
3. Child’s Pose – come onto all 4s spreading the knees out wide, allow the bum to come down towards your heels and rest your trunk forward. If the posture does not feel comfortable, try popping a cushion under your bum and/or under your forehead.
4. Supine Spine Twist – Lie on your back, bring your arms out wide in line with your shoulders, bending your knees. Lift your knees up keeping your knees stacked over your hips, exhale release the knees to the right as you look to the left, inhale lift your knees up, exhale release your knees to the left as you look to the right. Repeating a few times on both sides.
5. Happy Baby Pose – lying down hug your knees into your chest. Grab a hold of the arch side of your feet and draw your knees down, soles of your feet facing up towards the ceiling. Rock your body from side to side to release tension in your hips and back. Stay here for 5 long deep breaths.
6. Plow Pose – this is thought to be one of the best poses to do before sleep but if you are unfamiliar with this pose do not attempt to practice without the instruction of a yoga teacher. Come into shoulder stand and lift your legs over your head and then to the ground behind you, if your toes do not touch the ground keep your hands on your back for support, otherwise you can rest them on the floor. Holding the pose for 1 to 5 minutes.
7. Legs up the Wall – Perform this pose with your eyes closed.
8. Relaxation – You will find a 15 minute Yoga Nidra/deep relaxation recorded on an earlier blog http://theyogatree.ie/uncategorized/yoga-nidra-the-power-of-yoga-sleep/
Sleep well Yogis & Yoginis