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How yoga can help you sleep

Five poses to slow down and help you sleep:1. Standing Forward Fold (Uttanasana) This pose is a great release for tension in the hamstrings, calves, hips and back muscles. The inversion will help calm your mind, improve digestion and stimulate your liver and kidneys. 2. Cat Cow Synchronising breath with movement fosters intentional focus. This pose can increase emotional balance and stability of the mind. The lengthening of the spine also improves circulation to the discs between the vertebrae, which relieves stress from the back. 3. Child’s Pose (Balasana) Replicating the fetal position, Balasana gently stretches the hips, thighs and ankles and releases tension in the back, shoulders and chest. It lengthens and stretches the spine, and works to calm the mind as it normalises circulation throughout the body. Balasana is known to alleviate stress and anxiety, and is recommended if you’re experiencing fatigue. 4. Supported Bridge Lying with your head below your heart automatically calms the nervous system. In this pose, placing gentle pressure on your sacrum and releasing the weight of your front body onto a block activates the rest and digest response. 5. Reclined Bound Angle Pose (Supta Baddha Konasana) This pose can help you achieve a deep state of rest through increasing blood circulation to the lower abdomen, stretching the inner thighs and calming the nervous system. To create a gentle chest opening and support your muscles even more, you can lie with a bolster lengthwise underneath your back and head, and prop up your knees and arms with blocks.

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