Sleep, do you remember that? You may have read about it in a book. It was that amazing rejuvenating thing we all used to do every night before smartphones, Netflix and Donald Trump came along to stress us out and spoil things.
Quality sleep is up there with regular exercise and a healthy diet as an essential component of a healthy, happy and long life. The more you get the better you are at just about everything you put your mind to. It’s for this reason that sleep has been referred to as the single greatest natural performance enhancer available to humankind.
Knowing you should sleep more and actually getting better sleep are two very different things entirely. Sometimes no matter how hard you try, dropping off can be the hardest thing to do.
Well don’t despair, and don’t go reaching for the horse tranquilizers just yet. There are plenty of natural remedies that will encourage better sleep. One of the most powerful of these is, of course, yoga.
Read on below and I will give you three of the most effective poses for relaxation passed on to us by the ancient yogis. This triplet will having you hibernating like a Yogi bear in no time at all.
Child’s pose (known to yoga nerds as bālāsana) is a very easy pose to perform no matter your age or physical ability. You could say it’s so simple a child could do it!
Start the pose by kneeling with a straight back. Now slowly stretch your head forwards toward the ground, keep your shins glued to the floor and rest your chest on your knees. If you can, stretch your head toward the ground and allow your forehead to rest on the ground. By all means use a block or cushion.
Finally to complete the pose either stretch your arms forward in front of your head or alternatively let them fall back beside your feet. Whichever feels the most natural for you.
This pose is all about relaxing the body and calming the mind. The aim is for the body to feel as stress free as possible. Stay her for as long as your like, allow the tension of the day to leave your body. Ahh, bliss!
Upside down/Legs up the wall
Referred to by serious yoga practitioners as viparita karani, known to everyone else under the sun as lying on your back with your legs against a wall.
This is a super gentle but tremendously effective pose that works stretches the lower back and legs but also helps to create an amazing feeling of calm.
Get that bum of yours pressed up as close to the wall as your body will allow and swing your legs upwards until they are perpendicular to the ground. Splay your arms out to the side with your palms facing upwards. And breath. Always remember to breath
Inversion poses (they’re the ones that flip you upside down), are great for the body because they take a whole heap of stress away from your poor hard working heart. All day long your little beater has to work against the force of gravity to pump blood around your body. By flipping yourself (gently) upside down gravity begins to work with your heart not against it. The result is a lower blood pressure and reduced inflammation.
You can hold this pose for as long as your heart desires. Once you’ve had your fill of the relaxing feeling it brings, simply slide down off the wall and come, slowly, to standing. Careful now, you may be a little dizzy. And a lot sleepy.
You can probably tell by its name – corpse is probably one of the most effective of all the yoga poses when it comes to relaxation. Ten minutes in this position and you’ll soon be sleeping like the dead.
Corpse, (savasana in yogish), is a pose used almost universally by yoga teachers as a perfect way to end any session. All you have to do is lie flat on the floor, flat on your back and splay your legs and arms out, palms facing up. It’s so simple that it feels strange even calling it a pose.
Once you’ve adopted the position all you have to do is focus on your yogic breathing. Feel the air moving in and out of your belly and filling you all the way to your toes.
Corpse is the perfect time to engage in a little bit of meditation. Simply observe the thoughts as they float through your mind’s eye, don’t dwell on any one thing just let them come and go.
Well, there you have it – three super easy and incredibly effective yoga poses for better sleep.
All of these positions are not only great for helping you rediscover your sleeping mojo, they are also ideal for people high blood pressure, stress and back problems as well. So feel free to give them a go whenever and wherever you’re able. Namaste!
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