If there’s one thing for certain, it’s that around 70 million U.S. citizens are battling with chronic sleeping disorders. This is usually a sign that all of us need to make a change in our bedtime routine.
If chamomile tea or counting sheep is not doing you any favors, then you might want to try a slightly more different approach: yoga as a treatment for insomnia. By simply adding a few quick poses every day, you’ll be able to channel all of the stress out, calm your mind, and focus on your breath. All of these will not only allow you to fall asleep faster, but they’ll offer you a deeper sleep as well.
Here’s a list of some poses that you may want to try out:
- The Forward Bend
- The Child Pose
- The Cat Stretch
- The Butterfly Pose
- The Leg-up-the-wall Pose
And the best part is that you won’t need more than a few minutes to get through these. Here is how you do them.
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The Forward Bend
For the Forward Bend Pose (also known as the Hastapadasana), you start by standing straight on your feet, with the arms alongside the body. Balancing your weight on both feet, you breathe in and extend both arms over your head. As you breathe out, you bend forward towards your feet. Stand in a “hugging” position with your feet for 20 to 30 seconds, and continue to breathe deeply. Breathing, stretch your arms back up and slowly come back to a standing position.
The Child’s Pose
The child’s pose (Shishuasana) starts with you kneeling on the floor with your legs brought together under you. As you are sitting on your heels, separate your knees as wide as your hips and bend forward, laying your torso between your thighs. Lay your hands on the floor alongside you or over your head, and try to keep your back straight. Give yourself a nice stretch for a couple of seconds before getting back up again. This pose will calm the nervous system and therefore help you sleep.
The Cat Stretch
Standing on your hands and knees in a “box” position (hips over knees and shoulders over hands), slowly arch your spine up and down, keeping it in each position for a couple of moments. The Cat Stretch (Marjariasana) will improve your spine flexibility and massage your digestive organs so that you can get a better sleep.
The Butterfly Pose
The butterfly pose (Baddha Konasana) is as beautiful as it is relaxing. You start from a seated position, with your legs stretched in front of you. From that position, bring the soles of the feet together and grab them with your hands. Try to hold your torso parallel to the floor as you rest on your legs. This position will help you remove the fatigue you develop after a day of continuous walking or standing. Plus, it’s a good stretch for your groin, inner thighs, and knees.
The leg-up-the-wall (Viparita Karani) is pretty much the ultimate restorative pose, and you can do it with or without a blanket. Start by lying straight on the back and lift your legs, allowing them to rest on the wall. Extend your arms with the palm facing up, breathe in, and stay in that position with your arms closed for a couple of minutes.
This position will relieve the fatigue from your feet and calm the mind by increasing the blood supply. For a deep sleep, these poses need to be held every evening for at least a couple of seconds each. In time, the tension will be fully released, and you will no longer have sleeping issues. Moreover, it takes less than five minutes to perform all these exercises, so not a lot of time is lost!