3 YOGA POSTURES TO IMPROVE THE QUALITY OF YOUR SLEEP
We all know how amazing it feels when we’ve had a good nights sleep or have an amazing nap experience. It’s what allows us to wake up energised, feeling excited for the day ahead and able to cope with day to day challenges.
Sleep is important to our physical and mental health. I’ve never been one of those people who brag about being up all night and I hate the phrase ‘I’ll sleep when I’m dead’ I feel more like I’ll be dead if I don’t sleep!
I’ve always been a girl who needed 8 hours and I’m shocked to hear about those who survive on very little (expect new parents, you are incredible) but there are scientific studies that show how important sleep is to the function of our mind. Arianna Huffington has a podcast dedicated to sleep and Ayurveda (the science of life) is focussed on digestion to live a long and healthy life, part of that digestion process is sleep, to help digest our thoughts, emotions through our dreams. It’s when our body heals, we have a whole system in our body dedicated to ‘rest and digest’ but the world seems to be focussing on keeping us alert, exhausted and sleep deprived.
So here is 3 simple yoga postures that you can practice before bed to help you improve the quality of your sleep and perhaps help you sleep a bit longer.gets a good night's sleep
CAT / COW
Cat / Cow - This simple and effective pose to help get some movement and massaging the spine after your day. Drop the heart, inhale and look forward, tilt the hips up towards the sky. Exhale, round the back, let the heat and neck relax, tailbone towards the floor. Repeat 5-10 times, focus on slow breath and slow movement.
Seated Forward Bend - Paschimottanasana
Sit with your legs outstretched in front of you, flex your feet.
Sit up on a folded blanket if you find it difficult to sit up straight, it’s helps with the tilt forward of the pelvis
Inhale and lengthen the spine, gently press your sitting bones down and slightly back, feel your lower back arch as you move your belly towards your thighs.
As you fold forward keep the ribs moving away from the pelvis to help create space and length in the spine.
Press the thighs towards the floor
Keep the chest open and spine long.
With each exhale keep fold forward hinging from the hips, not rounding from the back.
Let your arms slide down along the floor, they may reach your calves, ankles or feet.
Be careful not to force or overstretch, if you have an injury use a blanket under hips and you might need to start with your knees bent.
For any spinal injuries such as herniated discs, this pose might not be suitable, avoid rounding the spine. Ask advice from your GP or medical practitioner.
Legs up the wall pose - Viparita Karani
This posture is known to help everything from . . .
Practice legs up the wall pose and you may find you get relief from
Stress / Anxiety
Headaches / migraines
High and low blood pressure
Menstrual cramps and premenstrual symptoms
To do this pose you basically raise your legs up the wall, you can also place your legs on your bed or on a chair.
You can have your hips close to the wall or slightly further away, your legs can be straight or have a slight bend in the knees.
You can also place a blanket or bolster under the hips.
The aim is to raise the legs and get your body into a position that feels comfortable were you can rest for at least 5 minutes.
Try to soften any tension for the head, neck and shoulders.
The pose also helps to calms the nervous system, while you are in the posture, try not to go back into your to do list but let each part of your body soften and focus on your breathing.
Consciously breathe through the pose, always bringing your mind back to your body and breath.
To come out of the pose, roll over to your side and push yourself back up.
Reclined Bound Angle Pose - Supta Baddha Konasana
Similar to bound angle pose, Supta mean reclines,
Start the same way as baddha konasana, or if it helps lie down first and then move the legs into baddha konasana
For a restorative version of this pose, use blocks or cushions under the knees and a bolster or blankets under the spine.
Stay for at least 3 min and up to 10 mins
You can find details of our yoga classes based in Central Scotland - West Lothian / North Lanarkshire HERE.
If you feel you would like to Book an Ayurvedic Consultation to help with any symptoms of insomnia you can find out more here or book a consultation. The Barn,ML7 5TT, Central Scotland, UK, consultations are also available via Skype.
Hello, I’m obsessed with my new puppy Riley, I could eat pancakes for breakfast everyday and I’m obsessed with helping others feel their best by alleviating pain through yoga, hands on treatments and Ayurveda.