Getting enough sleep can be a challenge.
But deep and sufficient sleep is one of the best things you can do for productivity, longevity, looking and feeling good, reducing irritability, and more.
Dr Walker, one of the world’s top sleep experts, discusses the benefits of good sleep, in a post on our Facebook page.
The pictures with this post show some very simple poses that you can do before you go to sleep, or even if you wake up, and need to get back to sleep.
These yoga poses all work because of the way they work with your glands, hormones and other regulators in your body. This post won’t go into why they work. Instead, this Post will just show you how to do them. If you search sleep on Flametree’s Facebook Page, you’ll see more about why they work.
Doing any or all of these poses during the day will also calm you down, so you are more likely to sleep well.
Doing regular yoga classes will also help with getting to sleep, and sleeping soundly. Regular yoga will relax you even more, and give you some appropriate degree of workout. Both of these help even more.
However, to do the poses below, you don’t have to necessarily do yoga by regular classes or extended daily practise of yoga at home. It will help even more if you do, but these yoga poses for sleep will help anyway.
Yoga props or supports to do the poses in the pictures will also help, but again they are not essential. Other supports from around the home will do the job, such as folded blankets, firm cushions, or anything in the shape of a firm brick. (If you do want to know more about yoga prop options, see the Post under the “Reservations” tab on the Flametree site).
A pile of hard cover books is also another improvisation, especially if you put something soft on top, such as a small piece of foam.
Here are two poses that you can do even if you wake in the night, and need to get back to sleep. They are the two easiest poses of all.
Leg Up The Wall is a favourite for improved sleep
First is Legs Up The Wall, as you see in the picture. It’s done with a firm bolster, or firm cushion, or a couple of folded blankets, under your buttocks. Hold the pose for at least 5-10 minutes, and the longer the better. If you legs go to sleep, fold them down and then put them up again in due course.
To get more precise, it’s best to position your lower back on the bolster.
It also helps if you put a brick (or books) between the bolster and wall, so the bolster stays the right distance from the wall. Ideally, the distance from the wall should be about the width of your hand.
Legs Up The Wall Pose For Sleep and Calming
Two versions of Bridge Pose
Bridge pose with block or bolsters is the second pose that is very effective and easy. It is also easy to do if wake at night.
One version of Bridge pose for sleep is called T-shaped Bridge pose. Here are the steps to get into it.
- Put a bolster or folded blankets against the wall
- Put another bolster or blankets at 90 degrees to it, out from the wall.
- Your feet go on the support that is at the wall, and your spine goes along the support out from the wall.
- Position the support under your back so your shoulders just touch the floor.
- Start with bent knees, and press away from the wall so your feet end up press pressed firmly to the wall.
Bridge pose with T-shaped bolsters, folded blankets or similar supports
Another version of this pose, which is a bit harder, but more effective, is to simply put a firm brick under your lower back (or sacrum). Wedge your feet to the wall so you can stay as long as you choose… such as ten minutes or more.
Bridge pose with a block under sacrum or lower back
Other top poses for sleep, calming, stress or rejuvenation
The other three poses below are also good to do at any time of day, so as to relax or rejuvenate or both. When its time to sleep, they will have calmed you so you sleep better.
Forward Virasana pose with head support
Badda Konasana with 1 or 2 bolsters
Supported standing forward bend
All of the poses discussed in this post are so-called Restorative Yoga poses. Flametree has at least two restorative classes a week.
There are also restorative yoga classes for beginners, or so-called Easy Restorative.
Restorative poses are also built into a range of yoga classes.
Doing a restorative class is an excellent way to both calm and de-stress, as well as to improve your sleeping.
Leg’s Up The Wall pose, or Bridge pose, are also often done by students when they waiting for a Flametree pose to start, or as part of the relaxation at the end of class.
More from Flametree Yoga
If you search for “sleep” on Flametree’s Facebook Page, you also find several more posts, including some about poses that help.
In particular, I recommend this post in which I summarise recent research by the world’s top sleep expert.
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