HEALTH & FITNESS
If a vigorous vinyasa practice is too stimulating in the evening, skip the flow and dive deep into a place where you can truly simmer down from your day. Yin and restorative yoga practices are excellent ways to combat insomnia and prepare your body and mind for sleep.
Try incorporating these yoga poses into your routine to help improve your sleep habits.
1. Extended Child’s Pose
A quintessential yoga pose, child’s pose is a great way to release pent-up stress from the day.
To perform this posture, come onto all fours (with your knees and hands on the floor). Bring your big toes together and open the knees wide. Press your hips back onto your heels and release your forehead to the ground. Keep your arms extended out in front of you.
Relax the muscles in your face, your mouth, your eyebrows and soften your jaw. Release any thoughts from your day and enjoy the present moment. Breathe deeply here for up to five minutes.
2. Reclined Butterfly
This juicy posture will open your hips and relax your mind. It has an overall calming effect that will make you feel good.
Lie on your back and bend your legs. Bring the soles of your feet together and open the knees wide to make a diamond shape with your legs. Rest the arms out to the sides or place them anywhere that feels comfortable. You could try one hand on the heart and one hand on the belly to connect to a deeper sense of self.
Use blocks underneath the knees if you need support. Remain here for 3-5 minutes.
3. Reclined Twist
Reclined twists are a wonderful, relaxing way to soothe tension in the lower back and hips while unwinding- literally- from the day. You can feel the stress melt away as you wring out the back, abdomen, and hips with this gentle twist.
From your back, bend both knees into your chest. Release the legs over to the right side and extend the arms open wide. Look over your left shoulder to complete the action of the twist.
Breathe deeply into your lower back and hips. Hold for 3 minutes.
4. Happy Baby
You are sure to sleep like a baby after a little soothing rocking back and forth in Happy Baby. It is a great way to open the hips, relax the lower back, and calm the mind.
Lying on your back, bend your knees into your chest and open them wide. Bring your arms inside the legs and hold onto your feet with your hands. Try to stack the feet over the knees and drop the knees outside the shoulders. Rock gently side to side as big or as small as you would like for a few moments. Then hold in the center by pressing your lower back down and lengthening your tailbone forward. Breathe for 1 minute here.
5. Legs Up the Wall
A very simple and easy inversion, Legs Up the Wall is a sure way to activate the parasympathetic nervous system for relaxation. All you have to do is to find wall and the let the rest of your day simply float away…
When you find your perfect wall space, scoot your hips as close to the wall as you can. Then, just extend your legs straight up into the air and let the wall support the backs of your legs! That’s all there is to it. The muscles of the legs, hips, and lower back will all thank you for your time spent here.
Spend 5-10 minutes here, enjoying your deep and soothing breath.
Your bed is calling, time to catch some much needed Zzzz. Do you have a favorite bedtime ritual? Share it below!