Studies suggest that practicing yoga as a part of your weekly exercise routine can help regulate hormone levels that affect your sleep cycles. This means longer periods of deeper and more beneficial sleep. If insomnia is something that you find continually interrupts your nights, causing them to drag out into a painful eternity, try these three simple yoga poses regularly before bed to help ease you into a more peaceful night’s rest.
SUPPORTED FORWARD BEND
TRY IT: Stand up straight, with your feet squared under your hips. Keeping your back elongated, and your knees slightly bent, bring your arms out to your sides and slowly bend forward at the waist. Moving your stomach towards your thighs and your hands towards the ground. Lower your head and walk your hand to your feet. Bring your arms above your head and hold your elbows to create a cradle. Lengthen through the crown of your head as you take deep, controlled breaths. Hold for 1 minute or about 15 breaths. To come up, release your arms and bring them out to the sides. Root your feet into the ground and bring your head forward as you slowly rise back to standing.
LEGS UP POSE
TRY IT: Laying on your back, slowly bring one leg and then the other off the ground and extend them straight up into the air. Your legs and torso should form a ninety degree angle at the hips. Flex your feet with your toes pointing towards your head and relax your arms to your sides. Close your eyes and take deep, controlled breaths as you relax into the pose. For a simpler version, lie with your legs up a wall and extend your arms out to your sides with your palms facing up. Hold for 3 minutes or about 45 breaths.
TRY IT: End with this pose. Lying on your back with your legs stretched out, shift until you feel like your backbone is straight and long on the floor. Allow your legs to relax and your feet fall to the side. Rest your arms along the sides of your body with your palms facing up and your shoulders pressed to the floor. Close your eyes and relax as you focus on calming your breath and clearing your mind. Hold for 3 minutes or about 45 breaths.