Yoga For Better Sleep: 10 Yoga Poses For Better Sleep
Table of Contents
Medical professionals across the globe suggest regular exercise as a part of a person’s daily routine. Regular exercise regulates better sleep cycles, improves breathing, and stimulates a more productive and healthier lifestyle. Here the understanding of exercises can be subjective according to the individual’s preferences and routine.
The yogic philosophy and practices manage to coherently align themselves with this exercise culture. Even though the main yogic teachings are not being propagated, the sutra “Sukham, Stirham, Asanam” has attained much popularity amongst the urban populace on a global scale. This particular article progresses towards elucidating some yogic practices and asanas that will help with better sleep.
10 Yoga Poses For Better Sleep
Sleep patterns are an extremely important part of our lives. It regulates our ability to work through the day, it impacts our health to a great extent and it also manages our mood. Improper sleep cycles can adversely affect our health and lead to many physiological and psychological problems.
Yogic practices are an organic and comfortable approach to an exercise routine that works on building immunity and physical strength whilst inculcating a deep understanding of one’s own body and its capabilities. The intense stretches, meditation, and breathing techniques involved increase body oxygenation and make the body more robust and flexible which in turn improves sleep and induces better sleep cycles.
Mentioned below are some of the yoga asanas that can improve sleep patterns:
The Salabhasana or the Locust pose requires you to lie on your belly and stretch your legs whilst placing your toes downwards against the floor. Keep your legs apart at the hips distance and slowly lift your torso. Your arms need to be bent inwards and your hands need to be at ear level with your palms facing downwards and eyes looking straight ahead. Hold this position for 1 minute or 10 to 15 deep breaths. Slowly bring your torso down. This asana stretches your lower back and the deep breathing relaxes the body and the mind thus inducing a better sleep cycle.
This asana is a standing forward bend that stretches your back, buttocks, thigh, and calve muscles. In this asana, you stand with your feet at hip-width apart and then slowly bend forward by hinging your hips. Place your palms beside your feet as you breathe in slowly into position. Hold this position for a minute and then slowly release your palms from the mat as your move into a standing position. The stretch in this asana adjusts the lower back relieves the sciatica nerve and induces relaxation within the body.
This asana is similar to Janu Sirasana but in this, you stretch your legs out from the seated position and move your torso forward to hold your feet. The impact regions of this asana are the lower back, mid-back, and hip region.
The Bhujangasana or the cobra pose is a beginner and intermediate yogic posture that stretches the entire back and improves shoulder and arm strength. The asana involves sleeping on your belly with your feet together, and toes pointing downwards. Slowly push your tose up with the help of your palms as the rest of the body touches the mat. Breathe in slowly as you do so and make sure that your palms are parallel to your shoulders. Hold the pose for 1 minute.
5. Supta Baddha Konasana
Also called the reclining bound angle pose, this asana allows the person to increase the intensity of the asana by reclining the back further towards the floor. From your sitting position bring your feet together such that the bottom of your feet are joined together. After that, you can slowly recline your back to whatever extent seems comfortable or till the mat is. The asana opens up the hip and lower back regions to alleviate soreness of muscles and induce sleep.
This pose is another intense stretch for the upper back, arms and mid back especially. Also known as the child’s pose the Balasana begins by getting down on your knees and sitting on your legs or feet. Then slowly extend your body forward along with your hands (palms together). Keep extending until your head meets the mat with your arms extended above your head (palms down on the mat). Hold the position for a minute before moving back into a seated position.
7. Utthan Pristhasana
This asana is called the lizard pose and is an important part of the Suryanamaskar exercise. The asana involves extending one leg behind from the standing position till your chest reaches the knee of the other leg. The extended leg should be lanced on the toes with the leg bent such that the knee touches the mat. Hold the pose for 1 minute whilst breathing and then come back to a standing position and proceed to do the same with the other leg.
This is also called the easy pose, where you take a seated position and close your eyes as you breathe in slowly and concentrate on your breathing. Make sure your back is straight as breathing slowly takes you into a meditative state. Such practices tend to calm the mind and body giving a relaxed feeling and ensuring a better sleep tendency.
This is popularly known as the corpse pose and it requires you to lie down on your back and keep your body loose as your arms and legs extend outwards. Breathe slowly and deeply to enter into a meditative state. After an entire exercise routine, this asana induces sleep.
10: Janu Sirasana
Janu Siransa is a common stretching pose in which you fold one leg and place your foot against the inner of your thigh whilst sitting down. Then stretch your body forward with your forehead moving closer to your knee and your hands holding your foot. This is an intense stretch and needs to be held for a minute whilst breathing deeply.
Yoga for sleep: FAQs
Q1. Can yoga help you sleep better?
Yoga practices can induce better sleep as intense stretches and breathing exercises induce tranquillity and meditation.
Q2. How can I get deep sleep through yoga?
Yoga asanas will stretch your body and after a while will induce tiredness. The breathing techniques will relax your body and mind to eventually induce sleep. Make sure you take the guidance of a professional whilst practicing to avoid injury.
Q3. Which Yoga asana increases melatonin?
The Balasana is the best asana to increase melatonin in the body which induces deep sleep. While holding the pose your forehead is touching the mat and you must try to massage the temple region on the mat which triggers acupressure points to indulge the pineal gland to secrete more melatonin.
In conclusion, it is safe to say that yoga is an extremely pragmatic and organic approach to inducing better sleep and sleep cycles. The asana not only builds immunity, flexibility, and strength but also relaxes the mind and body to settle into a more preferable sleep cycle.
This article shares an interesting take on improving sleep cycles and inducing better sleep. The article elucidates how yoga can induce better sleep and goes on to vividly describe 10 yogic asanas that would do so and could be of immense help to people suffering from erratic sleep cycles or insomnia.
I am a Pune based artist, Kathak dancer, Dance Movement Therapist, and an avid Yoga practitioner/ teacher. I am also the Director at the Sakal Media Group, a Trustee of Pune Blind School and Nirdhar Trust.
Being a part of Sakal Media Group, with its strong foundation of service and ethical journalism, I am deeply committed in making this world a better place by pushing boundaries, giving opportunities to others, following my convictions, helping others make better choices and to tell powerful stories that will help reshape the world we live in.