Yoga is the perfect way to unwind after a long day, but did you know that certain poses can help improve the overall quantity and quality of sleep you get? Performing a simple yoga sequence before bed has shown to significantly induce relaxation and even treat insomnia.
By enlisting the help of our Youfit Yogi Madison Pardina, we came up with 7 poses that will have you sleeping like a baby in no time.
Starting on your hands and knees in tabletop, bring your big toes together and gently sit back on the heels. Bring your knees out mat-width apart so that your belly has room to expand in-between your thighs. Spread the fingers wide and allow the forehead to rest on the mat. Hold for 2-5 minutes.
Head-to-Knee Forward Bend
Starting seated on your mat with both legs extended in front of you, gently bend your left knee and bring the sole of the foot to the inside of the right thigh. Keeping the hips squared to the front of your mat, flex your right foot, then inhale and raise your arms up twisting your torso to face your right foot. As you exhale, gently fall forward reaching down your right leg. Continue to lengthen your torso and avoid rounding your back. Hold for 2-5 minutes. Repeat on opposite leg.
Bound Angle Pose
Starting in a seated position, bend the knees and bring the soles of the feet together. Allow the knees to drop to both sides. Grab your feet with both hands, then inhale lengthen your spine, press the chest forward and pull the shoulders back. On your next exhale, start to slowly lower the torso toward the mat with a flat back. Continue to lengthen your head away from your tailbone. Hold for 2-5 minutes.
Bridge Pose (Setu Bandhasana)
Start by lying down on your back with bent knees and soles of the feet on the mat, hip width apart. Hands are resting by the hips, palms facing down. Inhale and raise your hips up and off the mat. Press into your arms to lift your chest. Continue to raise your hips higher by engaging your legs. Keep your thighs and feet parallel. If more support is needed, bring your hands to your lower back. Hold for 2-5 minutes.
Eye of the Needle
Start by lying down on your back with bent knees and soles of the feet on the mat, hip width apart. Next, raise your right leg and cross the right outer ankle over the left knee. Then, sliding your right hand through the space between your legs, interlace your fingers behind your left thigh and hug your left thigh towards your chest. Relax the shoulders, neck and head and maintain a straight back. Hold for 2-5 minutes. (Repeat on other side)
Reclined Spinal Twist
Start by lying down on your back and inhale raise your knees up towards your chest. Release your arms out to the side in a “T” formation. On an exhale release your knees over to the right side, keeping the knees and feet stacked. Look over your left fingertips and continue to twist bring your left shoulder down to the mat. Hold for 2-5 minutes. (Repeat on other side)
Legs up the Wall Pose
Find an open wall space and begin by being seated beside the wall. Next, gently lie back and pivot yourself so that your legs are up against the wall with the soles of your feet facing up. Wiggle your body and adjust as needed, bringing your sit bones to the wall. Allow the back and head to rest on the floor, forming a 90-degree angle with your body. Close your eyes and allow the hands to rest either on the belly or on the floor by your hips with the palms facing up. Hold for 2-5 minutes.