Yoga for Better Sleep
By Shabna Cader
I recently read an article on an Ayurvedic recommended lifestyle and the importance of sleep. Some of us think the required hours of sleep is about eight for an adult, whereas others might not even consider it an important part of wellbeing. However, the article I read noted it isn’t about how many hours of sleep one gets, but rather when.
If you’re having some trouble regulating your sleep patterns or overall falling asleep, here are a few yogic postures that can support you:
A child’s pose, extended or otherwise, has a way of calming the senses and easing you into a restful mode and frame of mind. To come into the pose, begin by being on all fours. Knees can be together or as wide as your yoga mat or towel. Inhale, and then as you exhale bring your entire torso onto your thighs as you rest the gluttons on top of the back of the feet. Do not curl your toes, so you should have the tops of the feet against the mat. Gently bring your forehead towards the ground. Your hands can splay up ahead in front of you or you can bring them all the way back towards the toes, palms face up. Take slow and steady breaths, slowing the heart rate, bringing your entire self into a state of calm and rest. Stay here for at least five to 10 minutes.
Supta Badda Konasana
Reclined positions are typically the best way to promote and induce sleep but this is a pose that can also release some lower back tension and open up the hips and hamstrings. To come into the pose, begin by being in a complete reclined position. Bring both the feet towards the tailbone as you bend the knees. Open up the knees and press both soles of the feet together. If this causes any tension or strain to your lower back, add a rolled-up towel or small cushion for some comfort and padding. Relax the arms on the ground, palms face up. You do not have to press your knees down toward the ground; gravity will do the work for you. Continue to stay in this position for as long as comfortable accompanied by long and bountiful breaths.
This one is for all of you who are constantly on your feet and could use some healthy blood flow. Come to a place where you can put your feet up on the wall; so this should be a spot where there is no other furniture. Bring your bum as close to the wall as possible and lay your upper body flat on the mat or towel. Bring both the legs up against the wall. You may have to shimmy your bum back against the wall just so the lower back is flush against the ground. Relax your arms beside you and stay in this pose for as long it feels comfortable.