According to several studies, more than a third of Indians suffer from insomnia, which is characterized as trouble falling asleep. If you’re amongst this number, then this article on yoga asanas for sleep is for you. Yoga has multiple health benefits, and doing the different asanas will help you solve different health – physical and mental – problems.
When it comes to sleep there are various reasons for not being able to get a proper one, at the proper time; stress, electronic devices, afternoon naps, depression, caffeine and alcohol are the most common causes. Doing yoga asanas for sleep will counter these problems and ensure you get a good night’s rest. Try these sleep-inducing yoga asanas to get into a proper sleep routine and help you relax and rejuvenate before a new day.
1. Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend)
Start with arms raised overhead and come into a forward fold by gliding your arms down. This is commonly referred to as a Swan Dive. Next, ensure your fingers clasp your heels. Bend the knees without locking them or injuring yourself. The more you contract and draw up your quadriceps muscles, the more your hamstrings will open. Inhale and raise your hands to your hips to release. Gradually lift by pressing your tailbone down and contracting your abdominal muscles.
Expert Tip: Standing forward strengthens the hamstrings, hips, calves, thighs, and knees while also soothing the mind and eliminating tension, depression, anxiety, and exhaustion.
2. Halasana (Plow Pose)
Start by lying flat on your back and stretching your feet in the opposite direction until they reach the floor. Use a pillow or rolled-up towel for support if you’re a newbie. Resting your hands on your lower back is a fine decision. Hold the position for 45-60 seconds. Roll your spine back to the surface and elevate your legs to a 90-degree angle to release. Return your legs to the mat in a systematic manner.
Expert Tip: It is recommended that you stay in the plough posture for one to five minutes to enable you to fall asleep quickly.
3. Balasana (Child Pose)
Kneel on your hands and knees on the floor. Spread your knees out, keeping the tops of your toes on the floor and your big toes touching. Rest your forehead on the mat and lay your undersurface between your thighs. Relax every muscle in your body. Stretch your arms out in front of you, palms down on the floor, or bring them back alongside your thighs. Stay in this position for two minutes, focusing on regular inhalation and exhalation to reconnect with your breath.
Expert Tip: This pose is a very relaxing stretch for the back, and it also helps to soothe the nervous system, permitting you to sleep well.
4. Salabhasana (Locust Pose)
Inhale to get into a plank position, then lower your body to the ground. Clasp your hands together behind your back. Exhale and lower your feet to the ground while you take in a deep breath and raise your chest and arms as high as you can while gazing forward. Allow your hands to slide down and exhale as you return to the downward-facing dog from the locust pose.
Expert Tip: The locust pose strengthens and stretches the rear end, including the legs, spine, buttocks, and muscles that surround the upper torso and rib cage.
5. Siddhasana (Adept’s Pose)
Sit with your legs wide open. Insert the heel of the right leg under the perineum by bending the leg. Lay the right sole flat against the inner left thigh with the navel seated on top of the right heel. Bend your left leg and cross your left ankle over your right. The right toes should be placed between the left calf and thigh, and the left toes should be placed between the right calf and thigh. Make sure your knees are on the ground. In Chin Mudra or Jnana Mudra, place the hands on the knees. Close your eyes a bit and concentrate on your breathing.
Expert Tip: Being the most suited stance for Pranayama and Meditation, Siddhasana is a perfect posture to help you fall asleep.
6. Utthan Pristhasana (Lizard Pose)
The preparatory pose for this asana is Adho Mukha Svanasana. Start by moving your left foot forward, bringing it in between your hands. Then, lower your right knee to the ground and keep your elbow on a small block of the floor, swinging your left foot to the far edge of the mat. Remain for 10-12 breaths and then repeat the stance on the opposite side.
Expert Tip: The lizard posture is a versatile yoga stance for women that opens and releases the chest, neck, and shoulders, as well as preps the body for a good night’s sleep.
7. Prasarita Padottanasana (Wide-Legged Standing Forward Bend)
Consider utilising this posture as a warm-up for other standing poses for your yoga sleeping regimen. Place your legs four to five feet apart and take a deep breath, lifting your chest. Push your body forward from the mid-section while exhaling. Extend your arms and bend your elbows, bringing your hands upon the tips of your fingers onto the floor. To return to the starting position, centre down through your feet. Slowly inhale and rise.
Expert Tip: The wide-legged standing forward bend stretches the inner thighs and backs of the legs while also stabilizing the mind, relieving fatigue, and boosting circulation.
8. Savasana (Corpse Pose)
This asana should be done at the end of a strenuous workout, especially if you have medical comorbidity because it allows your body to relax and revitalise. The focus is switched inward, allowing the body to absorb all the nutrients. It provides a variety of health benefits, including lowering blood sugar and blood pressure, as well as relieving fatigue and stress. Lie flat on the mat. Take a deep breath while closely hugging your knees to your chest.
Exhale and extend your legs out from you, keeping your tailbone firmly stuck to the mat. Your feet should be hip-width apart and relaxed away from each other, pointing to the mat’s edges. Allow your lower back to relax and soften. In your lower back, there should be no soreness or tightness. Your arms should be relaxed at your sides, palms facing upward. Check to see if your shoulders are stooped, and if they are, relax them away from your ears.
Expert Tip: Before going to bed or when practising yoga, listen to some gentle instrumental music, such as veena or chanting, which will completely calm your mind.