While there are innumerable health benefits of doing yoga in the morning, the night-time yoga too serves a special purpose. It is important to relax yourself completely before bedtime to ensure good quality sleep. There are few stretches that are extremely effective in activating your body’s parasympathetic nervous system which slows your heart rate and lowers blood pressure.
Health experts always stress on setting a proper sleep hygiene to ensure good quality sleep. If you are struggling to fall asleep at night or constantly waking up in the middle of the night and unable to fall asleep after that, you need to work on the symptoms of insomnia. Going to the bed at the same time every day, catching early hours of sleep which are known to have restorative benefits, and avoiding heavy meals at bedtime can remove some hurdles that affect your sleep.
Yoga has been found to be extremely effective in resolving your sleeping woes. There are some asanas that could help you get rid of stress, provide the right stretch and ensure proper sleep. Here are six asanas that will help you sleep better.
Hastapadasana (Standing forward bend)
Hastapadasana improves blood circulation and activates the central nervous system which helps in falling asleep. It also gives a nice stretch to your back muscles.
Steps to do Hastapadasana
* Stand straight. Keep your feet together.
* Breathe in and raise your arms in the upward direction
* Breathe out and bring your arms down towards the feet
* Stay in the pose for 20-30 seconds and continue to breathe deeply
* Keep the legs, spine and knees straight
* Move the chest towards the knees, lift the hips higher, press the heels down, let the head relax and move it gently towards the feet.
* Slowly come up to the original position.
Sukhasana (Happy Pose)
Sukhasana is an amazing asana for correcting body posture and stretch spine and back. It also helps in releasing stress and relieves tiredness.
Steps to do Sukhasana
Sit with your spine straight
Bring your legs forward
Fold one of your legs inwards and cross your other to place it on the first
Place your palms on the knees.
Marjariasana (Cat stretch)
Marjariasana is effective in improving blood circulation and make the spine flexible. It is extremely good for relieving stiffness from back and shoulders and helps relax the body.
Come on your knees and keep your palms on the floor
Inhale and raise the neck while drawing the spine inwards and throwing out tail bone
Exhale and bring your face down
Move spine inwards and outwards with the movement of breath
Practice this for 10-12 rounds
Shishuasana (Child’s Pose)
The formation of Shishuasana resembles foetal position and the asana is extremely beneficial in relaxing one completely. The asana relaxes your lower back and stretches your spine. It is very effective in releasing stress from the body as well and can enhance blood circulation to your head.
Steps to do Child’s Pose
Begin the pose by sitting on your heels
Keep your hips on your heels
Now your hands should be on the floor and palms should face up
Bend forward and bring your forehead towards the floor
Your thighs should gently press your chest
Hold the position for a while
Vajrasana (The Thunderbolt pose)
Vajrasana or thunderbolt pose is done right after having meal and aids in digestion. It also helps in bringing you mind in a state of peace and calms your body for a good night’s sleep.
Steps to do Vajrasana
Sit down and gently drop your knees down.
Rest your pelvis on your heels
Bring your heels close to each other.
Place your palms on your knees
Keep your back straight
Shav in Sanskrit means a dead body. Do not get it wrong, as it only means that a person can reach the deepest levels of relaxation in as he/she ensures that the body is completely still. The pose has immense recuperative benefits and refreshes the mind and body immensely. The pose helps reduce stress and activates the repair of tissues and cells.
Steps to do Shavasana
Lie on your back and let your body comfortable and loose
Your legs, feet, knees, back should be completely relaxed with no tension in muscles
Arms should be kept on the ground with palms facing upwards.
Take few deep breaths and bring your attention to each part of the body starting from your toes
Move your attention slowly up to foot, knees, thighs, back, shoulders as you progress with the asana, trying to loosen up your muscles in each part of the body as much as you can
The body should feel light like a feather
When you feel your entire body has been relaxed, slowly come out of the asana.
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