Yoga’s benefits have been touted by natural health enthusiasts, holistic health practitioners and yogis for decades. But in more recent years, research has proven some of these many benefits—from longevity to improved mental and physical health. There are a number of ailments that yoga can alleviate or, at times, even cure. One such health concern that yoga, and most exercise routines, will help you beat is insomnia. Yoga’s focus on breathing helps relieve stress, calm the brain and lead to better sleep at night.
We all know that sleep is a crucial part of health and wellness, but for some it can be quite elusive. If you’re among those, try these five relaxing poses so you can rest easily.
Photo courtesy YogaJournal.com/David Martinez.
Fire Log Pose (Agnistambhasana)
Although simple, Fire Log Pose will release tension that may have built up in your hips throughout the day—especially for those who stand or sit for long periods. This release will prompt other areas in the body to relax, as well.
Photo by Fotolia/fizkes.
Seated Spinal Twist (Ardha Matsyendrasana)
Seated Spinal Twist, also called the Half Lord of the Fishes, stretches the spine and promotes relaxation throughout the body. You can keep your bottom leg tucked in, like the photo above, or outstretched for this pose.
Photo by Fotolia/AntoniaDiaz.
Locust Pose (Salabhasana)
If you suffer from anxiety or depression and the racing thoughts that can accompany these disorders, Locust Pose can reduce these to aid in a good night’s rest.
Photo by Fotolia/djoronimo.
Seated Forward Bend (Paschimottanasana)
Calm the mind, relieve stress and alleviate headaches and anxiety while stretching your spine, hamstrings and shoulders. A relaxed body and mind will help you ease into sleep!
Photo by Fotolia/Jacob Lund.
Corpse Pose (Savasana)
End your yoga sequence with this super-calming and relaxing pose. Corpse Pose allows you to focus on your breathe and let go of the day’s worries before heading to bed.
If yoga, on its own, doesn’t improve your sleep significantly, try meditating for 5-10 minutes before bedtime to help clear your mind.
Want to learn more about the importance of sleep? Check out 11 Things You (Probably) Didn’t Know About Sleep to discover just how necessary quality sleep is for your health.