There are Yoga postures that will promote healthy sleep. This is not a ground-breaking new technique for catching Z’s drug free. But since natural rest is best and Yoga is as close as your breath why not learn a little more about this free and easy way of accessing a lovely rest that makes you nicer?I want this:
Very quick back story. I am not an expert on anything but I have experience around aided and unaided sleep. I have had trouble sleeping since I was a teenager. I could give a few theories on why (heredity, large family, perfection complex and a few other neuroses) but instead, just trust me for a moment. I discovered Tylenol PM when I was in college and took it on occasion. I was a waitress for a year and the late nights threw my circadian rhythm way off. A few life events, my DNA, and whacked out ways of dealing with stress proliferated my chronic sleep issues. Then I had children. Enough said. I was resigned to not being a restful person. A number of years ago I discovered Ambien and took that blessed little pill for a few months. I slept like a baby but felt a little foggy when I woke up. That’s when the coffee entered my body in an IV bag. Unhealthy pattern. So I stopped taking anything to help me sleep and decided to just deal with it. I was already healthfully addicted to yoga and all its treasures and I began hearing more and more about how there are right-before-bedtime-postures that are much more fun and satisfying than swallowing a little pill.
Just 3 little poses for 2 to 5 minutes each may do the trick. Generally forward bending has a calming effect on the body. Start with simple prasarita padatonnasana – a fancy word for wide-legged standing forward bend. You can use blocks or pillow to raise the floor to help you relax into the pose.
Just breath into your hamstrings and feel them open up as you enjoy the reverse circulation to the head and trunk.
Next, come to uttanasana – simple standing forward bend.
This one can be a little much on the hamstrings if you aren’t warm. Try placing blocks, a stack of books or pillows about six inches in front of your toes for a gentler stretch. Regardless of how deep your bend, there will be a soothing effect on the mind and body. I’ll take it. Put a little puff of air behind the knee caps and roll the back up one vertebra at a time to slowly come to standing. Next come to Viparita Karani or legs-up-the-wall pose.This one is glorious. It can be done propped (on a bolster as shown here) or unpropped. You pick. Either way, you will begin to feel your anxiety melt away and you may be in a much better state to welcome drug-free sleep. It is the best kind. I’ve had it all kinds of ways. (TWSS)
In general, inversions – poses where the heart is above the head in space are very relaxing. Last night I felt called to this little ditty right before I hopped in the sack.
Headstand: The Grandaddy of inversions. Slept like a baby.
How did you sleep last night?