Bedtime Yoga: 5 basic Yoga exercises to release stress and fall asleep easily

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From relieving chronic stress patterns to increasing body awareness and creating mental clarity and calmness, Yoga is packed with health benefits courtesy its meditation and breathing poses that sharpen concentration, brightens up one’s mood and relaxes the body to help you sleep better. From improving strength, balance and flexibility to easing arthritis symptoms and heart health, regular Yoga practice boosts immunity and keeps diseases at bay.

If you are struggling to fall asleep every night, try the 5 Yoga asana give below, just before bedtime as they are a great remedy to release stress, anxiety or tension in the mind or body and help restore balance to prepare you for a good night’s rest. These 5 basic postures of bedtime Yoga will surely help you to release stress and fall asleep easily.

1. Vrksasana/Vrikshasana or tree pose

Vrksasana/Vrikshasana or tree pose(Photo by Yayan Sopian on Unsplash)



Method: Balance yourself on one leg, with the other one folded and supported on your inner thigh. Stretch out your hands above your head and point them directly upwards.

Clasp them together in anjali mudra. Gaze in the distance, shift the weight to your left leg while keeping the right knee bent in half lotus position and hold onto this posture for a few seconds before releasing and repeating the same with the alternate leg.

Benefits: This asana helps to bring balance to your mind and body. It makes your legs stronger and is a great hip opener as assists it the body in establishing pelvic stability and strengthens the bones of the hips and legs.

The shift of the entire body’s weight to each leg strengthens the ligaments and tendon of the feet. It also helps strengthen the thighs, calves and ankles and and helps improve focus.

2. Ustrasana or camel pose

Ustrasana or camel pose(Photo by madison lavern on Unsplash)
Ustrasana or camel pose(Photo by madison lavern on Unsplash)

Method: Kneel know on the Yoga mat and keep your knees and feet together. Lean in the backward direction by pushing your hips in the forward direction.

Bend your head and the spine as backward and farther as possible without straining. Rest your hands on your feet, relax your body and the muscles of your back, hold onto the position for a few seconds before releasing.

Benefits: From stretching and strengthening the shoulders and back to opening up the hips and stretching deep hip flexors, Ustrasana not only improves respiration by opening up the chest but also improves digestion and elimination by expanding the abdominal region. It loosens up the vertebrae, relieves lower back pain, improves posture and reduces fat on thighs.

3. Bhujangasana or Cobra pose of Yoga

Bhujangasana or Cobra pose of Yoga(Photo by Mor Shani on Unsplash)
Bhujangasana or Cobra pose of Yoga(Photo by Mor Shani on Unsplash)



Method: Lie down flat on your stomach. Rest your palms by the side of your chest, arms close to your body, elbows pointing outward. Inhale and raise your forehead, neck and shoulders.

Raise your trunk using the strength of your arms. Look upward while breathing normally. Make sure that your stomach is pressed on the floor. Hold the pose for 5 seconds. Slowly lie back flat on your stomach. Turn your head to one side and rest your arms by the side of your body.

Benefits: The reclining back-bending asana of Yoga called Bhujangasana or Cobra pose strengthens the spine, butt, butt muscles, chest, abdomen, shoulders, lungs and improves blood circulation while also releasing the stress in one’s body.

4. Balasana or Child’s Pose or Child’s Resting Pose

Balasana or Child's Pose or Child's Resting Pose(Photo by Pasha Chusovitin on Unsplash)
Balasana or Child’s Pose or Child’s Resting Pose(Photo by Pasha Chusovitin on Unsplash)



Method: Sit on your heels on the floor or a yoga mat and keep your knees either together or wide apart. Slowly, exhale and bend forward to touch the floor with your forehead or rest it on a block or two stacked fists while keeping your arms alongside your body and palms facing up.

Alternatively, you can keep your palms facing down on the mat by reaching out your arms towards the front of the yoga mat. Now, if your knees are together, gently press your chest on the thighs or press your chest between the thighs if the knees are apart.

Relax the shoulders, jaw and eyes and find a comfortable place for the forehead as there is an energy point at its center, in between the eyebrows, that supports a “rest and digest” response by stimulating the vagus nerve. Hold onto the pose for as long as you like and pull your navel towards your spine while inhaling and softening your body and the arms while exhaling. Return to the sitting position on the heels slowly while inhaling and as if uncurling the spine.

Benefits: This beginner’s Yoga pose not only helps to reduce stress and anxiety by helps releasing the tension in the chest, back and shoulders but also helps if you have a bout of dizziness or fatigue during the day or during your workout. It can help relieve back pain as it is a gentle stretch for the back, hips, thighs and ankles.

5. Parivrtta Parsvakonasana or revolved side angle pose

Parivrtta Parsvakonasana or revolved side angle pose(Photo by Katee Lue on Unsplash)
Parivrtta Parsvakonasana or revolved side angle pose(Photo by Katee Lue on Unsplash)



Method: Start with downward facing dog pose of Yoga with feet grounded and palms placed firmly on the floor. Inhale and bring your right foot forward between both your palms.

Keep the back of your left leg straight and tuck in your toe in while lifting up the heel. Exhale, push your pelvic down and take your right thigh parallel to the ground.

Inhale, lift up your right hand with fingers pointing towards the ceiling. Make sure that both your shoulders are aligned. Gaze up towards your outstretched fingers and hold onto the pose for 10 to 15 seconds before releasing the posture.

Benefits: Parivrtta Parsvakonasana or revolved side angle pose of Yoga rejuvenates the entire spine, stretches the hamstrings and makes them more flexible and also tones the thighs, calves and ankles apart from making the back muscles stronger and suppler. Some other added benefits of this asana include increasing the concentration and balance and releasing toxins in our body through deep twisting which helps to unknot ourselves from life’s daily twists and turns.

Precautions:

Those suffering from asthma, diarrhea, vertigo, migraine, insomnia issues, neck or back injuries or low/high blood pressure should consult their doctor before performing these exercises.

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