With everything going on in the world right now, it’s easy to be stressed. From consuming anxiety-inducing, 24-hour news to practicing social distancing, it seems like our entire way of life has been upended by the pandemic.
In times like this, it’s crucial to be doing your best to stay healthy. The benefits of yoga for overall health are pretty well known—but did you know that it can be extremely useful to improve your quality of sleep as well? Doing yoga for sleep can help you destress and relax your body to get a good night’s sleep.
Spending a few minutes before bed doing calming yoga poses can help you recenter and practice mindfulness. Additionally, performing nightly yoga can help you relieve the anxiety you are feeling with the current climate of the world. Below are some of the best yoga poses for sleep.
1. Legs Up the Wall
Simple poses, such as the legs up the wall (Viparita Karani), are known to help ease anxiety and soothe insomnia. To perform this pose, sit sideways against a wall and move your body to lay on the floor. Then, extend your legs upwards against the wall with your arms at your sides. Focus on your breathing in this pose—it is a great moment to practice mindfulness as well, and let yourself feel your body in the present moment.
2. Standing Forward Bend
The standing forward bend (Uttanasana) is another great yoga movement that is known to relieve stress and calm the mind. In uncertain times like these, performing calming yoga poses can help you take your mind off of the stressors of current life and focus on yourself. To perform this pose, stand upright and hold your elbows with opposite hands. Bend at the hip as far as you can comfortably, and relax your body, allowing your spine to release tension and lengthen towards the floor. When you feel ready, straighten back up to a standing position.
3. Sphinx Pose
Another pose known for its ability to combat stress is the sphinx pose (Salamba Bhujangasana). The sphinx pose helps stretch the spine, chest, lungs, and abdomen, and can help you feel relaxed and centered. To perform this pose, lie on your stomach with your arms bent next to your body. Draw your shoulders back, and lift off the ground, supporting your upper body with your palms. Once ready, release back to the ground.
In uncertain times such as these, it’s important to realize that there are many things out of your control—but also many parts of your life that you can control. From being smart about practicing social distancing to performing calming yoga, there are a plethora of ways you can take action to stay positive and strong throughout the current times. For a complete list of calming yoga poses for sleep, check out the infographic below or click here.