Sleep helps our minds and bodies to recharge. To get ready for the next day and process the one just gone. A decent kip helps us to stay healthy, make better food choices and be more productive.
However, sometimes anxiety and the pressure to sleep stops you from doing just that.
Ever found yourself staring at the clock thinking “If I go to sleep now I’ll get 5 hours sleep before work… 4 hours….2 hours….”
The issue could start with your bedtime and wind down ritual.
In our 5 natural sleep supplements blog we shared some supps we love as well as what not to do before bed.
One of these things to avoid was high intensity activity. High intensity exercise such as spinning, HIIT training, boxing or anything that gets the heart pumping hard is going to get your nervous system all fired up. This can put the brakes on sleep.
While high intensity exercise is probably off the cards before bed, not all exercise is. Yoga for sleep could be an absolute game changer to your bedtime routine. Just a few simple movements and breathing techniques to get your body settled into a good night’s rest.
In this blog, we hear from yogi April Moon. She shares the tricks to falling asleep after a relaxing practice.
Yoga For Sleep By April Moon
Yoga is truly amazing for helping you to reconnect with yourself, relax your tired muscles and calm you down, ready for a good night’s sleep.
These yoga for sleep poses will help you prepare your body for rest.
Combining the breath with movement will definitely help if you’re feeling a little stressed or anxious. I mention the mind to muscle connection. This is when we use our minds to connect with parts of our bodies, when we practice this, we achieve so much more and our bodies are so grateful.
Before you start, try this simple yet very effective breathing technique for calming your whole body from head to toe.
Sit quietly, close your eyes & ground yourself down.
Inhale through the nose, hold for 4 counts & breath out as slowly as you can. Repeat this as many times as you wish. Use it when you practise your poses, or at the start or end of your day. It’s lovely for feeling calm and safe.
Try it and I really hope you enjoy it!
Yoga for sleep #1 : Child’s pose
This is so relaxing and allows the entire back to stretch out and is also amazing for soothing our central nervous system.
1 – Sit on your heels with your back extended. Imagine your glutes have been super glued to your heels, they cannot move! 2 – Take a deep breath in 3- As you slowly exhale, place your hands onto the mat 4- Slide them as far away as you can, whilst keeping your heels connected to your glutes.
Inhale & exhale for 10 deep breaths
This is a lovely way to allow your spine, shoulders, neck and arms to relax. If you need to, place a pillow under your head, as you shouldn’t have any neck discomfort.
Yoga for sleep #2: Knee twists
If you have a psychical job, maybe you stand up for long periods of time, have sore legs from the gym or it’s the time of month and your hips and thighs ache? Then knee twists really help to relieve tension in the lower part of the body.
1 – Lay flat on your back 2 – Knees as wide as the mat or wider if you would like a deeper stretch
3 – Inhale, then exhale and allow your knees to fall to the left. (Using your mind to muscle connection, imagine your right knee is trying to touch the mat and when twisting to the right your left knee is trying to reach the mat. This will allow a deeper stretch) Try and not to let your lower back off of the floor too much.
Yoga for sleep #3: Bridge pose
One of the best for strengthening the back & core, whilst opening up the chest, neck and spine.
1 – Lay flat on your mat
2 – Feet should be hip width apart, with the toes facing forward
3 – Inhale, push your lower back into the mat, as if your tailbone is going up towards the ceiling
4 – Peel your spine off of the mat, one vertebrae at a time
5 – keep the hands off of the floor, or feel free to clasp them together underneath your lower back
6 – When returning down to the mat, gently allow one vertebrae at a time to softly return to the mat.
Repeat x 4
Yoga for sleep # 4: The Fold
Another great one for releasing tense hamstrings, which more often than not, leads to lower back tension and stiff shoulders.
1 – Lay with your legs stretched out in front of you. Feet hip width apart. Ground your sit bones down. Allow your spine to lengthen.
2 – Inhale, nod your chin down to your chest
3 – Exhale, slowly and gently allow your upper body to fold down, allowing your hands to fall wherever they land. It’s important to breathe out when you’re folding your body.
4 – Inhale, allow your upper body to return to normal
Repeat x 3
Remember! Use your mind to muscle connection here, your chest is trying to touch your thighs. Not your forehead to your knee. Trust me, it works!
Yoga for sleep #5 : The corpse pose
The clue is in the title here! Savasana or corpse pose, is one of the hardest because it’s when we allow our minds to be still. Sometimes, our minds don’t want to be still. We easily have lots of thoughts running through it. Here’s one simple way to switch off a busy mind – STOP.
Every time you hear yourself overthinking, obsessing or worrying, simply say stop. Now imagine all those thoughts walking away to the sides of your mind and now they’re gone. This will take time as our minds are extremely powerful tools, but I promise the more you practise, the easier it becomes.
1 – Lay on your mat or bed
2 – Place the back of your hand on the floor or bed
3 – Mentally relax your whole body from head to toe, feel every single muscle relax
4 – Practise the breathing exercise, inhale, hold for 4, and exhale as slowly as you can
5 – Simply fall asleep. You should feel calm and peaceful after practising the four other poses.
Yoga for sleep – a wrap up
Anyone else feeling sleepy after that?! We hope you enjoyed April Moon’s best yoga for sleep and we hope even more that it helps you get a good rest.
What if yoga for sleep doesn’t work?
Not sleeping is stressful. Tossing and turning all night long and counting down the minutes until your alarm goes off isn’t ideal.
We’ve had our sleep issues in the past and we have got over them with some tricks and techniques. We share our fave supps and our bedtime routine in the blogs below.
Follow @__aprilmoon on Insta to keep up to date with all her yoga tips.
Lots of love,
Our Remedy xxx