By Elise Morgan
Every year, millions of Americans suffer from a lack of quality sleep which can lead to serious problems like depression, obesity and a lack of productivity. If you are one of the many who are frustrated by the inability to rest well, you already know how it affects your daily life. But what you might not know is that peaceful and restorative sleep may only be a few yoga poses away.
Yoga’s ability to calm both the mind and body is why it is consistently noted as one of the top natural sleep remedies. Yoga is a great tool for managing stress, which is a major reason many Americans find it hard to get sufficient rest. How many times do you lay awake, concerned with everyday problems? Yoga’s emphasis on breathing and concentration helps block out noise and chaos from your day to day life.
In addition to calming your mind, establishing yoga in your nightly routine has numerous physical benefits. If you’re bothered by chronic muscle or joint pain, yoga will definitely be beneficial as it has been proven to help alleviate many chronic pain conditions.
Best Yoga Poses
You might feel overwhelmed by the number of yoga poses to choose from and wonder which ones will best prepare you for restorative sleep. To help you start out, here are three simple poses endorsed by the Harvard Health Blog.
1. Wide Knee Child’s Pose
The Wide Knee Child’s Pose is a beginner level yoga pose and provides restoration to the lower back and hips which is crucial for bed-time relaxation. This pose also helps stabilize breathing and circulation leading to a night of better sleep.
To perform this pose, kneel while keeping your feet together. Slowly bring your knees out to your hips before inhaling and exhaling a deep breath. Finally, lower your upper body down onto your thighs and place your arms at your side, facing behind you.
2. Standing Forward Bend
Now that your back and hips are loose and relaxed, focus on stretching and soothing your leg muscles. This pose is also great for the digestive system which will reduce unpleasant problems such as indigestion and acid reflux and ensure you get the most peaceful night of sleep possible.
Stand with your hands on your hips before slowly bending your torso forward. As you bend down try to keep your knees straight and place your hands on the backs on your ankles.
3. Reclining Bound Angle Pose
The Reclining Bound Angle Pose is excellent for improving hip rotation and increasing circulation in the thighs and abdomen. The degree of intensity can easily be modified, making it a great option for people with low flexibility in the hips.
Lie on your back with your knees bent and slowly bring the soles of your feet in towards each other. This will allow your knees to separate and loosen up any tension in the lower body. If you require additional support, simply place a cushion below your knee to ease into the pose.
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