Yoga is an excellent way to reduce stress and feel calm throughout the day. Research shows that yoga can significantly reduce insomnia symptoms in cancer patients without the negative effects of medication and other therapies. Hatha yoga is considered especially beneficial, as it focuses on breath, meditation, and alignment. If you are finding it difficult to fall asleep or rest, try hatha yoga before bedtime. It is proven to balance your circadian rhythm by releasing melatonin hormones that promote sleep.
Benefits of Yoga for Sleep
One of the main reasons that you may be having difficulty sleeping is stress. You may be feeling stress or discomfort over work, finances, relationships, or trauma. Insomnia can also be linked to other factors like mental health disorders, medication side effects, and caffeine or alcohol intake.
A 2013 research study found that yoga can lower cortisol levels in the body and reduce stress. Increased cortisol levels are directly linked to anxiety, depression, and other side effects like poor sleep.
The study highlighted that yoga has excellent antidepressant effects on the brain, and people who do yoga regularly have a strong parasympathetic nervous system. Thus, practicing yoga can relax your mind and body, release tension from your muscles, and promote healthy, deep sleep.
Other recommendations to improve sleep include keeping a consistent schedule and routine, stay active, check your medications, and not eating right before bed.
Yoga is an excellent way to calm the body with breathing, meditation, and alignment movements. Here are a few poses that promote a good night’s sleep. Practice them before bedtime, in a calm and relaxing setting.
10 Best Yoga Poses to Promote Sleep
Certain yoga poses can help you fall asleep quickly. If you have insomnia, sleep apnea, or any other sleep disorder, you can perform the following postures to curb symptoms, increase melatonin production, and optimize your sleep cycle.
Legs-Up-the-Wall Pose is a moderate inversion that naturally relaxes the central nervous system. Hold this pose for up to 10 minutes before bedtime. Learn how to do Legs-Up-the-Wall Pose.
Easy Pose isn’t that easy. The most difficult part of Easy Pose is calming the mind and meditating. This naturally prepares your mind for sleep. Learn Easy Pose.
Child’s Pose is a fundamental yoga pose, often used as a rest pose between more strenuous poses. Holding this pose will open the hips, stretch the front of the legs, and engage the shoulders and arms. Learn Child’s Pose.
This pose is a goal for many beginner yogis who want to touch their toes. Standing Forward Bend offers all of the benefits of an inversion pose, while aligning the spine and stretching the back of the body. Learn Standing Forward Bend.
Corpse Pose, like Easy Pose, is more about creating mental calmness. The challenge here is keeping your body still and quieting the mind. Before bedtime, this can help settle the brain and prepare for rest. Learn Corpse Pose here.
Lizard Pose is a hip-opening pose that stretches and strengthens. Additionally, because it requires focus and balance, it helps to quiet and calm the mind. Learn how to practice Lizard Pose.
Locust Pose is a back-bend pose that stretches the front of the body while toning the back and glutes. It naturally decreases pain and anxiety, and can help alleviate the aches and pains you may experience throughout the day right before bed. Learn Locust Pose.
Stretch it out in Head-to-Knee Forward Bend Pose. This pose is a seated forward bend that stretches and aligns the spine. It is a powerful pose for reducing pain and anxiety. Learn how to do Head-to-Knee Forward Bend Pose.
Tight quads? Reclining Hero Pose will offer an intense stretch throughout the front of the body and requires some trust to get into. This pose helps you monitor and focus on your breath, which in turn, reduces anxiety and calms the mind. Learn how to do Reclining Hero Pose.
Strengthen the glutes and align the body with Bridge Pose. This pose is beneficial if you have high blood pressure or are struggling with stress and anxiety. Practice it before bed to stretch the back, chest and neck, and to align the body. Learn Bridge Pose here.
Let us know about your yoga journey. Capture your bedtime routine and share it with us on Instagram by tagging @weareyogapose in your post!