5 Yoga Poses for Better Sleep

A Calming Bedtime Routine

Evening yoga practice can help regulate your sleep-wake cycle by calming the mind and easing physical tension. Start improving your sleep and well-being tonight with evening yoga. Incorporating these asanas into your evening routine can help you unwind, release tension, and prepare your body and mind for a restful night’s sleep. Remember to breathe deeply and move mindfully through each pose to fully experience their relaxing effects.

Here are five asanas (yoga poses) that are particularly beneficial for sound sleep:

1. Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclining Bound Angle Pose) – 1 minute

How to do it:

  • Lie on your back, bend your knees.
  • Bring the soles of your feet together.
  • Let your knees fall open to the sides.
  • Use cushions or blocks to support your knees if needed.
  • Place your arms by your sides with palms facing up.

Benefits: This pose opens the hips and groin, relaxes the body, and calms the mind, making it excellent for relieving tension and preparing the body for sleep.

2. Viparita Karani (Legs-Up-the-Wall Pose) – 3 minutes

How to do it:

  • Sit sideways next to a wall with your legs extended.
  • Rotate your body to lie on your back while swinging your legs up the wall.
  • Your hips should be close to or touching the wall.
  • Your arms resting by your sides or on your abdomen.

Benefits: This pose promotes relaxation, relieves tired legs, and soothes the nervous system. It can help reduce anxiety and encourage a sense of grounding, making it easier to fall asleep.

3. Balasana (Child’s Pose) – 2 minutes

How to do it:

  • Come onto your hands and knees, then sink your hips back towards your heels.
  • Extend your arms forward and rest your forehead on the mat (or on a pillow or bolster if more comfortable).
  • Allow your entire body to relax into the pose, feeling a gentle stretch in your hips and spine.

Benefits: Child’s Pose stretches the back, hips, and thighs, while calming the mind and relieving stress and fatigue. It is a gentle, comforting posture that can help quiet the mind before bedtime.

4. Supta Matsyendrasana (Supine Spinal Twist) – 2 minutes

How to do it:

  • Lie on your back with your arms extended out to the sides.
  • Bend your right knee and cross it over your body to the left side, keeping both shoulders grounded.
  • Turn your head to the right. Hold for several breaths, then switch sides.

Benefits: This twist releases tension in the spine, hips, and lower back, while also improving digestion and detoxification. It helps unwind the spine and release accumulated tension from the day.

5. Savasana (Corpse Pose) – 2 minutes

How to do it:

  • Extend your legs out and let your feet fall open.
  • Rest your arms by your sides with palms facing up.
  • Close your eyes and allow your entire body to relax completely.
  • Focus on your breath and let go of any tension or stress.

Benefits: Savasana induces deep relaxation, calms the nervous system, and promotes a state of inner peace and tranquility. It is often practiced at the end of a yoga session and is especially helpful for preparing the body and mind for sleep.

By dedicating just 15-30 minutes each night to yoga, you can establish a consistent pre-sleep ritual that ensures you wake up feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.

Tips for Keeping Evening Yoga Consistent
  • Set a Specific Time: Establish a consistent time each evening for your practice to build a habit.
  • Create a Relaxing Space: Designate a calm area with soft lighting and soothing music to enhance relaxation.
  • Start Small: Begin with short sessions and gradually increase duration as you become more comfortable.
  • Use Guided Videos or Apps: Utilize online resources for guided sessions tailored to evening relaxation.
  • Mix It Up: Vary your routine with different poses, breathing exercises, and meditation techniques to stay engaged.
  • Make It a Ritual: Combine yoga with other relaxing activities to create a holistic evening ritual.
  • Track Your Progress: Keep a journal to monitor how you feel before and after each session, motivating consistency.
  • Involve a Partner: Practice with your partner or family member for increased accountability and enjoyment.
  • Stay Flexible: Be adaptable if you miss a session and resume your practice the following evening.
  • Listen to Your Body: Adjust your practice based on how your body feels, prioritizing relaxation over intensity.

By understanding these benefits and following these tips, you can establish a consistent evening yoga routine that enhances relaxation and promotes better sleep.

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