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Yoga for Deep Sleep

by Claudia Wareham
05.04.2018

Tossing and turning every night? Anxiety about waking up early? Don’t worry, we have you sorted. Yoga for deep sleep is coming your way.

Benefits
If you have trouble sleeping bringing mindfulness into your bedtime routine could be your answer. Movement and breath calm the mind and body and will put you in a better position for deep and restful slumber. At night we fall into a dreamless state where the body does its recovery and repair, dropping into different frequency waves. Try out some yoga for deep sleep, to get that sweet, full and beneficial rest, that allows us to perform our best throughout the day without relying on caffeine or energy drinks and food.

Deep Sleep Flow
There any many types of yoga poses that you can practice to activate, lengthen or strengthen different parts of your body. For now, let’s stick to our lengthening and restorative yin postures to deepen our sleep. Yin postures or restorative postures are held for 3-5 minutes, allowing the mind to slow down as well as the body.

Adding in Pranayama (breathing exercises) slows our mind down creating a pattern for our body to follow. When moving through your asana (postures), keep your poses relaxing, easy and balanced. One favourite is Child’s Pose, which makes us feel relaxed, lovely and well-stretched.

Ready for bed? Try out this deep sleep flow:

1. Ujjayi Breathing: come into a comfortable seat. Close your mouth, inhale and exhale from the nose, with a slight restriction in the back of the throat. It should not be challenging, you can think about creating the sound of the ocean.

2. Soft knees forward fold: Come to the top of your mat, feet hips distance in parallel, soften your knees and dangle forward bending at the hips. You can swing gently side to side of just let you head and arms fall with gravity.

3. Wide knees child’s pose: Bring your toes to touch, knees as wide as the mat and sink your hips towards your feet. Hands reach to the of the room, elbows and forehead relaxed. It feels lovely to roll your head right and left, massaging over the forehead and third eye chakra.

4. Seated forward fold: Bring your legs out in front of you, reach your arms over head then lower yourself into a seated forward fold. You can soften the needs if it’s more comfortable with a bend. Relax the elbows either side and allow the head to fold down.

5. Happy baby: Lie on your back, grab the outside edges of your feet. Start drawing the knees towards your armpits and the tailbone down to the mat. Play with rocking right and left or straightening through the knees just like a happy baby.

6. Supine twists: Extend your left leg long down the mat and draw the right knee into your chest. Use your left hand to guide the right leg over the chest into a twist. Let go of any force in the twist and let gravity pull you down naturally with every exhale. Repeat on the other side for the same time.

7. Savasana: Corpse pose. Lie on your back, feet as wide as the mat, palms turned up and space under your armpits. Use this pose to completely surrender your body, mind and spirit, sinking deeper into your mat or bed every breath out. Bring your focus to your breath as you let any thoughts float out of the mind, just as easy as they enter. Sweet surrender, savasana.

Still can’t sleep?
Check the ingredients in your teas for caffeine. Cool your bed and bedroom down, your body heat lowers just before bedtime. Avoid back bends and heart openers as these tend to wake us up. No television or phone 30 minutes before bed. Scientists discovered that they both emulate a blue light that stimulates energy waves, keeping us very stimulated and awake twice as long as a double espresso could.