Want a Blissful Sleep? Try This

yoga for sleep

“I studied, I met with medical doctors, scientists, and I’m here to tell you that the way to a more productive, more inspired, more joyful life is: getting enough sleep.” ~ Arianna Huffington

 

In the spirit of Throwback Thursday today on my blog I’m sharing an article I wrote for the top U.S. lifestyle media brand Mind Body Green. Because if there’s one thing I’ve learned as a mother, wellness & life coach and yoga teacher is just how important sleep really is. The original article can be found here.

Yoga can help alleviate physical aches and calm mental/emotional stress, both of which help us get a good night’s sleep. This simple yoga sequence is appropriate for just about everyone. It’s designed to increase flexibility in the lower body while supporting the low back in a supine position (lying down).

These poses can relieve aches and pains associated with a tight low back, lengthening the inner and outer hip muscles while stretching the hamstrings, calves, and thighs. They can also help to release stress, trauma, and unexpressed emotions that are stored in our cellular bodies. I invite you to do this sequence right before bedtime. You’ll need a yoga strap, towel, or belt. Remember, each day your body will feel different, so listen to your body and do only what feels comfortable.

1. Reclining Big Toe Pose (Supta Padangusthasana)

yoga for sleep

•    Lie on your back with both knees bent and your feet on the floor.
•    If your head doesn’t rest comfortably on the floor, support it on a folded blanket.
•    Exhale and hug your right knee into your chest; place the strap (belt or towel) on the arch of your right foot, holding both ends of the strap in both hands.
•    Raise your right foot up toward the ceiling; slowly straighten your right leg until it’s perpendicular to the floor.
•    Flex your right foot and draw your right toes toward the top of your head. If your hamstrings are tight, keep a slight bend in the right knee.
•    Walk your hands up the strap until your elbows are fully extended.
•    Hold for one minute, breathing slowly and deeply.
•    To release, exhale, bend the knee, release the belt, and straighten the leg back to the floor.
•    Switch sides and repeat, twice on each leg.

2. Reclining Big Toe Pose (Part B: Supta Padangusthasana)

yoga for sleep

•    Repeat reclining big toe pose on the right leg. This time, hold the strap with only your right hand and rest your left hand on your left hip.
•    As you exhale, open and lower the right leg out to the right side. Gently roll your right thigh outward and extend your leg out to the right, keeping your right foot in line with your right hip, keeping your hips level.
•    Press your left heel into the floor, using your left hand to ground your left leg. Extend your right leg as far out to the right as your flexibility allows.
•    Hold for one minute, breathing slowly and deeply. Switch sides and repeat on the opposite leg.
•    To come out of the pose, engage your core muscles, slowly bringing your right leg back to center.

3. Revolving Reclined Big Toe (Parivrtta Supta Padangusthasana) 

lsaglio-yogapose-3-parivrtta-suptap

•    Repeat reclining big toe pose on the right leg. This time, bring the entire strap to your left hand and release your right arm out to the right, in line with your right shoulder.
•    As you exhale, draw your right leg over to the left side of your body, loosening the strap if necessary.
•    Listen to your body here: How far your leg goes will depend on the flexibility of your outer right hip.
•    If you have tight hamstrings, bend your leg while pressing through your right heel. If your flexibility allows, slightly tip your body to the left so that you’re on your outer left hip.
•    Either hover your right leg over the floor or rest your foot on a block to keep your sacrum aligned.
•    Hold for one minute, breathing slowly and deeply. Switch sides and repeat on the opposite leg.
•    To come out of the pose, engage your core muscles, slowly bringing your right leg back to center.

Determining the root cause of a sleepless night can be challenging, but by doing this simple yoga sequence before bedtime you can start to heal yourself, have more blissful sleep, and improve your quality of life. Have a good night. Namaste.

As always, I’d love connecting with you and hear how you got on with the yoga sequence above and how you’re getting a blissful sleep. Head over to the comments section below to share your thoughts.

With love and gratitude,

Leslie xx

*Catsuit by Wellicious.com



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