Fight insomnia, relax your mind, and increase your peace of mind before you go under the duvet. Here are 6 yoga exercises to achieve this goal.
Yoga for better sleep: a pre-sleep routine
Do you have trouble falling asleep? Rest assured, you are not alone. Recent studies have shown that the price you pay for lack of sleep is not just a day of sleepiness the next day; people with insomnia are more likely to experience health problems such as anxiety, depression, diabetes, and congestive heart failure.
But fear not, restful sleep is within your reach. The usual treatment for sleep deprivation is to establish a restful routine before going to bed. No! A small glass of alcohol during the news is not the answer. What to start with? By a pre-sleep yoga session.
The benefits of yoga are manifold. “Yoga puts you in touch with your breathing,” says Darcie Clark, a Toronto yoga teacher who acted as a consultant and model for the photos in this article. When you slow down and maintain a posture, you can feel the parts of your body that are tense and resistant to the stresses of the day, and you will be able to release the tension just by breathing in the posture. “Stretching, especially when you go to bed, is also calming,” said Nikos Apostolopoulos, director of the Micro stretching Clinic in Vancouver.
Ready to start? Ideally, continues Darcie Clark, we do a sequence of each posture that we maintain from one to five minutes. Can’t seem to do the full sequence? Make your routine by practicing your favorite posture, even in bed if it suits you. And remember that you shouldn’t manhandle your body; listen to it, stay in your comfort zone, and do nothing that causes pain. Ask a yoga teacher to recommend modifications to the postures to adapt them to your body.
1.the half clip
Sitting on the floor, without collapsing. Legs stretched forward, and knees slightly bent so as not to arch the back.
Bend the right knee and open the hip by placing the sole of the right foot against the inside of the left thigh and placing the right knee on the floor. If you’re not touching the ground, put a cushion under the knee.
Inhale while extending the column.
Exhale while leaning toward your left leg, keeping your back and neck straight and place your hands on either side of your left leg. Look at the big left toe and focus on breathing.
Repeat on each side.
Tip: Those with stiff calves will find it easier to lean forward by placing a cushion under the buttocks.
2. Baddha Konasana
While sitting on the floor, without collapsing, join the soles of the feet. The hands surround the feet or ankles.
If you are able to sit without rounding your lower back, bring your heels as close to the pubis as possible.
Inhale while stretching your back.
Breathe while leaning forward, back straight. Breathe in this position and feel your muscles relax.
Tip: if this sitting position is difficult enough, do not lean forward. Sitting on a blanket or cushion helps less flexible people to stretch.
3. Upavistha Konasana (the open corner)
While sitting on the floor, without collapsing.
Extend your legs forward and open them in a V shape with your hands behind your buttocks to keep your balance. Extend your legs without exceeding the comfort threshold.
Inhale while lengthening the column, without arching the lower back.
Exhale while flexing the trunk forward, hands in front of you. Focus on breathing by lengthening the spine with each breath and relaxing with each breath.
Tip: if the sitting position is already difficult enough, do not flex the trunk forward and keep your hands behind your buttocks. Concentrate on the sitting position, without arching your back. Try to sit on a cushion or folded blanket, or bend your legs with a support under your knees.
5. The torsion on the ground
Lie down on the floor bringing your knees towards your chest.
Extend your left arm to the side, palm up.
Keeping the knees in an elevated position, tilt them to the right until they touch the ground.
Place the right hand on the left knee. You can massage the outside of the left leg and hip with the right hand.
Attach the ceiling or look to the left.
Repeat on the other side.
Tip: place a cushion or other support under the lower knee to reduce the range of motion.
6. Viparita Karani (the reverse gesture)
Sit sideways against a wall. Lie on your back with your legs straight up, leaning against the wall.
Extend your arms to the side, palm up.
Close your eyes and breathe while relaxing in this position. If necessary, put a mask on the eyes to block the light.
Tip: move your buttocks away from the wall to relieve calf tension. Tie the thighs to hold them together and further relax you.