Yoga originated in Ancient India and is becoming exceedingly popular all over the world.
It consists of a group of physical, mental and spiritual disciplines that focus on building strength, flexibility and a person’s overall mental wellbeing. The sport does more than burn calories and increase muscle strength, it calms and relaxes the mind.
Yoga has a significant impact on those who particularly suffer from mental health issues, because it requires a lot of focus on the mind.
Before we jump into the 5 yoga poses that will enhance your sleep, it’s important to know the full list of health benefits yoga provides, and how you can tailor yoga exercises to suit your needs and lifestyle.
There is growing research which backs up yoga’s mental health benefits. It reduces stress, tension, improves attention, concentration and calmness.
As sleep deprivation is one of the most common factors people with mental health issues suffer from, we believe performing yoga and other exercises in fact, might just do the trick for a better night’s sleep.
Ready to take on the 5 yoga poses?
We’re 99% sure you’ve tried to pronounce at least one of the official yoga names given ahead but don’t worry, we did too while we were researching them. It’s all fun, though!
Perfect Pose (Siddhasana)
The perfect pose is ideal for beginners, and is the easiest yoga pose to start off with! There are various poses that appear to be quite simple, but people underestimate the power they actually have, just like this one.
Siddhasana is an ancient seated yoga pose that is traditionally used for long periods of time, essentially for meditation and breathing exercises. The perfect pose stretches the legs, hips, knees and ankles.
It works the core muscles, including the back and abdomen. It works incredibly well just before you sleep.
Moon Activating Breath (Chandra Bhedana)
The Chandra Bhedana pose is also known as the moon activating breath, and the left nostril breathing pose.
Chandra is the Moon and Bhedana refers to passing through. Whereas in Chandra Bhedana Pranayama, the left nostril is used for inhalation and the right nostril is used for exhalation.
The pose essentially reduces body heat, tension, stress and other mental problems. Close the right nostril using your right thumb and start breathing in for a few seconds.
Hold both nostrils using your thumb and ring finger, holding your breath. Open your right nostril and breathe out slowly. Repeat step 1!
Supported Half Frog Pose (Ardha Bhekasana)
The supported half frog pose focuses on opening the hips, chest and thighs. It stretches the entire body, including the ankles, groins and abdomen. It also improves posture and stimulates the organs of the abdomen.
You perform this pose by laying on your belly with your forearms pressed against the floor.
Lift your head and upper torso, then bend the right knee and bring the heel towards the same side buttock. With the support from your left forearm, reach back with your right hand and clasp the inside of your foot.
While you rotate your elbow towards the ceiling, you should slide your fingers over the top of your foot and curl them over the toe tips.
To get started, press your foot towards the buttock, and if you have the flexibility after a while, take the foot slightly off to the side and press it towards the floor.
Ensure your knee is kept in line with your hip. Perform a half Bhekasana on each side for the same amount of time, however long you feel comfortable.
The reclining bound angle pose is a classic and traditional yoga pose, designed to improve posture, the hips and groin.
It is able to stimulate abdominal organs such as the ovaries, bladder and kidneys, as well as the heart in order to improve general circulation.
It stretches the inner thighs, groins and knees, allowing you to slowly develop your body flexibility.
To perform Supta Baddha Konsana, lower your back torso towards the floor and use your forearms to spread the back of your pelvis. Bring your torso all the way to the floor while providing needed support for your head and neck.
Widen your outer knees away from your hips and slide your hands down along your inner thighs, from the knees to the groins. You should push your hip points together, this will widen the back pelvis and narrows the front pelvis.
For this pose, it’s your duty to push your knees towards the floor as this will increase the stretch of the inner thighs and groins.
Corpse Pose (Savasana)
The name doesn’t really do this pose justice, but it’s quite relevant to the pose. Savasana is a pose that requires total relaxation. You wouldn’t think that this yoga pose would be the most challenging, but it is.
The pose ultimately requires you to be in a neutral position with your back on the floor, just as though you’re lying down.
Ensure you’re comfortable and that your shoulder lades are resting evenly on the floor. This particular pose allows you to learn how to quiet the mind and body into relaxation. It is usually performed after a yoga session.
Are you up for the challenge?
Need more convincing on why you should try yoga to improve you sleep?