Yoga Poses for Better Sleep

yoga poses for better sleep woman sitting cross legged with her hands in prayer behind her back

If you’re struggling to get a good night’s sleep, you may be looking for ways to improve your sleep quality and quantity. One approach that has gained popularity in recent years is yoga. While yoga is often thought of as a physical practice, it can also be a powerful tool for improving sleep. Here are the 10 best yoga poses for better sleep.

For a more scientific and in depth approach, see this article: 16 science based-benefits of yoga.

How can these yoga poses for better sleep help me?

Reduces Stress

One of the primary ways yoga can help with better sleep is by reducing stress. Many yoga poses focus on deep breathing, which has been shown to activate the body’s relaxation response. This, in turn, can lower cortisol levels (the stress hormone) and help to calm the mind and body.

Increases Relaxation 

In addition to reducing stress, yoga can also increase relaxation. Many yoga poses involve gentle stretching and movements that release tension in the body. By doing so, you may feel more relaxed and comfortable when it’s time to hit the hay.

Improves Sleep Quality 

Studies have shown that regular yoga practice can improve sleep quality, including factors like how long it takes to fall asleep, how long you stay asleep, and how refreshed you feel in the morning. This may be due to the stress-reducing and relaxation-promoting benefits of yoga.

Enhances Mind-Body Awareness

Another way yoga can help with better sleep is by enhancing mind-body awareness. By practicing yoga regularly, you may become more attuned to your body’s signals, including when you’re feeling tense or relaxed. This awareness can help you to identify and address any factors that may be interfering with your sleep.

Promotes Overall Health 

Finally, it’s worth noting that yoga is a holistic practice that promotes overall health and well-being. By improving factors like flexibility, strength, and balance, you may feel more comfortable and at ease in your body. This, in turn, can have a positive impact on your sleep quality and overall health.

Here Are The 10 Best Yoga Poses For Better Sleep

1. Child's Pose (Balasana):

 

Child's pose yoga poses for better sleep

Balasana, also known as Child’s Pose, is a soft restorative yoga pose used to reduce stress in the body and mind. The pose is easy to do, making it a fantastic choice for yogis of all experience levels, even newbies. It is at the top of our list of best yoga poses for better sleep.

Start by kneeling on the floor with your big toes touching behind you and your knees hip-width apart. With your arms extended in front of you and your forehead resting on the floor, lower your torso until it is level with your thighs. Depending on what is more comfortable for you, you can either rest your elbows on the floor or extend your arms straight in front of you.

The breath and the body’s sensations are the main points of attention in Child’s Pose. Breathe in deeply and slowly, using your nose to inhale and your mouth to exhale. Feel your ribs widen and your tummy fill with air as you take a breath. Feel the tension in your body relax as you exhale and delve deeper into the pose.

Child’s pose is fantastic for releasing stress and tension from the body, particularly from the shoulders, neck, and back. Additionally, it can aid in mental tranquility, anxiety reduction, and relaxation in general. You might wish to put a pillow or blanket beneath your buttocks to support your hips and make the position more comfortable if you have tight hips, knees, or ankles.

Slowly lifting your head and torso while sitting back on your heels will help you exit the position. Before beginning your next posture or putting an end to your yoga session, take a few deep breaths.

Whether you want to unwind and release tension or just take a moment to connect with your breath and your body, child’s pose is one of the most effective of the best yoga poses for better sleep and is a great posture to include in your yoga practice. With frequent practice, you might discover that this posture ends up being one of your go-to relaxation and stress-relieving poses.

2. Forward Fold (Uttanasana)

 

Forward fold yoga poses for better sleep

Forward fold (Uttanasana), a common yoga pose, extends the spine, hamstrings, calves, and the entire back of the body. The head is lower than the heart because of a slight inversion, which can help to quiet the mind and lessen stress and worry.

Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your arms at your sides to begin the posture. When you exhale, bend forward from your hips while maintaining a long spine and a relaxed head and neck. Depending on your flexibility, reach your hands towards the floor or grasp onto your shins or ankles. You can slightly bend your knees to make the position more manageable if you have tight hamstrings.

In forward fold, the emphasis is on the breath and the physical feelings. Breathe in deeply and slowly, using your nose to inhale and your mouth to exhale. Feel the back of your body stretching as you take a breath in. Release any tension and extend the position as you exhale.

The forward fold position is excellent for extending the hamstrings and calves as well as releasing tension in the back, neck, and shoulders. Additionally, it can aid in mental tranquility, anxiety reduction, and relaxation in general. You might wish to slowly exit the stance to prevent disorientation if you have low blood pressure.

Bring your hands to your hips to exit the position. Inhale as you rise up and maintain a long spine. Before beginning your next posture or putting an end to your yoga session, take a few deep breaths.

Whether you want to stretch and relax the back of your body or just take a moment to focus on your breath and your body, forward fold is a fantastic pose to incorporate into your yoga routine. With frequent practice, you might discover that this posture ends up being one of your go-to relaxation and stress-relieving poses.

3. Legs Up the Wall Pose (Viparita Karani)

 

legs up the wall yoga poses for better sleep

Legs Up the Wall Pose (Viparita Karani) is a moderate yoga inversion that can aid in promoting relaxation and easing physical stress. Yogis of all levels, including beginners, can practice this easy and restorative pose.

To enter the position, lean back while sitting with one hip close to a wall, and swing your legs up the wall. Stretch your legs straight up the wall while getting your buttocks as close to it as you can. You can rest your arms on your belly or at your sides, or you can extend them out to the sides with your palms facing up.

The emphasis of legs up the wall pose is on the breath and the physical feelings of the body. Breathe in deeply and slowly, using your nose to inhale and your mouth to exhale. Feel your ribs and belly rise as you take a breath and feel the tension in your body relax as you exhale and delve more into the pose.

Legs up the wall is an excellent position for easing physical tension and stress, enhancing circulation and digestion, and encouraging relaxation. Additionally, it can help ease the symptoms of menopause and menstrual cramps, as well as lessen swelling in the legs and feet.

Gently slide your legs down the wall to exit the stance, then roll to one side. Before assuming your next pose or coming to the end of your yoga session, push yourself up into a seated position using your hands and take a few deep breaths.

If you want to relax and unwind physically, or if you just want to take a moment to focus on your breath and your body, legs up the wall pose is a fantastic pose to incorporate into your yoga routine. With consistent practice, you might discover that this ends up being one of your favourite yoga poses for better sleep. It remains a fantastic addition to our list of the best yoga poses for better sleep.

4. Reclining Butterfly Pose (Supta Baddha Konasana)

 

Reclining butterfly yoga poses for better sleep

Supta Baddha Konasana, commonly known as reclining butterfly posture, is a restorative and calming yoga pose that can help expand the hips and relieve tension in the body. It is a good alternative for people who are feeling apprehensive or overburdened because it is a great pose for lowering tension and encouraging relaxation.

Sit on the floor with your knees bent and your feet touching to begin the pose. Bring your heels as close to your torso as is comfortable while letting your knees fall open to the sides. Using your hands to help you if necessary, slowly lower your back to the ground. Put a cushion or blanket under your head for support, and if you need more support, put blocks or pillows under your thighs.

Reclining butterfly pose emphasises the breath and the physical feelings. Breathe in deeply and slowly, using your nose to inhale and your mouth to exhale. Feel your chest open up and your tummy rise as you take a breath. Feel the tension in your body relax as you exhale as you delve more into the pose.

Reclining butterfly pose is an excellent pose for expanding the hips and relieving tension in the body. Additionally, it can aid in easing period cramps and menopausal symptoms, as well as stress reduction and relaxation.

Use your hands to slowly draw your knees back together and extend your legs out in front of you to exit the pose. Before beginning your next posture or putting an end to your yoga session, take a few deep breaths.

If you want to relax your body, open your hips, or just take a moment to focus on your breath and your body, reclining butterfly posture is a fantastic pose to incorporate into your yoga routine. Another one on our list of the best yoga poses for better sleep, although this one has many added benefits. 

5. Corpse Pose (Savasana)

 

savasana corpse pose yoga poses

At the conclusion of a yoga session, practitioners frequently engage in the corpse pose, also known as Savasana. It is a straightforward but effective pose that enables the body to completely relax and release any tension or stress it may be carrying around.

Lay on your back with your legs extended and your arms by your sides, with your palms facing up, to do the pose. Relax by letting your body sink into the ground and letting go of whatever tension you might be carrying. If you require additional support, you can place a cushion or blanket under your head and a bolster or rolled-up blanket beneath your knees.

The emphasis of corpse pose is on the breath and the physical sensations of the body. Breathe in deeply and slowly, using your nose to inhale and your mouth to exhale. Feel your chest open up and your tummy rise as you take a breath. Feel the tension in your body relax as you exhale as you delve more into the pose.

Corpse pose is one of the best poses for fostering relaxation and lowering stress. It is a great option for people who feel exhausted or overwhelmed because it promotes sleep and strengthens the immune system.

Slowly start to deepen your breath and return your focus to your body to exit the stance. Use your arm to support your head as you wiggle your fingers and toes and roll softly to one side. Before carefully raising yourself to a seated position, take a few deep breaths.

If you want to relax and unwind physically or just take time to focus on your breath and your body, corpse pose is a great pose to incorporate into your yoga routine.

6. Seated Forward Fold (Paschimottanasana)

 

one of the 10 best yoga poses for better sleep called forward fold

A mild yoga posture known as Paschimottanasana, or seated forward fold, stretches the hamstrings, lower back, and spine. For those who spend a lot of time sitting or standing, it is a fantastic pose for fostering relaxation and lowering tension.

Sit on the ground with your legs out in front of you to begin the stance. Take a deep breath in and raise your arms upward to stretch your spine. Reaching for your ankles or toes while exhaling is a forward fold. To extend your reach, you can also use a strap around your feet.

The focus of the seated forward fold is on the breath and the physical sensations. Breathe deeply and slowly, using your nose to inhale and your mouth to exhale. Feel your spine stretch as you inhale. Allow your body to sink deeper into the posture as you exhale.

An excellent pose for releasing tension in the lower back and hamstrings is the seated forward fold. It is a great option for people who are anxious or stressed out because it can also assist in enhancing digestion and quieting the mind.

Release your feet or strap gradually to exit the position while taking a deep breath and lengthening your spine. Release your arms to your sides as you exhale. Before beginning your next posture or putting an end to your yoga session, take a few deep breaths.

Whether you want to relax your muscles or just take a moment to focus on your breath and your body, the seated forward fold is a fantastic pose to incorporate into your yoga routine.

7. Happy Baby Pose (Ananda Balasana)

 

one of the 10 best yoga poses for better sleep called happy baby pose

Ananda Balasana, also known as happy baby pose, is a lighthearted and soothing yoga posture that stretches the lower back, groin, and hips. For those who spend a lot of time sitting or standing, it is a fantastic pose for fostering relaxation and lowering tension.

Lie on your back and bring your knees up to your chest to begin the pose. Open your knees wide and move them toward your armpits while holding onto the outside of your feet or ankles. Keep your shins parallel to the floor and your feet flexed.

The breath and the body’s sensations are the main points of attention in the happy baby pose. Breathe deeply and slowly, using your nose to inhale and your mouth to exhale. Feel your body grow larger as you inhale. Allow your body to sink deeper into the posture as you exhale.

The Happy Baby Pose is excellent for relaxing the lower back and hips. It is a great option for people who are anxious or stressed out because it can also assist in increasing flexibility and quieting the mind.

Release your feet and slowly bring your legs back to the mat to exit the pose. Before beginning your next posture or putting an end to your yoga session, take a few deep breaths.

If you want to relax your muscles or just take a moment to focus on your breath and your body, Happy Baby Pose is a great pose to incorporate into your yoga routine.

8. Cat-Cow Pose (Marjaryasana/Bitilasana)

 

Cat-cow pose

Marjaryasana Bitilasana, also known as Cat Cow Pose, is a mild yoga posture that extends the torso, neck, and spine. It is a good alternative for people who spend a lot of time sitting or standing because it helps to promote flexibility and ease stress in the back and neck.

Starting on your hands and knees, place your wrists directly under your shoulders and your knees directly beneath your hips to enter the pose. Take a deep breath and arch your back, aiming your eyes upward and lowering your tummy toward the floor. It’s the cow pose. Exhale while curving your spine, pulling your belly to your spine, and tucking your chin into your chest. It’s the cat pose.

The breath and the movements of the spine are the main considerations in cat cow pose. Breathe deeply and slowly, inhaling as you assume cow pose and exhaling as you assume cat pose. Feel your spine stretch and your chest expand as you inhale. Feel your gut tightening and your spine rounding as you exhale.

The cat cow pose is excellent for relaxing the back and neck. It is a great option for people who spend a lot of time sitting at a desk or in a car because it can also assist to improve posture and digestion.

Return to a neutral tabletop position, placing your wrists directly beneath your shoulders and your knees directly below your hips, to exit the pose. Before beginning your next posture or putting an end to your yoga session, take a few deep breaths.

If you want to relax your muscles or just take a moment to focus on your breath and your body, cat cow Pose is a great pose to incorporate into your yoga routine. With consistent practice, you might discover that this pose ends up being one of your go-to postures for unwinding and refreshing.

9. Supine Spinal Twist (Supta Matsyendrasana)

 

Supine twist

Supta Matsyendrasana, also known as the supine twist, is a soothing yoga pose that eases tension in the lower back, hips, and spine. For those who spend a lot of time sitting or standing, it is a fantastic pose for fostering relaxation and lowering tension.

Lie on your back with your arms out to the sides and your palms facing down to begin the stance. Keep your feet parallel to one another while bending your knees and bringing them up near your hips. Using your left hand to assist, slowly exhale while lowering your knees to the right side. Maintain a flat back and tilt your head to the left. After maintaining the position for several breaths, inhale and bring your knees back to the centre. On the opposite side, repeat.

In the supine twist, the emphasis is on the breath and the physical feelings. Breathe deeply and slowly, using your nose to inhale and your mouth to exhale. Feel your body grow larger as you inhale. Allow your body to slam more deeply into the twist as you exhale.

An excellent pose for releasing tension in the lower back and hips is the supine twist. It is a great option for people who are anxious or stressed out because it can aid in digestion improvement and relaxation.

Take a deep breath in and pull your knees back to the middle to exit the pose. Exhale, extend your legs apart and take a few deep breaths in Savasana before going on to your next posture or finishing your yoga session.

Whether you want to relax your muscles or just take a moment to focus on your breath and your body, the supine twist is a fantastic pose to incorporate into your yoga routine. This is a great yoga pose for bestter sleep and with consistent practice, you might discover that this pose ends up being one of your go-to postures for unwinding and refreshing. 

10. Bridge Pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana)

 

one of the 10 best yoga poses for better sleep called bridge pose

Bridge Pose, also known as Setu Bandha Sarvangasana, is a basic yoga posture that stretches the chest, neck, and spine while strengthening the back, glutes, and legs. This is the last posture on our list of the best yoga poses for better sleep. It is a flexible pose that can be performed both independently and as a component of a longer yoga sequence.

Lie on your back with your legs bent and your feet hip-distance apart to begin the pose. Your hands should be by your sides, palms down. As you inhale, push your hips toward the ceiling while keeping your feet and arms planted on the ground. Keep your shoulders and arms firmly planted on the ground and your thighs parallel to each other. After holding the position for a few breaths, slowly lower your hips to the ground by exhaling.

In Bridge Pose, the emphasis is on keeping a steady breath and contracting the back, glutes, and leg muscles. Breathe deeply and slowly, lifting your hips as you inhale and bringing them back down as you exhale. Feel your shoulders and chest open as you inhale. Feel your glutes and lower back contract as you exhale.

The stance known as bridge pose slowly return your hips, is excellent for building back, gluteal, and leg strength. It is a great option for people who spend a lot of time sitting or standing because it can also help alleviate stress and anxiety.

Exhale and slowly return your hips to the ground to exit the pose. Before going on to the next posture or concluding your yoga session, take a few deep breaths in Savasana, lying with your arms at your sides and your palms facing up.

If you want to develop your muscles or just take a moment to connect with your breath and your body, Bridge Pose is a great pose to incorporate into your yoga routine. With consistent practice, you might discover that this posture ends up becoming one of your go-to poses for increasing body strength and releasing tension.

Wrapping it up,
 

This concludes our list of the best 10 yoga poses for better sleep. There are several poses and techniques you can attempt if you’re interested in utilising yoga to enhance your sleep. Try out various stances and movements to find the ones that feel most comfortable for you. Yoga may become a necessary component of your nighttime routine with consistent practice, assisting you in getting the deep, rejuvenating sleep you require. 

Take a look at natural supplements that help with sleep which can be used in conjunction with a calming yoga practice.

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