By Vivek Roy
Contributing Writer for Wake Up World
Yoga is one of the most happening and trending forms of better living throughout the world. Yoga is a very ancient form of exercise which was founded in India. It is said that yoga originated before the Vedic age and it was developed probably during the 5th and 6th century BC. Yoga has been practiced in India for centuries; only during the 20th century was it introduced to the West.
In India, yoga is a blend of physical movements and meditation poses to relax the mind. Yoga in India also has spiritual benefits. In western countries, people tend to practice yoga as a posture-based form of physical fitness, and for stress relief and relaxation. Nowadays yoga is more popular in some countries than going to the gym.
Yoga is a practice that helps relax the mind, soul, and body. According to Maharishi Patanjali “Yoga is the suppression of the modifications of the mind.” Yoga has various effects depending on the asanas (postures) we do. Yoga can be done by both young people and older people. Older people may prefer yoga in place of more vigorous exercise, especially since it can be done at home with just a little space and a yoga mat.
It is said that there 84 asanas. There are asanas for weight loss, weight gain, relaxation of the mind, relaxation of the body, for conceiving a baby, for a good sleep, for different body aches, for inner organ health improvement and so many more. Here, I’m going to share the five most soothing poses for a good night’s sleep.
Most of the yoga poses are subtle and usually done for just a moment. It’s important to change to the next pose gradually and slowly. Practice these yoga poses for half an hour before bed and they should help you to start the next day with a fresh and energetic mind and body.
First, we need to sit in the Hero pose. For this, we need to sit-kneel with our legs folded behind us, bottom on heels and the tops of our feet on the floor. This pose helps us to digest our food and relax our spine. In the beginning, we cannot sit for long in this posture, so we need to practice and then keep extending the time of the pose. We should start the asanas with this position and a few stretches.
The first asana for better sleep is:
THE CAT AND COW POSE (MARJARYASANA)
From the hero pose, we need to roll forward onto our hands and knees. For the cat pose we need to exhale as we tilt the crown of our head and the tailbone down to the ground and arch our spine into a C- curve and we need to pull our shoulder blades apart.
We need to come to the cow pose by inhaling and tilting the crown of the head and the tailbone towards the ceiling and we need to hollow out the lower back. We can flow into these poses as many numbers of times by inhaling and exhaling to the cow and cat pose alternatively. When we are done we need to come back to our neutral pose and keep our spine erect.
The second asana is:
AGAINST THE WALL (Modified SUCIRANDHRASANA)
Transitioning on to our back we need to position ourselves so that our tailbone is pointing towards the base of the wall and then we need to place our glutes a foot away from the wall. We need to place the bottom of one foot on the wall and while keeping our tailbone in contact with the ground we need to flex the opposite foot and gently place our ankle on the opposite thigh. We need to keep our top foot flexed throughout the pose with the toes pulling back to the shin, to protect our toes from being injured. To add intensity we can place our tailbone closer to the wall and gently press the top knee open to the side with our fingertips. When we are ready and feel it is enough we need to switch legs. This asana relaxes the hip which is necessary for a sound sleep.
The third asana is:
LEGS UP THE WALL (VIPARITA KARANI)
From our previous pose, we need to unfold our legs straight up the wall. If we can bring the base of the tailbone even closer to the wall so that the tailbone touches the wall it will be a good hamstring stretch.
This asana also helps to drain the lymph and lactic acid from the legs which help to prevent injuries and it decreases the symptoms of fatigue and soreness if we had spent our whole day standing. This relaxes the leg muscles.
The fourth asana is:
CHILD’S POSE (BALSANA)
For this asana, we need to pull down our legs and come back to the hero pose and then bend forward and sink our hips towards our heels and settle our chest between our thighs. We need to make sure that our big toes are touching one another and our knees are wide and far apart so that we can settle comfortably and breathe deeply.
Then we need to rest our forehead on the mat and walk our fingertips in front of us stretching our arms forward. We can also roll our forehead side to side for a mini face massage. This pose relaxes the spine and whole body.
The fifth asana is:
CORPSE POSE (SAVASANA)
For this asana, we need to lie down flat on the mat. we need to spread our legs wide apart and also our hands away from the body. The palms of the hand should face upwards. We just need to relax and breathe in n out slowly and free our minds of all thoughts. The mind should be blank and concentrate only on our breath. We should let our breath come naturally and feel our body relax; you might even fall asleep while you do this pose.
I hope this article was useful and please try to do the asanas and feel the effect of good and sound sleep after the yoga sequence. I am sure that this will help anyone who practices these asanas regularly.
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About the author:
Vivek Roy is an enthusiastic Yoga blogger and Traveller from India. He has done 200 hours yoga teacher training in India. He loves to travel and share the knowledge of yoga around the world. For more information about him visit his website.