Best yoga poses to try tonight
A simple sequence that will help you relax and prepare your body for deep, sustained rest.
One of the main reasons for this is that you haven’t let your nervous system release the tensions of the day, so you end up carrying the heightened energy into your sleep and tossing and turning all night.
Before you get into bed each night, do these poses in combination with a mindful breathing practice to get a deep, truly restorative night’s sleep.
Deep sleep yoga sequence
Alternate nostril breathing
Why: One of the most powerful breathing practices in yoga, this works with the brain to balance the right and left hemispheres for an immediately calmer nervous system.
How: Sit cross-legged or in a comfortable seated position, with a bolster under your hips if needed, and soften or close your eyes. Plug your right nostril and take a deep breath in through your left nostril, then plug your left nostril and exhale out through your right nostril. Inhale through your right nostril, plug your right nostril and exhale through your left nostril. Continue this alternating pattern for 10-20 rounds.
Tip: Deep breathing triggers your body’s rest and relax response, helping you to shift from busy and stressed to relaxed and ready for sleep.
Supported child’s pose
Why: Creates a feeling of safety and releases the stress response in your back and hips.
How: Kneel and stack cushions or a bolster in front of you. Rest your torso on the support with your head in a comfortable position to the side. Rest your arms on either side of the bolster to soften your shoulders. Rest here for 3-5 minutes.
Reclined butterfly pose
Why: This deeply restful pose creates space around your lungs and abdominal organs for better breathing and function.
How: Place a bolster lengthways behind you and sit upright on a mat with the soles of your feet touching. Gently recline back over the bolster and relax your arms outward to release any chest and shoulder tension. Rest here for 3-5 minutes.
Why: This posture forces you to slow down and the act of inverting your legs and torso triggers the pituitary gland to send out relaxation and sleep hormones.
How: Rest your legs against a wall (or over the seat of a chair). Place a blanket or cushion under your hips for extra support. Focus on deep breathing. Cover your eyes and turn on some soft music to further deepen the relaxation. Rest here for 5-10 minutes.
Know someone who’d love this? Share this article with them!