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3 Yoga Postures for Better Sleep

With hundreds of thousands of Americans falling prey to sleep problems, more and more people are turning to yoga for answers. Try this short and simple sequence to lull your body into deep rest.

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Do you feel like a completely different person when you’ve had a good night’s sleep? You may notice that not only are you more alert, but that you have a different outlook as well. The world appears to be a friendlier and easier place to navigate. Needless to say, so many of us have trouble sleeping at night. A busy mind and a tense body are difficult to unwind after a day out in the world. These poses are designed to unwind knots in the body and tone your somatic nervous system and calm your autonomic nervous system—all important elements of a good night’s sleep.

Supported Rest

If you have a yoga strap place it behind your shoulder blades under your armpits so that it’s high up the back and in the center of the scapula. If you don’t have a strap you can use a belt and do the following posture using one leg at a time. 

As you reach your heels toward the sky, allow the heaviness of the legs to drain. Feel your belly dropping into your back body and as it releases with each exhale, taking on a soft, watery quality.

 

Let your shoulder blades move under you so they support the lift of the heart. Feel your chest broaden and open up. Lie back and simply enjoy your connection to the earth, the rise and fall of your soft belly, your open and receptive chest.

Supine Twist

Lie flat on your back and draw your right leg into a squat. Shift your hips an inch or two to the right and then draw the knee into your chest to get a deep fold of your leg and the release of your belly. Bring your leg over to the left side of the mat and let it fall heavy to the earth. If it doesn’t reach, put a blanket or a block underneath.  Swing your right arm wide away from your body and let your chest open toward the sky. Breath into your lower back and let your sling unwind. Then repeat to the other side.

Pigeon Pose

From a Downward-Facing Dog, place your right knee behind your right wrist and come into Pigeon Pose. If your right hip feels far from the floor, slide a blanket, block, or cushion underneath it. Make sure you take the time to move your right knee over to the right so it’s not in front of your hip. Also take a moment to check out your back leg and foot to bring it right behind your left hip. You can support your chest and head with a pillow but it’s preferable to have two blocks, one under the sternum bone in the chest and one under the forehead. You adjust the blocks until you feel that they’re in the right place. As you inhale feel your back body widen and your hip expand. As you exhale, consciously release into your hip and feel the front of your spine grow taller. Repeat to both sides.


Related: A Deepak Chopra Sleep Meditation for a Restful Night


Photos by Chloe Crespi

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The short answer is that you should have a very well established Intermediate Series practice. 
Postures like Kapotasana and all of the leg-behind the head positions should be easily accomplished before venturing into more advanced asanas.

Personally, I prefer students to practice full Intermediate Series for a year at minimum before introducing any other asanas or starting Advanced Series.

What’s the rush?
  • It’s the first full moon in July, which means, in India, it is Guru Purnima. 
This is a special day marked for students and spiritual seekers to pay respects to their teachers. 
Today, we would like to thank our leading contributor in reference to all things yoga, R. Sharath Jois @sharathjoisr 
We are so grateful to have his experience and expertise to share the Ashtanga yoga teachings with all of the dedicated students around the world! 
Om Sri Gurubhyo Namah 🙏🏽
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Photo 📸 @ifilmyoga .
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  • Start your week off straight! 
When your posture is off, you’re bringing improper alignment into everything you do. 
Some of the benefits gained by improving the way you stand are: improved digestion, easier breathing, elevated mood, decreased anxiety, and less headaches, not to mention, more efficiency in your workouts. 
Read more about eight unexpected benefits from realigning your posture in the article linked in our bio. .
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@egoscue_institute 🙏🏽
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  • Do you want to learn how to let go of emotional baggage and stay guilt-free at every meal—all the way through to dessert? 
Try this simple trick explained in the article linked in our bio! 🥞 .
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It is very normal to feel unmotivated in your practice at times. This question came from a student who has been practicing for 8 years, but now is facing many challenges and finding it difficult to get on the mat. .

The most important thing you can do is reassess your reasons for wanting to do a daily yoga  practice and adapt the practice to fit your needs as you face life’s challenges.
  • Time to hydrate. 
Do you have insomnia? There is a strong possibility that you are not drinking enough water. 
Researchers are beginning to observe a link between chronic dehydration and sleep issues. .

Read more on the subtle signs of dehydration by following the link in our bio. .
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#sleepissues #sleepbetter
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