These 6 Yoga Poses Will Lull You into a Deep Sleep

As we all know, the benefits of yoga are wide-spanning; it can transform your wellbeing — mental and physical — increase your flexibility, boost muscle strength, enhance vitality, balance your hormones and improve your mood. There are countless accounts — scientific and anecdotal — that document the benefits of practicing, especially if those all-important zzzs elude you.

Try this simple sequence before bed — it might just be the elixir you've been looking for... plus, it's a good excuse for a new pair of leggings, and a simple way to stretch out the stresses of the day.

Hero Pose (Virasana)

Begin in a comfortable seated pose with your glutes resting on your heels. The tops of your feet should be on the floor. This pose subjects your knees and ankles to a gentle stretching action to ease your joints. For even greater benefits, lengthen your spine and open your chest whilst adopting a measured breathing pattern. Your heart rate will slow and your mind will clear, relaxing you.

Legs Up the Wall (Viparita Karani)

With your back flat on the floor, extend your legs up the wall and hold them straight. Spread your arms wide and bring your tailbone as close to the base of the wall as possible. This pose drains lactic acid from your legs and eases any soreness you are experiencing if you spend a lot of time on your feet or chained to your desk.

Supine Spinal Twist (Supta Jaṭhara Parivartānāsana)

Lie on your back with your head cushioned. Bring both of your knees up to your chest and rock back and forth. Position your arms into a T (hands in line with your shoulders) and let your knees fall to one side. Breathe deeply and then double your benefits by turning your head in the opposite direction to your knees as this will stretch your neck and promote restful sleep.

Standing Forward Bend (Uttanasana)

Easier to perform than to pronounce, Uttanasana involves standing on the floor with your hands beside you. Exhale and bend downwards from the hips whilst keeping your knees straight. Put your hands beside your feet and press your palms firmly against the floor. (You might have to build up to that bit.) Then, place your elbows outside your calf muscles and relax.

Plow Pose (Halasana)

Perfect for resolving sleep issues, this spine-stretching pose always works wonders. Lie down flat and then bring your legs over your head. Breath steadily and relax to soothe mind and body. This is another exercise that you will have to perfect over time as you improve your flexibility.

The Extended Puppy (Utta Shishosana)

This pose is a hybrid of the Downward Facing Dog and the Child’s Pose. Rest you knees and shins on the ground with your hips directly above your knees. Extend your arms out with your palms on the ground and breathe steadily. Hold the pose, clear your mind and prepare for peaceful sleep.

Sweet dreams.

Now that we’re on the topic, here are 10 simple ways to enhance the quality of your sleep – starting from tonight! – plus the 7 things making you tired… that have nothing to do with how much you’re sleeping.

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