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5 Yoga Moves for Better Sleep

August 12, 2011

Legs Up the Wall pose is an excellent passive stretch for bedtime. Image via Gaiam.com.

Whether you usually have trouble sleeping or not, take 10 minutes tonight before bed to run through the following five poses. Turn off the television and your cell phone, and use this time to quiet your mind, give your body a good stretch, and let go of any stresses from your day. You don’t even need a yoga mat—all of these poses can be done in bed. Just brush your teeth, get in your PJs, and get ready for deep, restful sleep.

1. Legs Up the Wall

Lie on your back with your rear about six inches away from the wall, and walk your legs up the wall, forming an ‘L’ shape between your torso and legs. If the stretch is too intense, scoot farther back from the wall. Lie here for several minutes in complete relaxation, releasing tension from your head to your toes.

2. Seated Twist

Sit cross-legged, and straighten up to lengthen your spine from the crown of your head down to your tailbone. Place your left hand on your right knee, place your right hand on the floor behind your tailbone, and twist gently to the right. Hold for a breath, then slowly untwist back to center. Repeat on the left side.

3. Lying Down Knee to Chest

From your Seated Twist pose, gently roll down onto your back and extend your legs. Bring your right knee to your chest and hold the shin, hugging it into your body. Stay here for a few breaths, then release and repeat on the left side.

4. Lying Down Spinal Twist

Bring both knees toward your chest, wrapping your arms around them and giving them a squeeze. Lengthen your arms out into a ‘T’, and gently drop your bent knees over to the right side. If the twist is too intense, place a pillow under your knees. Stay here for a few breaths, then gently bring your knees back to center and repeat on the left side.

5. Savasana

Slowly release and straighten your legs back down into Savasana. Close your eyes and take a few calming breaths here, letting go any lingering bits of tension. Pull the covers up and you’re ready for deep, restful sleep.

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