My whole life I have had problems falling asleep. If you are in the same boat, you have probably tried every trick in the book to improve your slumber. The following yoga poses and breathing exercise were what finally allowed me to fall asleep faster. Give them a try tonight!
I highly recommend that you do this sequence right from bed, so that nothing else interrupts you out of the state these poses put you in.
In the photos here, I have two blocks, but if you are in bed just make sure you have cushions and pillows handy to make yourself as comfortable as can be.
Go get yourself ready for bed, climb in, get comfortable and begin!
1. Neck Rolls – Begin by sitting up. Drop your shoulders down and away from your ears. This is about loosening up the body, and ensuring you don’t have any aches and pains. Breath in and out through the nose as you do little half circles with the head. Rolling it from side to side. Introduce belly breathing, which is really important for prepping for slumber. Return your head to center.
2. Diamond Pose – Bring the soles of your feet together and drop the knees apart. Instead of having your feet close towards you, give yourself a lot of space. Hold on to the shins, or whatever is accessible, as you move through a few rounds of seated cat/cow. Inhale, open the heart and squeeze the shoulder blades together. Exhale, slowly round and contract the back as you drop the head down. Ridding yourself of any kinks in the back. Soften the jaw and facial muscles, maybe close the eyes. After 5 or so rounds of this, move in to a forward fold. Make it a passive pose, simply softening in to the shape. If you are further away from your feet, use cushions to prop yourself up. Relax and keep breathing in to your belly. Slowly roll back up, lift the knees gently back to center, bringing the feet flat to the mat. Bring your hands behind you and gently take your knees from side to side in a windshield wiper motion.
3. Seated Side Bend – Extend your right leg out to the side, and bring your left heel towards the inner groin. Reach your left hand behind your low back. This will help to draw your shoulder down and away from the ear. Move in to a side bend to the right. Placing your elbow on your thigh, on the ground, or on a block, hold your head up with your hand or fist.
4. Seated Forward Fold – While staying in the side bend, bring your left hand in front of you. Turn to face towards your right knee. Hinge further at the hips, to come in to a forward fold. Take 5 slow and steady breaths here, in and out through the nose.
Push in to your palms to lift yourself back up and switch sides to repeat through poses 3 and 4.
5. Reclined Pigeon – Lower down on to your back. Cross your right ankle over top of your left knee. This might be enough, or you can go further by reaching with hands and pulling your left knee in to the chest. Keep the head and shoulders heavy, using minimal arm strength. As in earlier poses, send the breath down to the belly.
6. Reclined Twist – Release your left foot down to the mat. Keeping your right knee drawn in to the chest, extend the left leg straight. Sway your right knee a little from side to side. Guide your right knee across to the left side. Bring your left hand on top of the knee for gentle support. Extend the right arm out to the side to increase twist.
Repeat 5 and 6 through on the other side.
7. Savasana – If you are in bed, climb right in under the covers now. Extend your legs out and arms down at the sides, making your way in to savasana. Do a few rounds of this breathing technique. Inhale for a count of 4. Hold for a count of 4. Then exhale for a count of 8. Do all of this (in and out) through the nostrils. Take a few minutes here in savasana and without getting up, allow yourself to fall easily in to sleep.
Would you prefer to be guiding through these poses by my voice. Press play on the video below whenever you’re ready.
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