By Lara Heimann
Sleep is so important for our health, especially for our immunity and nervous system. Preparing for bed is part of our entry in to sleep, so try these poses to better prepare your nervous system to relax and restore. The purpose of the poses in the sequence below is to wring out the stress of the day, slow down the breath, and focus the mind to declutter your thoughts before slumber. Whatever you chose to practice before bed, make sure it creates ease in the nervous system and doesn’t heat you up. The body naturally drops in temperature before going into deep sleep so help this transition with soothing moves.
5 Asanas to Help You Sleep Better
This gentle prep is your invitation to go to sleep with more balance and harmony in the body, breath, and mind.
Cat/Cow in Quadruped
- On all fours , cat/cow the spine and focus on exhaling with the mouth open to release built-up stress and soften the jaw.
- Move the spine with arms straight to free tension in the back.
- Repeat 10x.
- In quadruped, place top of skull on floor and gently roll the top of head on floor in clockwise and then clockwise manner.
- Repeat for 1 minute.
This action will release tension in the scalp and down regulate the nervous system.
Knees to Belly
- Lie on back and bring knees to belly.
- Close your eyes and push your breath into your low back with the inhale.
- Exhale out through mouth to release. Repeat 10x.
This move will ground you and help to release the low back.
One Knee to Belly
- Bring left knee to belly and straighten right knee if that feels okay on your back.
- Breathe into low back and lengthen the neck by releasing the chin toward the throat.
- Hold for 10 breaths and repeat with other leg.
This move will lengthen the back and extended leg and open the front hip in a gentle way.
Side-lying Arm Circles
- With your knees close to belly, roll to left.
- Circle the right arm along the floor, allowing the elbow to bend as needed.
- Make a full circle and repeat 10 x, letting the right chest open more as you circle.
- Inhale with each circle up and around and exhale as you return to starting position. Repeat on other side.
This move is relaxing for the nervous system and helps to wring out tension in the shoulders.