If at night you have trouble sleeping, you’re not the only one: many of us go round and round until we finally fall into the warm arms of Morpheus.
When it happens often, we end up feeling constantly tired during the day, and often fall into the traps of sugar and coffee to keep us awake. This vicious circle also results in us feeling depressed or gaining weight.
These yoga postures will help you fall asleep and do it more deeply. They are all quite simple, so even if you are not too flexible, you can do them without problem.
More and more scientific studies show the benefits of yoga for health, so why not take advantage of it? You have nothing to lose…
The first time you do these positions do not do them for a long time. Later you can increase the time to 5 minutes or even more.
Balasana or child’s posture.
This position is not a good idea if you have knee problems. However, others will feel their nervous system, back, shoulders, stomach and mind relax.
If your butt does not reach your heels, fold a blanket several times and put it underneath. You can stretch your arms in front of you or leave them relaxed at your sides. Set an alarm to know when to leave the posture. While in the child’s posture, make sure you breathe deeply, especially towards your back.
Supta Baddha Konasana or posture of the shoemaker lying down.
Some call it the butterfly posture: lie on your back, raise your knees, join the heels of your feet and gently drop your knees to the sides.
Most people can not leave their knees glued to the ground. But to relax them, place a stack of books or a rolled blanket under each knee. Leave your arms at your sides, totally relaxed. Breathe deeply into your lower abdomen.
Lying on your back, hold your knees (or if you reach, the pimples, as in the photo). Gently roll from side to side. This is a great way to stretch and massage your lower back after a hard day’s work. Release your legs and feel total relaxation. At the same time, let your shoulders merge with the ground: make sure you do not tighten them while holding your knees. And, of course, breathe deeply.
Supta Matsyendrasana or supine column torsion posture.
Lying on your back, raise your knees and let them fall to the right side. You can stabilize the legs by holding the left thigh with the right hand. But at the same time stretch the left arm to the left and turn the head carefully to the left.
In this position you will also let the shoulders merge with the floor as much as possible. And, of course, take a deep breath! Then repeat the position on the opposite side.
Matsyasana or the position of the fish.
Lying on your back with your arms on the sides on the floor, slide your hands with your palms down below the bottom of your buttocks. As you slide them, begin to press the lower part of the arms against the ground at the same time you bend the elbows. This causes you to lift your upper body and open your chest.
If your neck bothers you, you can keep your head up or gently place your head back on the floor. Breathe deeply five to ten times and then pull your hands out from under your body. Stay lying down and enjoy the sensation of opening the chest.
Kapotasana or pigeon posture.
This position is more advanced and you can leave it for when you have practiced a little more the others. Most people need to put a blanket, pillow or book underneath, so keep that in mind. Now sit cross-legged, place the palms of your hands on the ground in front of you and move the weight of the gluteus forward. Slide the left leg back until it is stretched, as in the drawing. The back of your left foot should be pressing the ground.
Open your chest outwards, relax your shoulders and make sure you put a thick blanket or pillow under the right side of your buttocks so you can relax completely. It is an intense stretch and, at the same time, a very relaxing posture.
Now walk carefully with your hands until the upper part of your body is stretched over your bent right leg. Try to keep your back as straight as you can: it is more important to keep the length of the back than to bend the whole body forward. Keep breathing and relax your head and shoulders, while allowing the stretch to reach your hips and groin.
At first you should not stay more than a minute in the pigeon’s position, but later you may enjoy staying up to ten minutes. Then repeat the position on the other side!
As many have discovered, meditation is extremely good for relaxing and forgetting the daily stress. Cross your legs, sitting on the edge of a well-folded blanket or a thick book. Stretches the spine up and relaxes the shoulders at the same time.
It is advisable to set an alarm with the time you want to be seated (one, five, ten minutes or more!). Now start to breathe more deeply. Concentrate on the breath and each time your mind is dispersed, return to the flow of air that comes and goes.
If you are distracted by some issue, feeling or experience, try to allow yourself to be as you are; either frustrated, sad, angry or nervous. From this moment, instead of being distracted by it, it simply “is” like this. And return to the breath.
Paschimottanasana or clamp posture.
Sitting upright, stretch your legs against the floor and before you bend forward, sit very straight. Stretch the spine up and once your back is as stretched as possible, bend the body forward.
If you want to focus more on your legs, you can lean forward with your back bent. But if you have back problems, or just want to go a step further and use your whole body in posture, keep your back straight and then lean forward, as far as you can, while keeping your back straight. Do not worry if you do not get a 45-degree angle! Most people are not very flexible, and in addition, the depth of the inclination does not matter at all.
To help keep your back straight, lean by placing your hands next to your thighs or knees (depending on how far you can flex). And what else? Exact: breathe!
Parivrtta Sukhasana or easy posture.
Sitting cross-legged, place your right hand on your left knee and your left hand behind the left side of your hip. Gently rotate the upper part of the body (the trunk) to the left. Continue with the breaths (of course) and stretch your spine even at the moment of turning. Now repeat it on the opposite side.
Locate a free wall in your house where there is enough space; Lie on the floor and lean your legs against the wall. It leaves the arms relaxed at the sides and also relaxes the shoulders, so that they rest completely on the ground. Breathe deeply, focusing on the chest.
If you feel very stiff, you can try to separate a bit from the wall to make a softer flex. And for those who have problems in the lower back, it is a good idea to place a pillow or towel under the coccyx as support.
If you are skeptical about yoga, this is your chance: you will not have to go to a yoga studio full of ultra-professionals completely in shape. In addition, you do not have to recite any mantra or light incense (although if you want, nobody prevents it). Secretly, without telling anyone, you can try these postures to solve sleep problems, anxiety or stress, and see what happens.
At the end of the day, it is not only the modern gurus who try to get us into yoga, but also health professionals. And there are many. If any of these exercises works for you (I bet you do), be nice and share it with your friends!