Ease your way into a more restful night sleep with restorative yoga poses and deep, mindful breathing. Where Zen meets REM, here are six easy yoga poses to activate the Parasympathetic Nervous System, which helps to counteract stress and promote relaxation.
These postures can work for anyone, including yogis and non-yogis alike. The best part: all you need is a pillow and you can do this sequence right in comfort and ease of your own bed!
Before you begin, take 10 rounds of deep inhalations and exhalations.
Seated Wide Angle Pose (Upavistha Konasana)
Sitting with your legs spread wide apart, place a pillow horizontally in front of your torso. Inhale, sit up as tall as possible. Exhale, begin to fold forward from the hips, walking your hands out in front of you until your upper body comes to rest on the pillow. If sitting up tall or folding forward causes you to round the spine at all, take a soft bend to both knees. Rest, breathing deeply on the pillow for 10 rounds of breath. Inhale to rise back up to seated.
Locust Pose (Salabhasana)
Come to your stomach with a pillow supporting your hips and belly. Gazing down and keeping the back of the neck long, interlace your fingers behind the small of your back. Inhale, extend the arms behind you, lifting the hands towards the ceiling and pressing the tops of your toes into the mattress. Exhale, try to hold that height. Inhale again, lifting the chest and head, with gaze forward and back of neck neutral. Exhale, hold this position. Continue to lengthen the body and open the heart for 10 rounds of breath. On an exhale, lower back down to the bed, releasing your hands by your side.