Do you find yourself tossing and turning at night while you are trying to get a good night’s rest? Truth is you are not alone! Singaporeans are among the world’s most sleep-deprived people. The common reasons attributed to Singaporeans’ sleeplessness include growing awareness of sleep disorders, worsening sleep habits due to increased demands from work and social life, and popular use of electronic light-emitting devices at night.
According to The Business Times, some 30% of Singaporeans are estimated to suffer from insomnia at some stage of their life. The good news is, Yoga can help! Below are some poses that can help you drift off to sleep and feel refreshed the next day.
5 Yoga Poses To Help You Fall Asleep Faster
The Pose: Salamba Balanasna (Child Pose with Bolster)
- Come into a kneeling position on your mat with the bolster positioned between your knees.
- Sit onto your shins and then on an exhale slowly lay your torso down over the bolster.
- You can position your arms can in front or to the sides of your body.
- Turn the head in one direction and subsequently switched to the opposite direction halfway through the hold.
- Try to hold the pose for 1 to 3 minutes and breath deeply as you fully relax into the pose.
- To release from the pose gently push off the bolster with arms at either side and remain sitting for a few breaths before moving on.
The Pose: Viparita Karani (Legs-up-the-wall)
There are two ways to practice Viparita Karani, you can choose to use the props to support your body or without the props. Both poses provide the same benefits, but the supported version may be more relaxing for some people. Do note that when performing both poses require a wall which you can rest your legs.
- In the supported version, start by setting a bolster on the floor against the wall.
- Then, begin the pose by sitting with your left side against the wall. Do note that your lower back should rest against the bolster if you’re using one.
- Gently turn your body to the left and bring your legs up onto the wall. Shift your lower back onto the bolster before bringing your legs up the wall. when doing so use your hands for balance and support as you shift your weight.
- Lower your back to the floor and lie down. Rest your shoulders and head on the floor.
- Shift your weight from side-to-side and scoot your buttocks close to the wall. Let your arms rest open at your sides, palms facing up.
- Let the heads of your thigh bones (the part of the bone that connects in the hip socket) release and relax, dropping toward the back of your pelvis.
- Close your eyes. Hold for 5-10 minutes, breathing with awareness.
- To release, slowly push yourself away from the wall and slide your legs down to the right side. Remember to use your hands to help press yourself back up into a seated position.
The Pose: Matsya Kridasana (Flapping Fish Pose)
- Lie down on the stomach in a relaxed way and turn your neck to one side (to the left side).
- Place your right hand (palms) over the left hand and rest your head on top of the hands (back of the palms). The head should face to the left.
- Bend your left leg and move your left knee as close to the ribs as possible.
- The right leg should remain straight.
- This is the final resting pose. In the final position, the body will be relaxed and a slight tug is felt at the waist.
- Maintain the position for as long as it is comfortable.
- Breathe slowly and normally. Rest every part of the body and maintain awareness of the breath.
- This can be repeated with the head turned towards right also. In this case, the right leg will be folded and the left leg will remain straight.
The Pose: Sarvangasana (Shoulder Stand)
- Start by lying down in the supine position on your mat. (Lying down on your back)
- Next, raise your legs slowly upward and bring it to 90° angle.
- Bring the legs towards the head by raising the buttocks up.
- Raise the legs; abdomen and chest try to form a straight line.
- Place the palms on your back for support. Place the chin against the chest.
- Maintain the position as long as comfortable. Try to maintain the pose up to 30 seconds or more.
- Slowly return back to the original position. While doing this, first lower the buttocks with hands supporting the back and slowly come to the surface or in the original position. Perform it 2 – 3 times.
The Pose: Matsyasana (Fish Pose)
- Begin by lying on your back with your legs extended and your arms resting alongside your body, palms down.
- Press your forearms and elbows into the floor and lift your chest to create an arch in your upper back. Lift your shoulder blades and upper torso off the floor. Tilt your head back and bring the crown of your head to the floor.
- Keep pressing through your hands and forearms. There should be very little weight pressing through your head.
- Keep your thighs active and energized. Press outward through your heels.
- Hold for five breaths. To release the pose, press firmly through your forearms to slightly lift your head off the floor. Then exhale as you lower your torso and head to the floor. Draw your knees into your chest for Knees-to-Chest Pose (Apanasana) for a few breaths, and then extend your legs and rest.