by Mireya Semeles: The body needs from six to eight hours of sleep to be able to repair our cellular level and remove any toxins that might otherwise damage us…


Sleep deprivation therefore affects our bodies negatively. There are studies showing that spending just one week of sleeping fewer than six hours a night results in changes to more than 700 genes. In addition to visible effects such as dark circles under the eyes, paler skin, etc. and the effect it has on mood, skimping on sleep can seriously damage the body, significantly increasing mortality risk. Amongst its numerous benefits, yoga can help you fall asleep.

Yoga is a great regulator of the nervous system. The next time you’re tossing and turning in bed, try the following five simple poses to calm you down and prepare your body and mind for a restful night’s sleep.

1. Uttanasana – standing forward fold

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Forward bends are instant calmers for our nervous system. Uttanasana can be performed anywhere and there are no additional props required.

Step by step instructions:

  • standing up, with your feet hip-width apart (same distance as two fists) slightly bend your knees
  • bend forward
  • hold each elbow with a hand
  • relax your head
  • with every exhale draw the crown of the head more towards the floor, bending your knees as much as it is necessary to keep that length in your spine
  • stay here for 10 to 15 deep breaths
  • to come up, slowly release your arms and rise slowly, rising your head the last to avoid any possible dizziness

2. Baddha Konasana – bound angle pose

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This simple seated position stretches inner thighs, groin and knees, helping release any tension and fatigue from long hours of sitting on a chair, standing or walking. 

Step by step instructions:

  • sitting on a blanket with your legs straight out in front of you, bend your knees and drop them to the sides so that the sole of your feet face each other
  • pull your heels towards your pelvis
  • you can grasp your big toe with your first and second finger and thumb or hold your ankles or shins if this is not available to you
  • you can stay in this pose for a couple of minutes
  • to come out,, lift your knees away from the floor, and extend the legs in front of you again

3. Balasana – child’s pose

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Balasana is heavily used during yoga classes as it helps to calm the mind as well as release the tension held in the body.

Step by step instructions:

  • place your knees on the floor
  • place your feet together and separate your knees
  • with an exhale, lower your body down in between your knees
  • rest the forehead on the floor
  • your arms can remain relaxed alongside your body or extended or by the sides
  • stay here for at least 15 deep breaths
  • to come up, place your hands beside your knees with palms facing down and slowly rise. To avoid any possible dizziness, your head should be the last one to rise

4. Viparita Karani – legs-up-the-wall pose

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For this pose, you will just need a wall and a blanket.

Step by step instructions:

  • sit as close to the wall as possible (with the wall on your side and your legs forming a 90º with the wall)
  • fold the blanket and lay it on the floor (it will be supporting your spine)
  • lie on the blanket
  • get even closer to the wall
  • send your legs up the wall (now forming a 90º with the floor)
  • rest your arms alongside your body
  • stay here for at least 3 minutes
  • slowly lower your legs down

5.  Savasana – corpse pose

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In preparation for bed, end the sequence lying down in your Savasana.

  • lie down on your back
  • separate your legs, allowing your toes to fall to the sides
  • place your arms alongside your body with your palms up
  • close your eyes
  • relax your face
  • breath into the pose relaxing every part of your body

Sweet dreams!

Source: AWAKEN