Why do we need relaxing yoga?
We live in a fast paced environment and our senses are always being stimulated, and that affects our nervous system. If we do not get a good night’s sleep, we may suffer from aging faster than we should be. A good sleep refreshes body & makes body mind & soul healthy. It is therefore necessary to get at least six to eight hours of sleep daily. If a person can’t sleep enough then yoga can help. The following yoga stretches can help you to relax and enjoy a peaceful sleep.
Steps of relaxing yoga:
1. Short Meditation
Get ready to sleep & wear comfortable night wear cloths. Sit in a cross-legged seated position in bed. Then lean back slightly onto your pillows. Close your eyes and rest your hands on your thighs. Touch the tip of thumb with tip of index finger. Stays in this position just breathe for a few minutes. Avoid all sorts of thoughts from arising in your mind & do nothing but deep breathe.
2. Standing Forward Bend (Uttanasana)
- Stand straight on your mat & fold your hands as if you are praying. This is known as Tadasan / Prayer pose. Now take a deep breath simultaneously stretch
- Now slowly exhale, fold forward your upper body with a straight back & avoid bending your knees. Extend the head toward the floor to create a long spine. Shift your weight forward onto your toes, straightening the legs as much as possible. Place your hands on the ground, fingertips lining up with the toes.
- Hold in this position for atleast 10 seconds & then slowly raise your upper body. Repeat the above mentioned steps 4 to 5 times.
3. Child’s Pose
This is also known as Balasan.
- Kneel down on your mat spread your knees wide apart while keeping your big toes touching. Rest your buttocks on your heels.
- Take a deep breath & sit up straight and lengthen your spine up through the crown of your head.
- On an exhalation, bow forward, draping your torso between your thighs. Your heart and chest should rest between or on top of your thighs. Allow your forehead to come to the floor.
- Rest your arms beside your legs, with palms facing up, or try extending your arms out in front of you.
- Stay here for 10 breaths.
4. Forward Bend (Hastapadasana)
It invigorates the nervous system by increasing blood supply, and makes the spine supple.
- Sit in a cross-legged seated position in bed. Take deep breath & keep your spine straight. Lift your hands up above you.
- Now slowly exhale & try to bend forward in this sitting position. Touch your palms & head on the floor. Extend your upper body parallel to the ground.
- Rest in this position for few seconds.
5. Legs-up-the-wall Pose:
- Lie down straight on your back. Now lift one leg up, followed by the next, and let your feet rest on the wall.
- Extend the arms along the sides, palms facing up.
- Now close your eyes and keep taking deep breaths as you relax into the pose. Stay in the pose for as long as you comfortably can and then slowly come out, bringing the legs down.
6. Butterfly Pose (BaddhaKonasana)
- Lie down on your back on your bed or on a mat & your face should face the ceiling.
- Bring the feet together & spread out the knees in a diamond.
- If your hips are tight and the pose feels too intense then put a folded blanket or cushion under each of the knees. Now bring one hand to your heart and one hand to your belly so this will act as a support.
- Take deep breathe deeply observing the breath move in and out of the body.
7. Reclining Twist:
- Lie on your back straight; now bend both the knees into the chest.
- Extend your arms out with your elbows at right angles, palms facing up.
- Now slowly lower both knees to the left. Rest them on the ground and turn your head to the right.
- Hold in this position for 10 seconds. Then slowly lift your knees back to center.
- Now lower both knees to the right and look over your left shoulder.
- Hold in this pose for 10 seconds then release the head to the center. Lengthen both legs & relax.
8. Take rest in Corpse Pose before climbing into bed:
- It is also known as Savasan.
- Lie on your back and close your eyes.
- Now open your body, extend your arms a few inches away from the body, with the palms facing up. Spread your legs 15 to 20 inches apart, with the toes pointing out.
- Now try to keep your spine straight as much as you can.
- Take deep breathe & rest in this position for 10 minutes.