Yoga is an effective cure for stress, insomnia and tension. Sleep deprivation can lead to stress accumulation and unless you break out of this vicious cycle, you will have a nervous breakdown. Here are some of the best yoga poses for insomnia and sleep disorders to beat the stress and calm the mind and body.
Best yoga asanas for insomnia and good sleep at home
Hastapadasana yoga – Standing Forward Bend
Calms the mind and soothes the nerves. This pose keeps the spine strong and supple. It activates the abdominal muscles and stretches the calves, hamstrings, and hips. Makes the nervous system relaxed and gives good sleep.
- Start from the standing position with the feet almost touching each other.
- Raise your hands and bend at the hips to bring your hands down to the floor.
- Drop your head down and hold the pose.
- Raise your hands and your torso to the normal position.
When to avoid: If you have leg or back injuries or elevated blood pressure.
Also Read: Home remedies for insomnia
Utthan Pristhasana – Lizard Pose
Utthan Pristhasana Benefits
This pose strengthens the inner muscles of the thigh and opens the hips, hamstrings, hip flexor, and groins. You get good sleep. The chest gets opened along with the neck and shoulder.
Utthan Pristhasana steps
- Start from the Downward Face Dog Pose and bring your left foot forward as you rest your hand on the floor.
- Your right knee now touches the floor.
- Use a block on the floor to rest your forearms.
- Hold the pose for 20 seconds.
- Now, repeat for the other side.
When to avoid: If you have lower back injuries or headaches.
Salabhasana – Locust Pose
It stimulates your abdominal muscles and makes the muscles of the legs, arms, buttocks strong. This pose improves your overall body posture. Your sleep becomes better and digestion improves.
- Start from the Plank Pose.
- Inhale from your prone position on the yoga mat.
- Clasp your hand behind your back and raise your head so that you look straight ahead.
- To go back to the original position, release your hands and lower your forehead to the ground.
- Inhale and relax the muscle of the stomach and legs.
When to avoid: If you have back injury or blood pressure related problems.
Shishuasana – Child Pose
Deep stretch for the muscles of the back and highly relaxing pose. Removes stress and anxiety, lengthens and stretches the spine. Massages the internal organs.
- Start from the seated positon on the heels, bend forwards and place your head on the floor.
- Keep your hands beside you with the palms facing up.
- Rest your chest on your thighs.
- Hold the pose for 20 seconds.
- Come back to seated position and relax.
- Repeat as many times as needed. Usually two to three times is enough.
When to avoid: Avoid if you have any serious injuries to the back, ankle, or legs.
Baddha Konasana – Butterfly Pose
Baddha Konasana Benefits
Stretches in the groins and inner thighs. Stimulates the heart and improves circulation. This removes the tensions and makes the mind relaxed. You get relief from sciatica and menstrual problems. It stimulates all the internal organs.
Baddha Konasana steps
- Start from the seated position and tuck your legs inside your groin.
- Grab your toes with your hands tightly.
- Press the knees and thighs to the floor.
- Inhale and move your knees and thighs up and down like the wings of the butterfly.
- Slowly increase speed and then slowly come back to rest.
- You can do repetitions if you like.
When to avoid: If you have leg or back injuries.
Uttanasana – Standing Forward Bend
This helps keep the spine supple and strong. It removes the tensions from the back and shoulders. It makes the mind calm and relieves the knots in the back, neck, and spine. Adds strength to your thighs and gives good sleep.
- Start from the Adho Mukha Svanasana and walk your legs up to your hands.
- Feet remain as wide as the hips.
- Exhale and lengthen downward through the top of your head.
- Slowly raise your hands and release your hands.
When to avoid: If you have back problems.
Prasarita Padottanasana – Wide-legged Standing Forward Bend
Prasarita Padottanasana Benefits
Opens your hips and stretches the spine, shoulders and chest. It makes the mind calm and relaxes the body. You get nice sleep and all the tension is removed.
Prasarita Padottanasana steps
- Start from Mountain pose.
- Keep your feet about 4 feet apart.
- Reach down with your open arms and grab the ankles.
- Engage your thighs by drawing them in, tighten your core.
- Press your shoulder blades toward each other.
- Maintain the pose for 20 seconds.
- Then, come back to Tadasana.
- Relax and repeat as needed.
When to avoid: If you have hypertension, injury to the back or leg.
Viparita Karani – Legs Up the Wall Pose
Viparita Karani Benefits
It helps get deep sleep, regulates blood flow relieves varicose veins and swollen ankles. It makes the tired feet refreshed and improves digestion. Helps testicular and ovarian problems.
Viparita Karani steps
- Sit down near the wall keeping it on your left side, your left hand and leg will touch the wall.
- Lie down and lift your legs.
- Rotate your hips so your legs rest against the wall.
- Put your hands below the hips and raise your leg higher.
- Be careful about overbalancing.
- Maintain the pose for 10 seconds.
- Let the legs come down and relax.
When to avoid: If you have injury to the back or the legs.
Shavasana – Corpse Pose
Improves concentration and reduces stress and fatigue. It helps cure insomnia and improves mental health. Stimulates blood circulation and relaxes the entire body.
- Start from supine position on the yoga mat.
- Close your eyes and feel the tension leaving the body to the floor through the head and the soles of the feet.
- Keep thinking about your breathing and you will become totally relaxed.
- Do this asana for 3-4 minutes.
When to avoid: You can do it in any condition.
Paschimottanasana – Seated Forward Bend
This is a good stress reliever and helps reduce the fatty deposits in your abdomen. It removes irritation, anger, and anxiety from the mind.
- Start from the sitting position and grab hold of your big toe with your index, thumb, and middle fingers.
- Alternatively, you could hold your shin or ankle if you cannot reach far.
- Ideally, your elbow must touch the floor.
- Exhale and maintain position for 10 seconds.
- Return to normal position.
- Repeat as many times as needed.
When to avoid: If you have back injury.
While yoga exercises are beneficial to the body and mind, do not overdo it. If you feel any sort of discomfort, stop. Take the advice of your yoga guru before you proceed.