8 Yoga Poses for Insomnia

29th August 2019

Yoga has been recognised by the National Sleep Foundation as a way to help ease the symptoms of insomnia, if performed routinely. It can act as a relief for insomnia sufferers by helping them to let their minds wander from the troubles and tasks of everyday life. Not only this, but the NSF also suggests that it may help keeping people asleep for longer and is especially helpful for those over the age of 60. If insomnia or troubled sleep is an ongoing issue you face everyday and you were thinking to try yoga, take a look at the eight useful yoga poses and exercises listed below. They have been selected based on simplicity and general popularity. If you would like to try other poses, keep in mind that different types of yoga creates different energy levels. For an example, some poses are used to help rejuvenate and create energy, and therefore need to be avoided before bedtime. It is also important to acknowledge that while yoga may sound like an excellent solution for sleep deprivation, if you are suffering from long-term sleep troubles, it is advisable to speak to a health professional.

Mint green mug in front of white duvet on bed.

Corpse Pose

This pose is as simple as it sounds! Begin by laying flat on your back and focus the attention entirely on breathing deeply while keeping your body outstretched. This exercise should help you to get your mind off whatever worries may be troubling you after a gruelling day.

Woman doing child's pose in yoga.

The Child’s Pose

Another simple exercise, also known as the Balasana. Begin by kneeling on the floor, placing your feet together while spreading out your knees hip width apart. As you breathe out, move your body inbetween your knees so you get as close to the ground as possible. Palms facing up, lay your hands either side of your torso. Stay in this position for half a minute and feel the pull and release of your shoulders.

Locust Pose

This pose involves lying stretched out on your belly, while clasping your hands behind your back. Control your breathing by exhaling, ensuring that the tops of your feet are rooted to the floor, then inhaling as you lift your chest and arms, before gazing forward for a few moments. Exhale again as you release your hands and come out of the pose.

The Reclining Big Toe

To start this pose, lie on your back with your big toes together. Next, inhale and bring your right leg up, holding it vertically by clasping the back of your thigh. This should be held for five breaths and then switched to the opposite sides to repeat the process again.

Seated Spinal Twist

Begin by sitting upright. Next, bring one leg over the other, holding it in place above the knee with one hand as you twist your torso gently in the opposite direction. Go on to hold this pose for a few moments, then switch to repeat on the opposite side.

Supine Spinal Twist

While lying on your back, bring your right knee up towards your chest and across to your left side. Next, extend your right arm, and take several deep breaths before switching sides to repeat.

Pranayama

The Pranayama is a simple and relaxing breathing exercise. Position yourself by sitting crossed legged or, if you prefer, lie down on your right side. Covering your right nostril with your thumb, take five to ten deep breaths out of your left nostril. This style of concentrated breathing can be an effective, yet simple exercise in helping you drift off to sleep.

Adept’s Pose

The popular visual stance typically associated with yoga and mindfulness. Sit upright with ankles lined up, eyes closed, tuning into the rhythm of your breathing. Feel your heartbeat. Lengthen your spine as you inhale; root down as you exhale. Have your index fingers touching your thumbs, as you rest hands on your knees.

Hand holiing white feather.

If you would like to combine yoga aimed to help insomnia with mindfulness practise, discover which mindfulness podcasts help you sleep in our journal. If you have felt inspired by the positives of yoga, and require further information, take a look at our yoga and walking retreats designed to further educate you on the dynamics of yoga, in combination with exercise and adventure in pristine and beautiful locations.