Sleep is a vital component of any fitness routine. It’s not just about the time you spend lying on your mattress that gets you to sleep quickly, it’s also about the time that you’re putting in at the gym, or on the yoga mat. If you’re suffering from insomnia, and the idea of trying pricey (and risky) sleep medication is putting you off, perhaps it’s time to try something a little different. This yoga routine is specifically designed by New York-based Y7 Studio instructor, Robert Montgomery, to clear your mind, focus your body, and get you in a head and body space that is conducive to sleep.
Sleep isn’t just about bed mattresses any more, it’s also about yoga mattresses. With our crazy hectic schedules, yoga is the perfect way to find stillness so that your body has the chance to reset and recharge in preparation for a good night’s sleep.
“Doing a few restorative Yoga postures before bed is an great way to unwind at the end of a busy day,”Montgomery says. “Choose to slow down, clear the mind, and breathe. Your body and mind will thank you tomorrow morning.”
Take time to feel your body, slow your breath, examining it while bringing focus inwards. This is a great way to slow the heart rate and get ready to gear down for bedtime. If you can’t immediately do this pose, it’s ok, though even yoga novices shouldn’t have too much trouble here.
What to do: Kneel on your mattresses, and sit back on your heels. Extend your torso over your legs and rest your forehead on the floor. Relax your neck and shoulders and feel the natural stretch. Keep your breathing regular and relaxed.
This pose stretches and strengthens your spine and neck. It is all about welcoming an emotional balance, relieving stress, and calming the central nervous system. This is a three pronged way to better relieve the symptoms of a long day at work, to make sure you are in a good space mentally before you lie down on your bed mattresses.
What to do: Come up on all fours. Spread your fingers wide, while making sure your hands are under your shoulders, and your knees are under hips. Inhale while tucking in your tailbone, round your back, and look toward your stomach. Then exhale, drop your stomach/belly, and look up.
This one is about finding your release and relaxation. This is one to practice on your yoga mat, just next to your bed mattresses for three to five minutes before bed. If it helps, try using a calming and familiar song as a timer. Once the song finishes, maintain this calm while finding your way to bed. Sleep should come easily.
What to do: Lie down on your back. Pretend you’re on the sand with your legs slightly apart, with your arms at your sides. They should be about a foot away from your body, with your palms up. Imagine you can feel every part of your body sinking into the warm, soft sand. Relax, allow this feeling to take over as you drift into a sleep space.
Trying these poses can add a novel and natural way for you to find sleep quicker during your routine. As always, these practices work better when you use them often, so make sure to make time every night for your yoga practice. Happy sleeping.