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Yoga Poses for Insomnia (with pictures)

Updated on October 31, 2014
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In our busy society, many people have trouble sleeping. Known as insomnia, this can be caused by illness, stress, poor nutrition, and more. There are many different ways to help relieve insomnia and return to getting a good night's sleep. Yoga is a great way to reduce stress and relax your body to get ready for sleep. The following poses are well-suited to do this.





1) Wide-Legged Standing Forward Bend - Prasarita Padottanasana

This pose, as well as all other forward bends, stimulates the relaxation response in the body. Using blankets, blocks, or bolsters to support the head and make the pose less strenuous can increase the relaxed feeling one gets from the pose. Forward bends are also great for quieting the mind before bed.

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2) Legs Up the Wall pose - Viparita Karani

Put a pillow or a bolster under your hips while doing this pose. Let your arms be relaxed and focus on your breathing. This pose helps to relax the body and the mind. It also helps to restore tired legs and feet, so sleep can be more restful.

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3) Child's Pose - Balasana

This pose is a wonderful stretch, and it promotes relaxation and relieves anxiety. Use props here to get completely relaxed. If you do one pose before bed, do this one. Let yourself quiet your mind and focus on your breath while preparing your body for rest.

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4) Plow Pose - Halasana

This is a more challenging pose that can help to reduce anxieties. It stretches the shoulders and the spine. Plow Pose can be held for anywhere from 30 seconds to 5 minutes.

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5) Supine Spinal Twist - Supta Matsyendrasana

A reclining twist can release tension in the back and hips. This is another pose where props like a blanket or bolster come in handy. Twist into the pose slowly in time with your breath. Be sure to do the pose on both sides for balance.

6) Shoulder Stand - Salamba Sarvangasana

This is an advanced position that one can do to relieve insomnia. Despite the challenge of the pose, shoulder stand can be very relaxing. It soothes the nervous system to help with anxiety and tension. Only do Shoulder Stand for as long as you feel comfortable. This pose is best done close to bedtime, but not right before you get into bed.

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7) Bound Angle Pose - Baddha Konasana

This restorative pose helps to loosen the hips and legs. This pose has many of the same benefits of a forward bend, but it can be more relaxing since it is done while seated. This pose could also be done in a reclining position for many of the same benefits. Do this pose right before you lie down for rest, either while reclining or with a forward bend, for the most relaxation benefits for your body and mind.

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8) Corpse Pose - Savasana

Ending with Savasana is the best way to prepare for sleep. You can even do this pose while lying down in bed. Focus on your breath and relax all the muscles in your body. Slow your breath down and try to avoid stressful thoughts as you drift off to sleep!

Which pose most helps you get to sleep?

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    • my_girl_sara profile image

      Cynthia Lyerly 4 years ago from Georgia

      The focused breathing in yoga is soooo relaxing.

    • profile image

      Lucy Art 21 months ago

      Most of those poses combined with the right music really help me fall asleep. Unfortunately I am very stressed due to my job and my family so I often do not have any time left to do Yoga. This is a great example for yoga music https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P1GJbi2CR_U

    • profile image

      Alison 18 months ago

      I absolutely love yoga. Since I´ve been doing yoga regularly I´m much more relaxed than I was before. Thanks for the amazing article. You gave me some new ideas, because I was always doing the same stuff over and over again, and that kind of got boring..

      What also really helps, is music. I found a relaxing video on Youtube, called Calming Sleep Music. That in combination with yoga will make you sleep like a baby! Here´s the link, if you´re interested:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-p60jbTVoIA&li...

      Thanks for sharing these ideas!!

    • wiserworld profile image

      wiserworld 7 months ago

      Thanks for the pictures and poses. Very helpful for beginners and advanced learners of yoga.

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