8 Yoga Poses That Will Calm You Down Before Bedtime

HEALTH  |  June 09, 2017
  • 1. Sukhasana (Easy Pose)
    1 / 9 1. Sukhasana (Easy Pose)

    Photo: Prasit Rodphan/123rf.com

    • This pose promotes groundedness and inner calm.
    • It opens the hips, lengthens the spine, amplifies the state of serenity, tranquillity and relieves physical and mental exhaustion and tiredness.
    • Sit still with a straight spine and focus on your breath in this pose.
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  • 2. Bitilasana and Marjaryasana (Cow and Cat Pose)
    2 / 9 2. Bitilasana and Marjaryasana (Cow and Cat Pose)

    Photo: Aleksandr Davydov/123rf.com

    • These poses gently massage the spine and belly organs while acting as powerful stress busters. (Cow pose shown in picture.)
    • Benefits overall health by stimulating the digestive tract and spinal fluid, the kidneys and adrenal glands, and creates emotional balance.
    • Do cow pose on the inhale, cat pose on the exhale.
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  • 2. Bitilasana and Marjaryasana  (Cow and Cat Pose)
    3 / 9 2. Bitilasana and Marjaryasana (Cow and Cat Pose)

    Photo: Aleksandr Davydov/123rf.com

    • These poses gently massage the spine and belly organs while acting as powerful stress busters. (Cat pose shown in picture.)
    • Benefits overall health by stimulating the digestive tract and spinal fluid, the kidneys and adrenal glands, and creates emotional balance.
    • Do cow pose on the inhale, cat pose on the exhale.
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  • 3. Uttana Shishosana (Extended Puppy Pose)
    4 / 9 3. Uttana Shishosana (Extended Puppy Pose)

    Photo: Christopher Nuzzaco/123rf.com

    • This pose is a cross between child’s pose and downward facing dog.
    • It lengthens the spine and calms the mind and invigorates the body.
    • It also relieves symptoms of chronic stress, tension and insomina.
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  • 4. Janu Sirsasana (Head-to-knee Forward Bend)
    5 / 9 4. Janu Sirsasana (Head-to-knee Forward Bend)

    Photo: Dmitry Rukhlenko/123rf.com

    • This pose calms the brain and helps relieve mild depression, fatigue, headaches, menstrual discomfort and insomnia.
    • Do this pose with both arms reaching for the extended foot, or by rotating your torso sideways and extending the outer arm over your head.
    • Use props under the knees or pelvis to prevent lumbar (lower back) from rounding.
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  • 5. Paschimottanasana (Seated Forward Bend)
    6 / 9 5. Paschimottanasana (Seated Forward Bend)

    Photo: Jatuporn Amorntangsati/123rf.com

    • This pose can help a distracted mind unwind.
    • It stretches the hamstrings, spine and lower back, improves digestion, relieves symptoms of PMS and menopause, reduces fatigue, and stimulates the liver, kidneys, ovaries and uterus.
    • Use props under the knees or pelvis to prevent the lumbar (lower back) from rounding.
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  • 6. Supported Backbend or Setu Bandasana (Bridge Pose)
    7 / 9 6. Supported Backbend or Setu Bandasana (Bridge Pose)

    Photo: Dmitry Rukhlenko/123rf.com

    • This rejuvenating pose opens the chest, and promotes blood circulation and oxygen flow to the lungs.
    • It releases the hip flexors and psoas (the flexor that runs from the thigh bone through the length of the belly).
    • It is excellent for those who lead a sedentary, deskbound lifestyle.
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  • 7. Viparita Karani (Legs-up-the-wall Pose)
    8 / 9 7. Viparita Karani (Legs-up-the-wall Pose)

    Photo: Karen Lenehan

    • This pose calms the brain and helps ease anxiety by reversing the blood flow.
    • It gives the heart a rest by saving it from pumping blood back up from your lower body.
    • Use props as required for chest opening or sacrum support.
    • The distance of your legs from the wall can vary depending on hamstring limitations.
    • Note: Skip this pose if you have high blood pressure and go straight to the next pose, savasana, with your legs over a bolster instead of up a wall.
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  • 8. Savasana (Corpse Pose)
    9 / 9 8. Savasana (Corpse Pose)

    Photo: Aleksandr Davydov/123rf.com

    • This pose gives the nervous system a chance to integrate the yoga practice.
    • Lie on your back with your eyes closed, arms by the sides and palms facing up, ankles to fall outwards.
    • Use a bolster or cushion under knees (if lower back arches or knees hyperextend). Use a blanket or pillow under head (if chin is higher than forehead).
    • Allow your body to “melt deeper” into the mat with each breath.
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