Getting a good night’s sleep is critical for optimal health. When we sleep well, we give our body the opportunity to heal and repair itself. Sleeping is also known for activating your parasympathetic system, which helps combat stress and enhance your mood. Thus, the better we sleep, the more healthy and happy we can be.
For the past month, I have been incorporating five simple poses to help me get ready for bed. I crafted this simple routine to help me release physical tension, recalibrate my nervous system and prep my mind for a good night’s sleep.
Give it a try. All it takes is five minutes.
Seated Cow & Cat Begin in a comfortable seated position. Place your hands on your knees. Inhale for cow pose: Open your chest, hug your shoulder blades together and soften your belly. Exhale for cat pose: Arch your back, draw your chin to your chest, hug your abdominals in. Repeat for 5-10 rounds.
Side Stretch Soften your left arm by the outside of your left hip. Lean your torso to the left while keeping your right hip grounded. Extend your right arm up and over your right ear and reach for the corner where the wall and the ceiling meet. You can look up, forward or down, whichever is easier on your neck. Take five breaths. Repeat on other side.
Seated Forward Fold Extend your legs out in front of you. Keep a gentle bend on your knees and place a pillow (or two) on top of your tights. Fold forward over your legs, allow your head and chest to rest on the pillow(s). Take 5-10 breaths.
Butterfly/ Bound Angle Pose Bring the soles of your feet together and open your knees wide. Place a pillow (or two) above your ankles and fold forward over your legs. You can rest your forehead on the pillow(s) or tilt your head right/left. Take 5-10 breaths.
Sama Vritti/ Balanced Breath Begin in a comfortable seated position. Rest your palms on your knees. Take a deep long inhale through your nose. Exhale completely out of your mouth. On the next inhale, count your breath in for four counts. Pause for one count at the top of the inhale. Exhale (out of your nose) for the count of four. Pause for one count at the bottom of the exhale. Repeat 5-10 times.
Ready. Set. Catch some Zs.
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