Yoga is a great tool for better sleep, this is my yoga for insomnia sequence. It is a sequence I designed for those nights when you would like to do a little yoga to prepare for sleep but it needs to be gentle, calming and done on your bed.
Sleep is king. It is the foundation upon which my entire healing journey is built. More sleep equals less pain and fatigue. It is not an easy thing to do and I have a whole of life protocol, of which yoga is one part. If you want to really work on sleep, then check out this post.
This sequence draws heavily on poses that come from a style of yoga called Restorative. It was designed specifically for those who were injured or unwell. All of these poses are covered in tutorials and included in classes in the Restful Yoga for the Chronic Life course available here.
Benefits of these poses include:
- Calming the central nervous system
- Relaxing the body
- Helping to induce sleep
- Gentle stretches
To read more about the benefits of restorative yoga, read this post.
How To Start
You will need a couple of pillows/cushions/bolsters and that is about it! You are most welcome to do this on your bed (mindfully). It can also be done on the floor, on your mat, in a warm and quiet place with the lights low. You want to set the scene for sleep.
Yoga for Better Sleep Sequence
This can be as long or as short as you need. It could be as little as 14 minutes “physical” practice plus your Yoga Nidra. Or as long as 45 minutes “physical” practice plus your Yoga Nidra. You can also omit poses that don’t suit. You could even go straight for steps four and five! The flexibility is endless.
- Begin your practice with some centering breathing – simple inhale, exhales. You may like to try the following breathing practices. Alternate Nostril Breathing Practice or One Minute Breathing Practice. Follow this with some gentle stretches for the areas that need it most, for me that is my neck. Cat and cow pose is also nice.
- Supported Child’s Pose is the one that made me fall in love with restorative yoga. Set yourself up with as many cushions/pillows/bolsters as it takes to feel fully surrendered into the pose. Here is a tutorial for this pose. Hold for anywhere from 5-15 minutes.
- Reclined Child’s Pose is a great follow up, you can add a gentle rock from side to side too. Lying on your back, hug your knees into your chest. Hold for 2-5 minutes.
- Legs on a cushion is a great adaptation of Legs Up the Wall, a popular, relaxing pose. This makes it even more accessible. Stack as many cushions/pillows/bolsters as it takes to make your knees higher than your head. Here is a tutorial. Hold for as long as you like! 5-20 minutes.
- Yoga Nidra. My favourite yoga tool and a great way to relax down to sleep. Here is a 10 minute one from my YouTube. If you want more, please do come and join the Yoga Nidra for Fibromyalgia course this is where I teach you exactly how to harness the power of yoga nidra for managing insomnia, pain and fatigue.
I hope you enjoyed this! Please do practice it several times in a row to really see benefits.
If you would like more yoga tools, then try the Yoga for Fibromyalgia: Five Minutes A Day Free Challenge then join us here.