Yoga poses and deep, mindful breathing are best helpers for drifting into sweet dreams. Read about how to activate
the Parasympathetic Nervous System, which helps to counteract stress and promote relaxation. Everyone can use it, no matter what age, yogi or not a yogi and in a comfort of your own bed. First, take ten rounds deep inhalations and exhalations and you are ready to begin:
Seated Wide Angle Pose (Upavistha Konasana)
Sitting with your legs spread wide apart, place a pillow horizontally in front of you. Inhale, sit up as tall as possible. Exhale, begin to fold forward from the hips, walking your hands out in front of you until your upper body comes to rest on the pillow. Rest, breathing deeply on the pillow for 10 rounds. Inhale to rise back up to seated.
Legs Up The Wall (Viparita Karani)
Set your pillow up against the wall or headboard at the top of your bed and lay on top of the pillow with your sit bones on the headboard or wall. Extend your legs up towards the ceiling, keeping the heels stacked over the hips, and rest your head and shoulders against the mattress. The arms can extend by your side, palms facing up to receive the restorative energy that flows into your body with the breath. Your circulation will improve, creating a soothing, healing effect on almost every system in your body. Breathe deeply for 2-3 minutes. To come out, bend your knees and roll onto one side.
Supine Spinal Twist (Jathara Parivartanasana)
From Reclined Bound Angle Pose, stay on your back supported by the pillow and gently guide your knees together using your hands. Bring your knees over to the left with arms out by your side, palms facing up. Imagine your breath like a wave rippling through your spine, releasing tension with each exhale. Stay here for a minute and then switch to the other side.
Reclined Bound Angle Pose (Supta Baddha Konasana)
With your seat on the bed and your back lying on the pillow lengthwise, bring the soles of your feet together as the knees naturally drop out towards the side. Restfully, recline with each exhale in towards the pillow. Stay like that for at least two minutes.
Corpse Pose (Savasana)
Before you check out into Land of Dreams, enjoy a peaceful moment for a brief meditation and breath exercise. Keep the pillow under your spine, extending your legs out in front of you. Take your left hand to your heart, the right hand to your belly. Take three rounds of regular, deep breathing. To begin the breathwork, inhale to the count of four, hold the breath for the count of seven, then exhale to the count of eight. Repeat four times.■