Woman resting in yoga class

in:spa yoga teacher James Giuseppi recommends some yoga and meditation tips for a better night’s sleep.

Try and complete a selection of restorative poses daily, preferably during the afternoon or before bed. These poses are especially good for relaxation:

  • Take a reclining or inverted position whilst supporting your body with props (gather as many comfortable items as you can, such as a bolster, pillows, cushions, eye mask, blanket), creating a good alignment to relax and gently stretch muscles.
  • Legs up the wall pose – Vipariti kurani. Move to a clear wall and floor space and lie with your bottom as close as possible to the wall, lie in an ‘L shaped’ position, with your legs vertical up the wall and your back and head resting comfortably on the floor. Lie with backs of hands resting on the floor and inner elbows pointing upwards and breathe deeply.
  • Lying down ‘corpse’ pose. This pose is called ‘savasana’ and is usually practised at the end of a yoga class as final relaxation. Recline gently on your yoga mat and place your body in a neutral, balanced reclined position. Your legs should be straight but let them relax so that your feet turn out. If however it is more comfortable for your back, bend your legs with feet flat on the ground and gently let your knees fall together. Let your arms rest and relax by your side with palms facing upwards. You may want to place your head on a folded blanket for comfort. Try to relax the body all over, including the face, brow and tongue. You may like to place an eye mask over your eyes.

Stay in each of these poses for at least 5 minutes. While you are in each pose it will help if you can try to ‘switch off’ your thoughts. It will help if you bring your attention therefore away to your own inhale and exhale, counting slowly with a deep 3-5 count on each inhale and exhale. This will help calm the mind, release tension and aid relaxation.

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Enjoy! And sleep well.