Can’t sleep? I’ve been there, more times than I care to remember. I know my mother will testify that I had a really hard time getting to sleep as a child, and as an adult I still do but for different reasons (these days its more like stressing over work, kids, family, house etc etc!).
So here is a quick 10 minute sequence to help you relax and drift off. Do this before bed, or if you are laying there staring at the ceiling get outta bed and do it! It might seem a bit funny at first but it will be well worth it.
How: Sit back on your shins and fold your torso over your body. Bring your head down and arms can go either pointing out in front of you or running down your body, pointing behind you.
Why: It opens up the hips where we tend to hold a lot of our emotions. As it gently compresses our organs this improves digestion, a function that our bodies continue while we sleep. By placing our forehead on the mat our third eye is activated, bringing peace and calm.
How: Lay on your tummy with legs straight behind you. Push up through the arms, lift your torso from the ground until your hips have just left the mat. Gaze goes upwards.
Why: This pose releases tension in the lower back and hips. It opens up our heart chakra and shifts our awareness to feelings rather than thoughts.
How: From your hands and knees push up to form a triangle shape. Keep your hips as raised as possible, arms and legs as straight as is comfortable (but not locked). Head will be in align with your arms.
Why: Stretches and lengthens the whole body, releasing tension from our hips and sends blood to the lungs, heart and brain. Improves digestion.
Wide legged forward bend
How: Take your legs as wide as is comfortable. Hands on hips, and bending from the hips take your head down as far as possible. You may want to rest your head on a block.
Why: Releases the hips and encourages blood circulation.
How: Lay back with knees bent and heels as close to your bottom as possible. Lift your pelvis and place a block under your sacrum. If you do not have a block experiment with books, cushions or rolled up blankets. If the block is uncomfortable adjust it until it is.
Why: Releases tension from our lower back and hips and sends blood to the lungs, heart and brain. Also improves digestion.
Supine spinal twist
How: Lay on your back with knees bent. Slowly drop knees to one side of the body, extending out your arms to support yourself. Keep both shoulder blades on the mat. Gaze can come to the opposite arm or to ceiling. Repeat other side.
Why: Releases tension in the back. Compresses one side of the body, stretches and sends fresh blood to the opposite side.
How: Lay a bolster or a rolled-up blanket from the base of your back and running up the length of your back. Lay back, let the head fall back onto the bolster or bolster.
Why: Opens up the front of the body, reversing the hunched shoulders we usually hold in our day jobs. Opens up the heart chakra.
Legs up the wall (my all time favourite)
How: There is no graceful way to do it, just shuffle your bottom up to the wall and swing your legs up! Arms come down by your side, palms facing up.
Why: Any inversions send blood to the head, heart and lungs, improving circulation and having a positive effect on almost every function of your body.
And hopefully by now you are ready for savasana…in bed!