By Sahar Pazirandeh, certified yoga instructor
You’ve successfully put your children to sleep, finished a chore-or-two around the house and you are ready to curl up in bed for a good night’s rest. Somehow, the more tired you are, the harder it is to fall asleep.
Your restless mind snaps you back to reality as soon as your body begins to melt into the mattress.
Your body follows your monkey mind and cannot seem to find a comfortable position.
We’ve all had these nights, and what keeps us up the most is the thought of, “I really need to get some sleep.”
The next time you’re feeling restless try a few of these tips to get your mind and body to relax.
1. write: Jot down (on paper or using your smartphone) the random to-do’s running around your head.
2. music: If you can, put on relaxing music like the yoga or meditation station on Pandora
3. breathe: Lay there and breathe in any comfortable position.
Inhale deeply into your belly, feel our ribs expand, and your chest rise. Start your exhales in the same order, emptying your belly, feeling your ribs contract and your chest fall.
If you are pregnant please do not hold your breath.
Otherwise, for 3 rounds, inhale deeply, holding your breath at the top for 3-5 seconds, and then exhale slowly, open mouth, feeling your body melt into the mattress.
Once you feel the weight of your body get heaview, begin to put your body to sleep head-to-toe like this:
soften the space between my eyes
my jaw is unclenched
my cheeks are heavy
my tongue has fallen from the roof of my mouth
Put each body part to sleep and feel it get more relaxed and heavy. You will at least feel more rested if you don’t fall asleep by the time you reach your toes!
4. restorative yoga poses:
Traditionally this pose has your legs up a wall, but we want you to fall asleep and wake up with no kinks. Laying in your bed slide pillows under your knees until you feel a complete release in your lower back, much like when you are floating in the pool.
Let your arms lay any place they are comfortable, the best would be not touching or resting on your torso.
Kneel while in bed with big toes touching and knees spread apart as much is comfortable for you.
Lower your torso between knees, bringing forehead to rest on your bed or pillow and extend arms overhead, also resting on bed or pillow. Breathe deeply into your stomach until you feel your lower back expand, holding for up to 1 minute or even longer.
Find us on Twitter @CyHopeThe Center and let us know if any of these tips work for you.