7 Yoga Poses to Help You Get Better Sleep

Help to relax and unwind before bed

7 Yoga Poses to Wind Down Your Day

After a busy day,  it can be hard to clear your mind and wind down. These are the first steps to getting a good night’s sleep.

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Lack of sleep may increase the risk for a variety of health problems, including diabetes, stroke and depression. Get ready for a sound sleep with a calming yoga routine to help stretch your body, relax your breathing, and quiet your mind.

Seated Child’s Pose

Alignment Points: Sit tall and lean forward, resting your forearms on your thighs. Tuck your chin, head, neck and spine in a long line. Inhale deeply and exhale completely for three to five breaths.
Benefits: Releases tension in lower back and relaxes the nervous system.

Take It Around Town

Alignment Points: Make sure to keep your knees loose and slightly bent. Try to put your weight onto all sides of your feet.
Benefits of Pose: Strengthens feet, legs and arches. Increases focus and awareness. Increases synovial fluid in bursa sacks surrounding hip joints.

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Standing Side Bend

Alignment Points: Stand tall with one hand on your hip and with the other hand raising up. Lengthen your spine. Bend to the side while taking your hand and arm over to the opposite side.
Benefits of Pose: Stretches and lengthens the side body and rib cage. Aids in respiration.

Mountain Toe Lifts

Alignment Points: Stand tall with your feet parallel and relax your tailbone down for a neutral pelvis. Place weight onto your heels and then lift all your toes up.
Benefits of Pose: Strengthens arches, which promotes a healthy back and stretches the plantar fascia in the soles of feet.

Toe Rolls

Alignment Points: Distribute weight evenly on your feet with your chin parallel to the ground. Lift one heel and press it into your toes. Alternate your right and left foot.
Benefits of Pose: Stretches the muscles and soft tissue of the foot.  Increases circulation and balance.

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Tree Pose

Alignment Points: Stand tall on one foot and turn the opposite knee out. Then place the sole of the opposite foot onto your ankle, calf or thigh. Avoid placing your sole on the inside of your knee. Put your palms together in front of your heart or face them with palms up.
Benefits of Pose: Increases balance and focus. Strengthens the muscles of the supporting foot.

Rocking Horse

Alignment Points: Make sure your hips and ankles are in alignment while you are rocking.
Benefits of Pose: Builds strength in feet, ankles and knees. Increases balance.

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Judi Bar, E-RYT 500

Judi Bar, E-RYT 500, is Yoga Program Manager at Cleveland Clinic. Her inclusive style of yoga has brought the ease, benefits and simplicity of yoga to patients, families and caregivers. She also has established one of the first Yoga Alliance-accredited yoga teacher training schools at a major medical institution.
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