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Sleep Better With Yoga-Inspired Stretches

Worrying does not take away tomorrow’s troubles,
it takes away today’s peace.
Randy Armstong –

Everyone is confronted with his or her own trials and tribulations on a day-to-day basis. Although no one’s stressors should be measured next to another’s, it’s regularly advised by physicians, therapists, parents and friends that those who are stressed catch up on sleep. It totally makes sense; When the human brain is sleep deprived, it is more likely for us as humans to make risky decisions, become easily angered, forget imperative information, and even forget significant memories – which the brain compensates for by creating false memories. It doesn’t take a professional to see that these listed effects caused by lack of sleep aren’t helpful to anyone, especially those who are stressed. However, anyone who’s been put under immense amounts of stress will likely say that sleep seems nearly imposable when you’re stressed.

If you’re carrying excess pressure from work, feeling tension in your relationships or just looking for a better night’s sleep, it may be well worth your while to try stretching before bed. After completing the following yoga stretches your body may finally be ready to drift into a soothing night sleep. In addition to fostering relaxation, each of these poses offers other benefits to the body.

It is equally important to stretch your lungs as it is to stretch your limbs. To do simply take a deep breath in through your nose, hold it for five-to-ten seconds, then slowly let the breath out through your mouth. Do this nine more times, for a total of ten deep breaths. Once you’re finished, move on to the five yoga inspired stretches keeping in mind that you’ll want to hold each one of these poses for thirty to sixty seconds.

Apanasana

Apanasana, aka Knee to Chest Pose
This pose is wonderful for stretching your hips as well as alleviating any tummy troubles. You can move into the pose right from the previous pose by simply pulling your knees down and in towards your chest. Relax your toes and wrap your arms around your legs, so that you are essentially giving yourself a big hug.

Paschimottanasana

Paschimottanasana, aka Seated Forward Pose
This pose is a great way to stretch out your mid and lower back, as well as your hamstrings. Additionally, it works to calm the mind by shrinking stressful and anxiety-ridden thoughts. From the previous pose, release your arms and stretch your legs out as you sit up. Keeping your legs together, lean your chest to your legs. Don’t worry if you aren’t able to touch your toes, only go as far as you feel comfortable.

Balasana

Dandasana, aka Leg Up Staff Pose
Aside from helping you get ready to sleep, this pose encourages blood circulation, and calms the nervous system, as well as releasing pressure from your organs and reducing anxiety. To do the move, lay flat on your back with your arms relaxed parallel to your sides. When you’re ready, lift your legs straight up and keep you flexed to that your toes are parallel to the ceiling.

Balasana, aka Child Pose
One of the most common yoga poses, child pose is a great way to ease back, neck, and shoulder pain. Further, this pose encourages mental and emotional ease. Move into this pose by sitting so that your knees are bent, and bum is on top of your heals. Leaning your torso forward, stretch your arms out in front of you, only as far as your body allows.

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