A lack of nightly Zzs can leave you cranky and stressed the next day...then a day spent cranky and stressed cues trouble falling sleep the next night. It's a vicious cycle, and one that's often all-too-familiar. Next time it happens to you, though, forget the melatonin and the endless sheep counting. These seven yoga poses are sure to help lower your stress levels and calm your mind, easing you into Dreamland. And best of all? You don't even have to leave your bed.
1. Legs-Up-the-Wall Pose (Viparita Karani)
Get an idea of your pre-bed heartrate using the heartbeat monitor on your Samsung Gear™ S, and then set the mood by cuing up a chill track on its music controller app. Lay back and extend your legs up a nearby wall. Tuck a pillow or blanket under your backside for better positioning and hold anywhere from five to 20 minutes. This pose loosens up your lower half and really gets the blood flowing back toward your heart. Of the seven on this list, it requires the most finesse, but it's worth the trouble for de-ached legs and un-swollen feet.
2. Happy Baby Pose (Ananda Balasana)
Push away from the wall so you have plenty of room, and then bend your knees into your belly. Grab your feet (or your ankles, if flexibility's an issue), and spread your knees a bit as you draw them up near your armpits. Push your heels up into the stretch and, if your bed's firm enough to give you purchase, rock back and forth a little. This pose is great for stretching your spine and tired inner groin muscles, and the rocking will leave you feeling much like the pose's moniker.
3. Knees-to-Chest Pose (Apanasana)
Draw your bent legs and feet together, hugging either over or under your knees so they're tight against your chest. Roll gently from side to side a few times, giving your back a massage as you do. Another variation of this pose has you place your hands on your knees; from there, straighten your arms with each exhale, and bend everything back in on the inhale. If lower back tension or digestive problems are keeping you from your 40 winks, this range of stretches may just be the ticket.
4. Child's Pose (Balasana)
Turn over on your belly and push yourself up into a kneeling position, and then sit back on your heels, pulling your big toes together. Lean forward and extend your arms to each side as you rest your forehead on the bed. Hold this pose anywhere from 30 seconds to a few minutes. The simple forward bend—known as Child's pose or Balasana—is the go-to resting pose in most yoga instruction, and it's easily attainable for even the noobiest of yoga noobs.
5. Reclining Butterfly (Supta Baddha Konasana)
Lay on your back again, bring the soles of your feet together and draw your knees up so your heels are close to your backside. Tuck a blanket under your knees if the pose feels too tight. Rest one hand on your heart, the other on your belly and concentrate on your breathing. This one's a little more advanced, so it may be helpful to consult the pose demos on the Yoga for Beginners app on your Samsung Tab A. It's a great tension-relieving stretch, though, and the deep breathing gives your brain the R&R it's craving.
6. Supine Spinal Twist (Supta Matsyendrasana)
While you're on your back, pull your right knee over your chest and across to your left side. If it's more comfortable, or for a slightly different stretch, you can also bring both legs up as you twist to the left. Extend your right arm to the right side, turning your head to the right as well, and take several deep breaths. Switch sides. Try straightening the bent knee(s) for an even deeper stretch. This laid back twist is great for stretching your spine and does wonders for relieving stress and tension.
7. Corpse Pose (Savasana)
This last one's all about going completely lax and putting your body into neutral, so take a glance at your Samsung Gear™ S's heartbeat monitor to compare the changes in your pulse before you really hit this one. Then lay back and lay still. Yep, that's it. Lay still. Take a breath and tense all of your muscles up at once, then release them as you exhale. Corpse pose is your final stretch into sleep mode, a time to focus on your deep breathing patterns, forget your troubles and just...let...go...
Photo Credits: John Chapple/Demand Media
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