5 Yin Yoga Poses for Better Sleep

two women in savasana yoga pose outdoors on a deck

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A good night’s sleep can feel elusive for many of us, courtesy of a racing mind, a mile-long to-do list and stress getting in the way. So, what’s a tired person to do?

It may seem counterintuitive, but adding in some light movement in the form of yin yoga poses before bed may help quiet your mind and prepare your body for sleep.

Yin yoga is a gentle, breath-focused practice in which the yoga postures are held for a few minutes at a time. If you’re ready for a solid night of zzz’s, swap the Netflix and social media scrolling in favor of the yin yoga sequence below for a gentle way to ease into sleep.

1. Legs up the wall

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1. Sit next to a wall with your legs extended in front of you parallel to the wall.

2. Using your hands to push into the floor behind you for stability, slowly turn toward the wall and gently climb your legs up the wall.

3. Slowly lie back on the ground with your back and head flat on the floor and your arms out at your sides in a comfortable position.

4. Hold this posture for 3 to 5 minutes.

2. Child's pose

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1. Place a pillow vertically in the center of your mat.

2. Spread your knees out to a comfortable width.

3. Sit back on your heels and rest your chest and face on the pillow with your face to one side.

4. Extend your arms out long in front of you or behind you at your sides, whichever is most comfortable for you.

5. Hold the posture for 2 to 5 minutes, then slowly switch the side of your face you’re lying on to stretch your neck in both directions. Hold for 2 to 5 minutes.

3. Reclined butterfly

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1. Laying on your back, bend your knees out to the sides, allowing your legs to fall open with the soles of your feet touching.

2. Hold this posture for 3 to 5 minutes.

4. Reclined twist

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1. Laying on your back with your knees bent, cross one leg over the other. Your arms can be put straight out to the sides or in cactus form (bent at the elbows) for a deeper stretch.

2. On an exhale, allow your knees to slowly fall to one side.

3. Bring your gaze to look at the opposite direction of the knees.

4. Hold this posture for 3 to 5 minutes.

5. On an inhale, bring your knees back to center.

6. Repeat on the other side.

7. Hold this posture for 3 to 5 minutes.

5. Supported savasana

two women in savasana yoga pose outdoors on a deck

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1. Lie on your back and release your legs and arms so that they extend out long and wide.

2. Savasana translates to corpse pose — the practice of deliberate stillness and letting go. Try to practice nonattachment as you focus on the wave-like movement of breathing and allow the body to shut down.

3. Hold this posture for 5 to 10 minutes, or slip into dreamland while in this pose.

6. Source and more information

Brunette young woman doing a squat outside in front of an orange wall

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