Once you don’t get enough sleep, that’s it. People seem terribly annoying, work stalls, and the future seems unattractive. Lots of stress, hypodynamia, hours spent at the wheel or computer — it all makes our back muscles stiff and prevents us from relaxing before sleep. That’s why we toss and turn for hours before getting a shallow and troubled sleep.
1. Wind-relieving pose
Pawanmuktasana, or wind-relieving pose, relieves the entire spine, especially the lower back and thighs, in a minute. In addition, this yoga pose regulates the work of the intestine (as you can guess by its name). Therefore, it’s useful to do it in the morning.
How to do it:
- Lie on your back, and relax.
- Bend your knees.
- Reach your hands forward on the inhale, and wrap your knees.
- On the exhale, hug your knees, pressing them to your stomach.
- Breathe deeply, concentrating on the work of the diaphragm. On the inhale, your legs move away from your torso, and on the exhale they approach it. Stay in this position for 8-10 breaths — about 1 minute.
2. Feet on the wall
This position rests the legs and back, opens the chest, and allows the lungs to be satiated with oxygen before going to bed.
How to do it:
- Place a folded pillow next to the wall or the end of the bed.
- Lie down on it, press your buttocks against the wall or the end of the bed, and lift your feet to the wall.
- Spread your arms to the sides, and try to open your chest. Relax, and breathe calmly. Stay in this pose for 1-2 minutes, and then lower your legs.
3. Wave exercises for the deep muscles of the spine
Wave exercises allow you to relax your back even more — they “get” to the deep muscles of the spine, located under the surface layers. The exercise consists of two steps:
- Lie on your back, and put small rolled towels under your waist and neck.
- Swing your feet from side to side, staying as relaxed as possible. At the same time, shake your head from side to side without straining your neck and back. Movements can be turned in the same direction or in the opposite, whichever is more convenient for you.
- Try to completely relax, and feel the wave of vibrations along your entire spine. Do the exercise for 1 minute.
- Lie on your stomach, arms at your sides, toes resting on the bed, and put a pillow or towel under your forehead.
- Shake your feet from side to side, and try to feel how the wave is transmitted to your entire relaxed body. Do the movements for 1 minute.
If you do this exercise properly before bed, it’ll be really easy to fall asleep.
How to do it:
- Lie down on your back, slightly spread your legs, and place your hands palms up. Put a folded towel or the edge of the pillow under your head and neck.
- Relax your body gradually from the bottom up, starting with your toes and ending with the top of your head. Do 20 respiratory cycles, gradually prolonging inhales and exhales, and then stop controlling them — breathe as you want. Watch your thoughts floating by, but don’t try to concentrate on them.
- Gradually you’ll feel how the world is vanishing, and your whole body is as relaxed as possible. It’s time to cover yourself with a blanket and go to sleep.’