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Restorative yoga to help you sleep

Yoga positions to help you sleep

We want to start the year the right way... by taking more time to rest. So we've sought the help of an expert. Natalie is an exercise enthusiast (if only it was contagious), yoga expert and runs the wonderful online business Style PB. Her site is full of beautiful and stylish sportswear and yoga clothes. Over to Natalie who has the perfect solution to help you (and us) get more rest this year...

It’s so hard in this modern world to fall straight asleep when bedtime calls. With busy and stressful lives, trying to be the perfect employee, wife, mother etc can take its toll. Social media making is making us all feel like we need to be living a life full of joy and perfection, so you may find that when you actually head hits the pillow, your mind is full to the brim with regrets from the day, and to do lists for the next. We know a good night's sleep is so crucial for us to perform at our best ability.

So how do you ditch all the baggage from the day and climb into bed ready for a blissful nights sleep? Restorative Yoga!

The ancient Indian practice of yoga seems to be the answer to every modern life woe at the moment, with every woman on the street carrying a yoga mat!

Yoga can be complex and a little daunting to a beginner, so restorative yoga is a great place to start. Restorative yoga helps you wind down at the end of the day, relax and stretch your muscles, calms you and centres your breathing. It's the perfect way to reconnect for a better nights sleep.

Things to avoid

No phones, no iPads, no TV’s... You get the idea?

Clear the room of any electronic devices. The light they emit can keep your mind awake and you’re more likely to get distracted.

Set the scene

Light a candle or spray a room scent, something soothing like lavender will tell your senses that it’s time to wind down and relax. Turn the lights down or off completely, it always helps to practice yoga in a low lit room.

Be confident

Don’t worry about whether your poses are Instagram worthy. Yoga is about your connection with your body and your breathing. As long as you feel connected and calm after your session then you’ve done it right and it doesn’t matter what you look like.

Keep it simple

Restorative yoga is not the time for practicing advanced postures such as Crow or Bird of paradise. You want to be practicing simple and restorative poses such as child’s posture, pigeon and gentle downward dog.

As soon as you finish your practice, get straight into bed. Don't check your phone and close those eyes. Get ready for the perfect night’s sleep.

Natalie's simple bedtime yoga routine

Start in Child's posture. Take a few deep slow breaths here through your nostrils, allow your body to start to relax and begin to mentally clear any thoughts.

Move in to Cat/Cow posture to stretch out the spine, concentrate on making it 1 fluid movement.

Gently come into Downward Dog, take a few breaths here to stretch your legs out.

Walk your feet slowly towards your hands, take the time to ground your feet with every step.

Come into a deep forward bend and clasp your elbows with your hands, sway from side to side.

Release your arms and then clasp your hands behind your back and start to allow your hands to fall further over your head with every exhale.

Gently release your arms after a minute and take 3 deep breaths in forward bend.

Slowly roll down to the floor and come back into child’s posture. Repeat a couple of times until you feel completely relaxed.

If you're new to yoga, you can see tutorials for all these postures here.

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