We’ve all had them. Those nights where no matter how hard you try (which is probably part of the problem), you can’t fall asleep. The mind is racing. Muscles are rigid and alert. And that lulling relaxation so craved seems far, far away.
To the rescue — Marta Weiss of Yoga Naharah with shut-eye tips as she closes out our International Yoga Month series.
What she’s tuning us into — Restorative Yoga. “These poses quiet the mind and relax the body,” says Marta. “Plus, you can do them in bed.”
To start, she suggests the Legs Up The Wall pose. “While laying on your back, feet facing the wall, move your buttocks and legs as flush to the wall as possible, pivoting so the legs swing up and rest on the wall,” says Marta. “Arms can be either cactus style in a Y above the head, or at your sides with palms facing up.”
Marta says you can stay in this pose as long as you’d like. For some of us (yes, at least one Daily Concepts staffer considers this a favorite pose) could stay in this position forever. Then, there are variations that can be done that are equally as delicious for relaxing. Such as…
“While in the original position, keep legs against the all, but slowly slide them open into a V to a point where you feel comfortable,” says Marta. “Rest here as long as you’d like.” (See photo above.)
A note from Marta, “When in this pose, flex feet and press out through the heels to protect your knees.”
Another variation we love… (See photo above)
“Bend knees to the sides, bringing the soles of the feet together,” says Marta. “Stay at rest.”
How this pose and its variations benefit the body? “A very physical thing happens to the body when you go into this pose,” says Marta. “Metabolism slows and you become relaxed. It’s also good for sciatic and lower back pain, as it relaxes the spine. Additionally, it restores tired feet and legs. The variations act as hip openers. And women will appreciate the pose’s ability to alleviate menstrual cramps.”
Still not emitting Zzzzs? Marta has another pose that should do the trick (see photo below).
…The Supine Spinal Twist. “Laying on your back, arms open in cactus, stack bent knees, as well as your feet, then twist from the waist, lowering the knees to the right, with your head looking to the left,” says Marta. “After relaxing on this side, switch with the legs going to the left, head facing to the right.”
The pose’s benefits (besides one of our faves — being able to perform the pose in bed)? Says Marta, “The Supine Spinal Twist aids in digestion, releases the spine and lower back, elongates supporting spinal muscles and loosens tight shoulders.”
And, of course, the pose quiets the mind. Sending it, hopefully, in the direction of sweet dreams.
Thank you, Marta, for sharing your yoga practice with Daily Concepts this month.
And an extra special thank you for the following:
Want to learn some yoga one-on-one with Marta at Yoga Naharah? She’s showing her love to Daily Concepts’ readers by offering a special DC rate for a private session at her studio. Along with a complimentary 15-minute consultation, DC readers will receive $15 off standard Yoga Naharah’s $65 rate, making their first private class $50.
To contact Marta Weiss and Yoga Naharah visit http://www.yoganaharah.com.