Three Poses to Help You Relax and Get Your Best Nights Sleep
Today I’d like to share with you today three poses that I do that help me sleep, and that I consider self-care poses. You’ll notice I have quite a few props next to me. We’ll really take a look into how props can totally change your practice.
Join me as we take a look into Childs Pose, Baddha Konasana and Supported Savasana.
One of my favorite props to have is an eye pillow. If you’re not sensitive to scent, a couple of drops of lavender on an eye pillow are nice. I’m using a satin fabric that is soft. You can use cotton or anything that you like. Inside my eye pillow is flax seeds. You can use buckwheat or dried peas or anything like that. If you don’t have an eye pillow, you can fill a sock. You can get an old sock or a mismatched sock and fill it up with sugar, dried peas, flax seed in a plastic bag and slide that plastic bag in the sock. It makes a nice eye pillow
I have a strap for one of my poses. You can use a skipping rope or a dog leash or anything like that. I also have a blanket for comfort. I have a big bolster. You can use a big cushion from your couch, or a big pillow, or if you have any of those long body pillows, those work great.
Here are some poses that I like to do to help me get ready for relaxation to sleep or if I’m feeling anxious or stressed out, I use it as a way to calm myself. My first and most favorite pose is child’s pose. I’m in a larger body, or I have a more substantial body, sometimes this pose can be uncomfortable. So I’m going to give you a couple of tips that maybe will help this pose be a little more accessible.
I’m going to start with my blanket, and I like to make a roll with it to put underneath my ankles if you feel like a lot of pressure on your feet is it’s uncomfortable. You can fold your blanket in half with the fringes together, and in half again, and then just roll it into a roll. It doesn’t have to be a big roll, but something that’s sizable that you can put underneath your feet, and, of course, you can unroll it to whatever height that you want. I’m going just to unroll mine about half way, and I’m just going to put it at the bottom of my mat. With my big pillow or bolster, I’m going to lay on that bolster as my relaxation. You can also make your bolster higher by stacking blankets on top, or putting another pillow on top.
You’ll now notice I’m in a hands and knees position, and I’m putting the roll underneath my ankles. For me, that helps alleviate some of the pain that I sometimes feel when I’m leaning on my ankles. Also, another way you can use this roll is to place it behind your knees. Those are two ways that you can use the roll to help make your child’s pose even more comfortable. Take the big bolster, and place it lengthwise on your mat. Bring your knees out as wide as the bolster, and then bring your bolster just between your thighs. Now I’m sitting back with a blanket underneath my hips, and I’m going to keep my bottom planted there, and slowly lower myself down. If there’s space between your bottom and your ankles, then the bolsters or a blanket’s an excellent prop to put there to help you just close the gap and find relaxation.
You can stay here for five or six breaths, however, long that this feels good to you. But this is one of the ways that I just relax. You can also place a blanket or a pillow on your lower back if you want a little bit more added, you know sensation there. You can play with that. I’m going to take five or six breaths here and just allow myself to relax. And then if I’m doing one side of my head, I turn my head to the other side for the same amount of time. And then you can even place your head down on the bolster. So that’s one way I come to self-care relaxation where I use this to help find calmness before I go to bed.
Another pose that I like to do for self-care or relaxation is to come to a supported baddha konasana. Now, supported baddha konasana, we use our strap. I have created a large loop in the strap. The size is probably the expanse of my knees or a little bit bigger. Now slide the strap over your head and bring it the waist and with the buckle of the strap hooking it around my feet. This is a safe place where you can adjust the strap if it doesn’t quite reach to the feet, adjust it, so it feels comfortable. I like just to tighten the strap for support. You can make it as tight or as loose as you want. You can take blocks and place it right underneath your knees for extra support. When you’re ready, you can lay back on your bolster.
Now if you have a sensitive back, and this doesn’t feel good, and then lay flat on the floor instead of using the bolster. Or, you can bring your butt, the bottom of the bolster, closer to your sacrum, relax back and then turn your palms up to the sky. Take ten breaths right here in this posture. The beauty of this particular pose is that it opens the shoulders, and it opens the hips. And of course, you can take your eye pillow and just place it over your eyes. This is a nice place to stay for relaxation. You can set a timer and stay here for a few minutes, or you can find a rhythm of breath where your exhalations are longer than your inhalations, and that can be a way that you can come to relaxation.
The third and final pose is called a supported savasana. Release the strap and the blocks, and then you can just place the bolster right underneath your knees. This is my favorite way to take a savasana practice. I use the extra roll for underneath my neck, and I also like to use my eye pillow. So you can just put the roll right underneath your neck. Make sure that the bolster is right underneath your thighs and the folds of your knees are folding over the bolster.
If you like, you could use just a rolled up blanket. You can place your eye pillow. Arms out to the side, and relax. This is my final pose. I find that this is really a delicious place to be. You can set a timer or set relaxing music, and take a few minutes just to enjoy being still.
I hope you enjoy this tutorial. I’m going hang out here for a bit.