Photography by Emily Abay | Location One Hot Yoga | Model Bianca May Cheah
Do you often find it hard to fall asleep at night? Is your mind still going a million miles per hour after you get home from work? Well you’re not alone and like many of us, falling asleep with ease takes skill and persistence. These days our lives are filled with social media, work and extra curricular activities meaning we have little down time for ourselves let alone our busy minds (that actually keep thinking even when we are asleep) so it’s no wonder we can’t fall asleep.
Gone are the days of making a hot cup milk or counting to 100, 1,000 or a million. All it takes is this simple, yet effective yoga stretch that will see you fall asleep with ease. It’s called the Seated Forward Bend or in Sanskrit the Uttanasana (pronounced OOT-tan-AHS-ahna). Not only does it give you a nice deep stretch in the hamstrings, calves and hips, but it calms the brain, helps relieve stress, mild depression, insomnia, and reduces fatigue and anxiety. So simple yet effective, this yoga stretch sounds like a win win all round. So get that yoga mat out for some much needed shut eye tonight.
How to fall asleep with ease
- Roll out a mat (or) you can do this sitting on the floor in your room at home. Dim the lights and pop some classical music on to get you in the mode
- Close your eyes and with both legs outstretched and slightly bent, inhale… then exhale folding forward from your hips so that your sacrum is sinking deeper into the back of your pelvis.
- Now bring the tailbone closer to the pubis and push the top thighs back and heels down. If you can straighten the knees, go for it. But don’t force any unnecessary pressure there if there is pain.
- Now relax and inhale through your nose lifting your chest slightly
- Now exhale again slow-ly out through your nose while folding forward again.
- Repeat this stretch for 5 minutes (or more) focussing on the inhales (lifting the chest) and exhales (folding forward)