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Yoga for better sleep

“Yoga has innumerous benefits,” says Avril James-Hurt, MPH, an exercise physiologist and yoga instructor at Piedmont Atlanta Fitness Center. “In addition to helping increase flexibility and muscle tone, it may help you to relax so you can get a better night’s sleep.”

These three yoga poses, or asanas, will help you relax before bedtime.

Downward-facing dog, up the wall

  • Stand with your arms extended to a wall at shoulder-height.
  • Press your hips back toward the center of the room.
  • Walk your fingertips up the wall until your arms are fully stretched.
  • Keep pressing your hips back and let your head gently fall forward toward the wall.
  • Try to stay on your fingertips and keep your wrist bones lifted.
  • Take a few deep breaths and hold the pose for 30 seconds, then return to standing.

Legs up the wall

  • Sitting on the floor near a wall, lie on your side and place a blanket under your hips.
  • Swing your legs so they are up the wall and your pelvis is resting on the blanket for support.
  • Allow your arms to open into a goal post position on either side of your head.
  • Hold for 30 seconds or more.

Child’s pose

  • Kneel onto a folded blanked with your knees slightly apart and your toes together.
  • Fold forward at the hips. Let your forehead rest on the ground and your arms relax at your side.
  • Hold for 30 seconds or more.

Doing these simple yoga poses before bedtime can help calm the mind and relieve tension. Click here to find a Piedmont Fitness Center near you. For more follow-along exercise videos, visit the Living Better fitness page

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