Ask and Expert: Yoga for Better Sleep

Question: I’ve recently started a weekly yoga class and love how relaxed and focused I feel after class and during my runs. I’d like to start an evening practice at home. Do you have any suggestions for yoga postures that will help me to sleep better at night? Thank you for taking the time to share your successes with yoga! While the benefits of most yoga practices include improved sleep, classic postures for an evening practice usually include plenty of forward bends and supported postures. If you have a yoga block or a well-sized pillow, you can try supporting your head in Child’s Pose, Seated Forward Fold, and Down Dog. As a runner, you may also benefit from postures that open the hip flexors and low back, such as Pigeon, Happy Baby, Low Lunge, and Supported Bridge Pose (try placing a block under your low back). Yoga Journal provides an excellent sleep enhancing practice guide. Whether you include one posture or many in your evening practice, take a slower pace with longer holds. Try noticing how your breath can assist you in the posture and enjoy the opportunity for the deeper experience that is a major benefit of a home yoga practice. – Joli About the writer: Joli Guenther is a certified personal trainer, yoga instructor and clinical social worker practicing in and around Madison, Wisconsin. Learn more on the Meet Our Writers page.