Yoga can help build muscle, make you more flexible and help you de-stress, what can’t it do? Turns out, it can also help usher in a calm, peaceful night of rest. Whether you’re a seasoned yogi, or just hopping aboard the National Yoga Month train this September, the relaxing and re-centering exercise has plenty to offer everyone. We spoke with Mark Balfe-Taylor, Director of Yoga at fitness franchise TruFusion to find out the one move for enhanced sleep. Drum roll, erm, “om” chant, please…
Deaf Man’s Pose (Karnipidasana)
“Deaf Man’s Pose calms the nervous system and gets rid of the stress of the day by releasing the shoulders and the neck. A great way to prepare for restful sleep!” says Balfe-Taylor. So how does it work exactly? “It calms the nervous system and releases all the stress of the day by releasing the shoulders and neck, opening the hips, stimulating the digestive system, and most importantly for sleep, calming your mind and allowing you to focus inward, blocking out external stresses, sounds and influences. It’s a wonderful pose, and its benefits include helping with insomnia, stress relief and headaches, making it the perfect pose for before bed.”
Here’s how to get into the position: “You can enter this pose via the Plow Pose, which begins with lying on your back, bringing your legs upward and over your head, and trying to get your toes to touch the floor. From here, you can bend your knees and place them above your shoulders, coming in contact with your ears, which helps us to focus our thoughts inward. Breathe slowly,” explains Balfe-Taylor.