Goodnight, Sleep Tight: 3 Practices for a Better Night's Sleep

Feeling relaxed and grounded is the key to restful sleep. These simple practices can help you fall asleep and wake feeling refreshed and renewed.

Legs Up the Wall/Viparita Karani

This is an easy practice for relaxation and rejuvenation, and a cure for insomnia.

Choose a time and place in which you will not be interrupted. It is important that your body feel comfortable, supported, and warm. Cover up with a blanket and use an eye pillow, if desired.

  • Place a cushion underneath your hips, about six to 12 inches from the wall.
  • Your legs should be completely relaxed to encourage the flow of energy downward.
  • Remain still for five to 10 minutes, and breathe deeply.

When You Can’t Sleep

  • Lie down, get comfortable, and close your eyes.
  • Become aware of your breathing.
  • Slowly count the exhalations backward, starting with 10. Keep your focus solely on the breath.
  • If you lose track while counting, begin again with 10.

The Sandman

  • Lie down and close your eyes.
  • Imagine your body filled and weighted with sand.
  • Observe and scan your body, without movement. Isolate each body part in succession.
  • Breathe deeply throughout the practice.
  • Feel the heaviness of your body connecting to the earth.

Experience deep relaxation in a Kripalu program with Jennifer Reis.

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Jennifer Reis, C-IAYT, E-RYT 500, LMT, creator of Five Element Yoga® and Divine Sleep® Yoga Nidra, is a faculty member for the Kripalu Schools of Yoga and Integrative Yoga Therapy.

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