September is National Yoga Month, a month dedicated to spreading awareness about the many benefits of yoga and also to inspire a healthy lifestyle. I received from Emily McLaughlin, Pilates, barre and yoga instructor at Dancers Shape in Austin, Texas some great suggestions of yoga poses for sleeping and waking up.
Yoga Poses for a Good Night’s Sleep
· (UTTANASANA, or Standing Forward Bend) Inverting your upper body this way soothes the nervous system and decompresses the spine.
· (ANJANEYASANA, Low Lunge) Whether you spend your day sitting at a desk or up on your feet, this is a wonderful pose to free your hips from tension.
· (ARDHA MATSYENDRASANA, Sitting Half Spinal Twist) This pose will release tension around the spine and help blood circulate throughout the torso.
· (VIPARITA KARANI, Legs Up the Wall Pose) This gentle inversion helps slow your system down.
Yoga Poses to Help Wake You Up
· (SUPTA URDHVA HASTASANA, Upward Hand Pose) This first extension of arms and legs wakes up those muscles and gets your blood moving before you even get out of bed.
· (PARIVRTTA SUPTA PADANGUSTHASANA, Reclining Big Toe Pose with Variations) This nice twist mobilizes the joints of your spine, gives your internal organs a massage, and revs up blood circulation.
· (PASCIMOTTANASANA & UTTANASANA, Seated Forward Bend and Standing Forward Bend) Remember, these are the first movements of the day, so keep it easy and start to find length in your hamstrings and spine.
· (ADHO MUKHA SVANASANA, Downward Facing Dog) This mild inversion will energize you, bring more oxygen to the brain, and stoke the fire in you to start your day!
· (INDUDALASANA, Standing Crescent Pose) This will open up the sides of your body.