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Love Yoga Center’s Recommended Posture for Great Sleep

Lahoma Nachtrab, in Viparita Karani (attitude reversal pose)

Lahoma Nachtrab, in Viparita Karani (attitude reversal pose)

“Come, sleep! O sleep, the certain knot of peace.” ~ Sir Philip Sidney

Anyone that has ever endured a sleepless night due to stress, affairs of the heart, financial woes or a heavy meal too close to bedtime is likely familiar with the idea of attempting to strike a bargain with sleep. For those seeking a good negotiating tool, yoga offers a super calming pose for the nervous system. Deeply relaxing, it invites rhythmic breathing and invokes a meditative state that further helps to cultivate a quiet mind when practiced for at least 15 minutes before bed.

“The posture Legs Up the Wall, known in Sanskrit as Viparita Karani, is my first recommendation to induce great sleep. It is easily accessible to almost everyone regardless of yoga experience,” advises Lahoma Nachtrab, a certified yoga teacher and the new owner of Love Yoga Center, in Naples.

Nachtrab recommends practicing Legs Up The Wall not only before bed, but also during the night whenever sleep is elusive. “If you include soft and even rhythmic breathing with the pose, the effects are increased,” she says.

Legs that are stretched up the wall higher than the heart allow gravity assist the circulation of blood and lymphatic fluid. Although this pose is safe for the majority of individuals, pregnancy, glaucoma, high blood pressure and problems with the neck or spine warrant a conversation with a doctor before beginning.

Instructions for Legs Up The Wall

Sit sideways with the right side against the wall. Exhale and gently swing the legs up onto the wall and the shoulders and head lightly down onto the floor. If there is a pulling sensation in the hamstrings, move the sit bones farther away from the wall, while keeping the lower back grounded to the floor.

Let the shoulders soften. Release the hands and arms out to the sides, palms up. Close the eyes. Focus on the breath and become aware of the natural rhythm of the breath. Take slow, gentle and deep inhales and exhales, without forcing and straining. Make the length of exhales equal to inhales, which soothes the mind into stillness.  

Love Yoga Center, 4949 Tamiami Tr., N. Ste. 204, Naples. 239-692-9747.

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