3 Easy yoga poses to help you reduce stress and sleep better
April 12, 2022

3 Easy yoga poses to help you reduce stress and sleep better

Rachel Wadsley, PhD

You don’t have to flip over backwards or bend into a pretzel to practice yoga. You can make yoga as relaxing or intense as you want to. Yoga is a great addition to your day whether it’s to calm and clear your mind during the day or unwind before bed. Here are three poses that help melt away stress and ease your mind into restful sleep. 

Legs up the wall

woman doing legs on the wall yoga stretch

Legs up the wall is a gentle pose that’s easy on your neck, back, and hips. The best part is you just hold this position and relax. Having your legs elevated moves blood from the legs back into the body which improves circulation and reduces swelling in the legs. *If you have high blood pressure, heart disease, or glaucoma this pose isn’t for you. 

How to do the legs up the wall pose:

  1. Lie on your back with your bottom as close to the wall as you can comfortably get. 
  2. Slide your legs up the wall so they are elevated and resting on the wall. 
  3. Keep your knees relaxed.
  4. Practice gentle breathing and stay here as long as you like. 
  5. Come back to sitting for at least 30 seconds before getting up. 

Supine twist

woman doing supine twist on a yoga mat

Our backs get stiff and sore during the day from prolonged sitting, poor posture, and tight muscles. Twisting the body increases flexibility and decreases compression in the spine. Basically your back will give a big sigh of relief. 

How to do the supine twist pose:

  1. Lie on your back and hug your knees into your chest. 
  2. Put your legs on the floor with one leg bent. 
  3. Place your arms straight out to the sides of your body. 
  4. Let your legs gently fall to one side so one knee is on the ground with the other leg resting straight out in front of you.
  5. Keep your back and shoulders flat on the floor. 
  6. If you want a deeper stretch, place one hand on the knee and gently add pressure. 
  7. Come back to center and repeat on the other side.  

Child’s pose

woman doing yoga child pose in a living room

Child’s pose typically comes at the end of yoga flows. This pose creates a sense of safety and peace. Resting your head on the floor and rocking side to side releases melatonin which helps soothe the body and ease you to sleep. 

How to do child’s pose:

  1. Kneel on the floor with your legs tucked under your body so you're sitting on your feet. 
  2. Place your hands out in front of you and slide forward and slide on the floor. 
  3. Keep your palms and forehead on the floor.
  4. Gently rock side to side if it feels good to you. 
  5. Come back up to sitting for at least 30 seconds before standing. 

If you want to take your relaxation a step further, try 4-7-8 breathing before or after doing these yoga poses. 

You can get a personalized relaxing movement flow designed by a real human when you get a trainwell (formerly CoPilot) trainer. Start your free trial by taking our quiz and get matched with the perfect trainer. 

*Before trying yoga poses check with your doctor. Some poses are not recommended if you have different chronic health conditions or are pregnant.

Written by Rachel Wadsley, PhD

Explore more trainwell articles