So you want to comfy sleep, ideally through the night. I feel ya. Whether you just found out you're pregnant or are in your third trimester, breath, movement and mindfulness, all part of yoga, can do wonders for getting better sleep.
While you can try different sleep positions from the American Pregnancy Association, I find it's what you do before coming to bed that makes the biggest difference between feeling fully rested and completely exhausted.
Growing a human is hard work so most of our bodies need even more sleep during this time. Making sure you've carved at least 8 hours for sleep and one hour to prepare is important. Your bedtime ritual is key to getting a good night's sleep.
Here are 5 prenatal yoga-based tips for better sleep:
1. Calm the Body with Breath
Breathe deep like you’re trying to fog up a mirror.
Continue this type of breathing through the nose, with your mouth closed.
Use this slow and steady breath to soothe yourself as you do each of the following moves before coming to bed.
Tip: Your exhalation should sound like the waves of the ocean (or like Darth Vader from Star Wars).
2. Release the Lower Back
Inhale and arch the spine. Gently hug baby into spine if experiencing low back pain.
Exhale and round the spine.
Continue for 5 rounds of breath.
Options: Use fists or stand with hands resting on thighs if any wrist pain.
3. Stretch the legs
With wide-legs come forward to a chair to stretch the legs without rounding the spine.
4. Open the Hips
Sit with soles of feet together.
Hold each pose for 5-10 breaths.
Options: Sit on a blanket against the wall or lean back on stacked pillows to be more comfortable.
5. Quiet the Mind
The mind is our greatest asset but it needs rest too. When ready to finally rest in bed, place your phone far enough away so you aren't tempted to grab it and can fully relax to fall into a deep slumber. Focus on your breath, how it feels, where it is, as you check-in with each part of your body to prepare for your best night's sleep.
For best results, practice every day.
After showing one of my students who was 37 weeks pregnant a few of these poses, she told me “I was able to sleep through the entire night for the first time in ages.”
You can too!
Remember to always listen to your body and only do what works for you. Leave the rest behind. No more unnecessary stress. You got this, Mama! I'm here for you.
Performing yoga while pregnant may subject you to health issues including, but not limited to, improved sleep, reduced stress, increased endurance for childbirth, greater flexibility, and a stronger bond with baby.
Use at your own risk.
Always pay attention to how your body is feeling. If a movement or breath doesn’t feel right, don’t do it.
Jennica Joyce Yoga is not responsible or liable for any result that occurs. You are!