8 of the Easiest Yoga Poses for Sleep

by Martin Reed Patient Advocate

Yoga is a great way to prepare the mind and body for sleep. However, for those new to yoga, some of the poses can be downright intimidating! Here are several of the easiest poses that can help you fall asleep and stay asleep.

Easy forward bend

Stand up straight with your feet slightly apart. Slowly bend forward, reaching toward the ground while keeping your legs straight. Hold the position for 30 seconds to a minute.

This pose is particularly good for relieving headaches and reducing stress.

Legs up the wall pose

For this pose, simply lie on your back, push your bottom close to the base of a wall and lift your legs vertically against the wall. Rest with your arms by your side. Hold for up to five minutes with your eyes closed.

This soothing pose aids relaxation and reduces stress. It's particularly good if you spend a lot of time on your feet.

Corpse pose

This one couldn't be much simpler, and it can even be done in bed. Simply lie on your back with your feet hip distance apart. Place your arms down by your sides with your palms face up. Close your eyes. Breathe in slowly, hold for a few seconds, and exhale slowly. Repeat up to five times.

Supine spinal twist

This one sounds complicated, but it's easy and it can also be done from the comfort of your bed. Simply lie on your back, bring your knees to your chest, and then across to your left. Extend your right arm out and turn your head to the right. Take some deep breaths and hold the position. You can then repeat the process on the other side.

This position is great for relieving tension.

Left nostril breathing

Sit up straight, with crossed legs, or lie down on your right side. Simply cover your right nostril with your thumb and extend your other fingers so they are pointing up at the ceiling. Take five to 10 deep breaths through your left nostril.

This technique is thought to promote calmness and relaxation.

Reclining big toe pose

Lie on your back and slowly lift your right leg while holding the back of your thigh. Continue to lift and straighten your leg until you feel your thigh muscle tighten. Hold for five breaths, lower your right leg, and do the same with your left leg.

Seated wide angle pose

For this pose, sit with your legs straight and spread wide apart. Place a pillow on the floor in front of your torso. Take a deep breath, keeping your back straight. As you breathe out, lean forward until your upper body reaches the pillow. Use your hands for support as you lean forward.

Child's pose

Start on your hands and knees with your big toes touching. Lower your bottom until it rests on your heels. Sit up straight, then slowly lean forward while exhaling, dropping your torso between your thighs. Let your forehead rest on the floor (if you’re flexible enough). For extra relaxation, bring your arms alongside your legs with palms facing up.

Rest and take up to 10 breaths.

Want something more advanced?

The Yoga Sleep Pose (known as Yoganidrasana) is a pretzel-like pose that involves folding yourself up into a knot with your feet and hands behind your head. Practice the other eight poses before you even think about trying this one! When you're ready, this video can help you prepare!

Martin Reed
Meet Our Writer
Martin Reed

Martin is the creator of Insomnia Coach, an eight-week course that combines online sleep education with individual sleep coaching. His course helps clients improve their sleep so they can enjoy a better life with more energy and start each day feeling happy, healthy, rested, and refreshed. Martin also runs a free sleep training course that has helped over 5,000 insomniacs. He holds a master’s degree in health and wellness education and studied clinical sleep health at the University of Delaware.