One of the nastiest symptoms of chronic fatigue is not even the tiredness itself, it’s a disturbed sleeping pattern and insomnia when even at night you can’t regain your energy through a restful sleep. And worrying about not being able to sleep is a whole other issue that adds to the problem.
The exercises I mentioned in the previous post work really well when it comes to reducing stress and winding down before going to bed, or even when you wake up at night. But here I’ll talk about something I’ve tried recently during yet another sleepless night and really loved it. It’s doing yoga in bed!
Prone yoga poses you can do in bed for insomnia and fatigue
These are reclined yoga poses that don’t require too much space and can be done even under your blanket or a duvet. They are great for calming the nervous system, stretching the muscles, increasing blood circulation, relaxing your body and quieting your mind so that it’s much easier to fall asleep.
Some of these poses are easier than the others, so feel free to pick the ones that suit you best and tweak them as you please. Relax into the poses, breath into the sore areas and try to hold them for at least a minute on each side before slowly moving on to the next one.
The most calming and the most restorative pose is the child’s pose. Start by sitting on your heels and lower your forehead on your bed or on a pillow. Stretch your arms down along the side of your body. And relax completely into this pose. When doing this pose in bed or on any other soft surface, I find it more comfortable placing my head on either side rather than on the forehead (you can alternate the sides).
Benefits: this pose is very soothing and healing and you can do it any time during the day when you need a break or want to rest. It gently stretches the back and can relieve back and neck pain.
Wide child’s pose
Here’s a variation of this pose called the wide child’s pose. For that, sit back on your heels, keep your toes together and spread your knees wide. Walk your hands forward and lower your upper body down between your thighs. Stretch your arms in front of you and relax into the pose. Again, you can rest your head on the forehead or, as I prefer, turn it to either side.
Benefits: In addition to the soothing and healing qualities of the child’s pose, this variation also helps to open and stretch the hips, the thighs and the legs. Keeping the arms extended in front of you, will add a gentle compression to your upper back.
But if you’d like to make yourself more comfortable, place some cushions or a bolster under your chest and your head. This restorative option is perfect for completely releasing the muscles and calming the nervous system.
For the banana pose begin by lying on your back, lift your arms up and clasp your hands or elbows. Without shifting your pelvis move your upper body and legs to one side into a nice banana shape. Make sure you don’t lift your hips and don’t bend too much. If you want, you can also place one leg on top of another for a deeper stretch.
Benefits: This pose is a nice and juicy way to stretch the whole side of your body. Don’t forget to do it on both sides!
Reclined butterfly pose
For the next pose, stay on your back and keep your arms extended along the sides of the body, palms up; drop the knees to the sides while keeping the soles of your feet together. If this is too uncomfortable, place a cushion under each knee to support and elevate the hips. Once you found the right variation for yourself, just surrender into the pose.
Benefits: In this pose were are focusing on opening the hips and stretching the thighs, the groin and the knees. It also helps to relieve the symptoms of stress and can be very calming.
Legs up against the wall
If your bed happens to be next to the wall, here’s another great pose that you can try – legs against the wall. The easiest way to get into this position is to sit sideways against the wall and then lie on your side and swing your legs up. You might need to snuggle yourself to the corner of the wall a little bit. You can also place a cushion or a rolled blanket under your sacrum to release any tension in the spine. Now simply straighten your legs and keep them about hip distance apart, arms to the sides. Focus on your breath and let go fully.
If your legs start feeling tingly, just hug your knees and slowly roll onto one side.
Benefits: This pose is very restorative and you can do it any time you want to relax.
Out of all these poses and options, choose the ones that suit your body best and hold them anywhere from one to five minutes or even longer. The key here, is to learn to listen to your own body and you own needs so that you can adapt the poses accordingly.