Yoga for Insomnia

Ever feel like no matter how many sheep you count or boring pages you read you just can’t seem to fall asleep? Yoga is a great way to combat insomnia when your mind is racing or your body is filled with restless, jumpy energy. The following yoga sequence contains gentle, restful poses that will help you with your insomnia, calming your body and mind and leading you to a deep, complete sleep.

Don’t Forget to Breathe

Allow your breath to be deep and full, originating in the belly instead of simply the chest. If you wish, you may want to add silent counts to your breath (inhaling for three, exhaling for three). Ideally you will breathe in and out of the nose only. Slowing the breath moves us into relaxation and slows the mind. Partnering this approach with these postures will cause wonderful changes, moving you toward peace.

Sequences of Yoga for Insomnia:

#1. Child’s Pose

Bring your forehead to the mat and let your hips rest on your heels. Close your eyes. Let your breath grow deep and full, feeling the inhales expand your whole body, letting the exhales sink you heavy into the earth. Just taking this shape can begin to soothe the nervous system and calm whirling thoughts.

  • Hold for 8-10 breaths.
  • On an inhale, move into an all-four position, stacking wrists and shoulders, knees and hips.

Childs Pose Yoga

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#2. Cat

On an exhale, arch your back, drop your head, and move into the shape of a scared Halloween cat. Here we begin to get the kinks out of the spine, both warming up the body and moving toward relaxation.

  • Hold for 1 breath.

cat pose yoga

#3. Cow

On an inhale, let your belly drop, your heart expand, and look upward. Here your back will have a natural sway.

  • Hold for 1 breath.

cow pose yoga

#4. Cat and Cow

Begin to move back and forth from Cat to Cow smoothly. With each inhale, find your Cow shape. With each exhale find your Cat. In this way, you will visit each pose for half a breath. Once you find your rhythm, synching body with breath, close your eyes and feel the movement from the inside out. Follow your breath. You can then move more organically if you wish, leaving the straight-line action of the Cat and Cow. You may move your spine in a figure 8 shape, or even come into Child’s Pose for a moment before revisiting your Cat.

  • Practice for 8-10 breaths.
  • When you are ready, curl your toes under and move into the upside-down V shape of Downward Facing Dog.

Also See: Can Yoga Help You Lose Weight?

#5. Downward Facing Dog

Let your head drop. Feel the strength in your arms and the stretch in your legs.

  • Hold for 5-8 breaths.
  • On an exhale, step your right foot forward in between your hands.


#6. Low Lunge

Let your back knee drop to the floor and walk your fingertips up on top of your right leg, just above the knee. Breathe deeply into the stretch on the front of the left thigh. Use your core strength for balance. If balance seems shaky, you can move your fingertips to the floor.

  • Hold for 3-5 breaths.
  • Practice Low Lunge on the right and left sides equally.
  • Then step back into Downward Facing Dog.

Low Lunge

#7. Downward Facing Dog

Again find Downward Facing Dog, spreading your fingers wide and reaching your heels toward the earth.

  • Hold for 3-5 breaths
  • Transfer your weight forward coming into Plank Pose.

#8. Plank Pose

Find the shape of an upper push-up, stacking wrists and shoulders. Tuck your tail under and think of pulling your belly button toward your spine.

  • Hold for 2 breaths.

On an exhale lower your body to the floor in one piece, with control. Then, flip over and lie on your back.

plank pose

#9. Reclining Number 4 Stretch

Bend your knees. Place your right ankle just above your left knee as if your legs are making a number 4 shape. Grab the underside of your left thigh with your hands, and on the exhale gently pull your knee toward your heart. Relax your upper body. Feel the stretch in your hip and leg.

  • Hold for 5-8 breaths.
  • Practice Reclining Number 4 shape on right and left legs equally. Then release your legs and stretch out, simply lying on the floor or mat.

Reclining Number 4 Stretch yoga pose

#10. Corpse (Savasana)

Begin to move toward bed time by coming into deep relaxation. Lie on your back, allowing your feet to flop open. Allow your hands to rest palms up, or you may like the feeling of bringing one hand to your heart and one to your belly. Breathe. Let your body get heavy, releasing any effort. Allow your mind to be light; nothing to think or worry about here. Breathe in a natural way.

  • Stay in this shape for 5-10 minutes.

Corpse (Savasana) yoga pose


– Legs Up the Wall

If you have a wall nearby use it to promote relaxation in the body and mind. Move your seat very close to the wall and begin to move your legs up the wall one at a time. You may need to shift your bottom closer to the wall once your legs are up. Allow your arms to rest, palms facing upward. This posture reverses circulation and is wonderfully rejuvenating, especially after a long day of being on your feet!

  • Stay in this shape for 5-10 minutes.

Legs Up the Wall

Try this yoga sequence on those nights you just can’t get your mind to calm but know you need rest. You will surely feel different when you finish this sequence. Here’s to the power of yoga to get rid of insomnia and help us feel our best! Namaste!