Considering you spend about ⅓ of your life asleep, you might as well learn how to master the perfect night’s sleep. This can also be easier said than done as stress, work, kids, etc. can interrupt our intention of a good night’s sleep… so take note of the 5 exercises that can bring you back to your intention Zzz…
Howdy Horse Stance
The horse stance is a Qigong exercise where you stand, feet a bit wider than shoulder width, soften your knees, and drop your tailbone down until your butt is parallel to the ground. Next, reach your hands above your head as you inhale, then slowly lower your hands to your stomach as you exhale. The aim of this exercise is to connect your body’s energy (chi) with the earth, and to center your mind. Repeat the arms movement and inhale/exhale ten times, and your mind should be clear and relaxed.
Control Your Breath
A hectic lifestyle means your mind and body are constantly on the go. Before you go to bed, though, it is helpful to slow everything down. One of the best methods is to practice some breathing exercises. The simplest: sit cross-legged (or in any position that’s comfortable) on a soft surface like a yoga mat, inhale deeply for 5 to 7 seconds, hold the breath for an equal amount of time, then exhale for as long as you can. By the time you’ve finished repeating this for 10 rounds, you should feel a lot calmer, and hopefully, a lot sleepier.
Massage Your Feet
Your feet are the main point of contact with the earth, and over the course of a day, they can take a heck of a beating. Rubbing them not only relaxes those tiny, overused little muscles, but also slows your nervous system and stimulates your internal organs, explains Angi McClure, a licensed massage therapist, fitness instructor, and founder of MYMA Movement. McClure says to especially focus on an acupuncture point in the center of the foot, just below the knuckles, where, when pressure is applied, will calm you down like nothing else.
Feel Your Forearms
Whether it’s typing all day at a computer, carrying heavy bags, or lifting weights in the gym, your forearms are constantly being used throughout the day. “They tend to hold a lot of tension, and [massaging them] can resonate not only in the neck, but also emotionally in the head,” says McClure.