One of the greatest challenges of being a VIPKid teacher seems to be getting enough sleep. The struggle is real! I know I am not the only one having a nightmare about a TNS, snapping awake to check the time. Then seeing you still have an hour before you have to get up.
With all the different time zones, some teachers, have it a little easier than others. There are teachers who have to work around their families to get enough sleep. I have been asking moms how they get to bed on time when they have children. VIPKid moms are some real troopers.
Last week, I posted about 5 Reasons VIPKid Teachers Should do Yoga. One of those reasons was better sleep. Since yoga reduces stress and improves breathing it supports a more peaceful sleep. From my own experience, if I don’t do some calm yoga with deep breathing, it definitely takes me longer to go to sleep. I usually do these stretches in bed.
Here are my 10 yoga poses to help you fall asleep.
Knees out as wide as the mat. Bring your big toes touch. Next, sink your hinny onto your heals. Then lower your chest down and rest your forehead on the mat with your arms stretched long to the top of the mat.
2. Seated Bind
Seated on your heals, interlace your hands behind you, palms touching. Then lift your chest to the sky, pinching your shoulder blades together. Keep your belly engaged.
3. Neck Stretch
While still seated on your heals, reach your right hand up and over your head and rest it on the opposite side of your head. Letting your longest finger graze your ear. Then gently pull your head to the right getting a good side neck stretch. Hold for about 3 breaths. Then switch sides.
Come onto your belly. Place your hands next to your lower ribs on both sides. Inhale, lift the chest and gaze forward. Make sure you are plugging your shoulder blades back into your spine. Keep your shoulders out of your ears. You do not want to be putting tension in your neck.
Place the souls of your feet on the mat. Bring your heals far enough back that your longest finger can graze them. Try to keep your knees aligned with your hips. You are going to take a deep breath in and exhale. As you exhale lift your hips up to the ceiling pushing your chest towards your nose. Snuggle your shoulder blades together and interlace your fingers under your body. Use your legs in this position. Hold for 3 breaths. MODIFICATION: Place a yoga block under your hips for a supported bridge.
6. Knees to Chest
While laying on your back, bring your knees to your chest and hug your arms around your shins. Rock from side to side if it feels good to do so.
7. Seated Fold
Come to sit on your bottom with your legs stretched out in front of you. Make sure you are digging on your sit bones. If you have to pull the meat of your seat out from under your sit bones do so. Take a deep breath in and as you exhale fold forward. Lead with your chest and don’t round out your spine.
8. Happy Baby
Lay back onto your mat bend your knees and bring them over your torso. Reach your arms through your legs and grab the insteps of your feet. You are going to pull your legs down towards the floor. Like you are putting your knees into your armpits. If it feels good to rock form side to side go for it. If not, it’s not required.
9. Supine Twist
Lay down flat on your mat. Bend the right knee and bring it to just above your hip. Take your knee with your left and and draw it across your body for a twist. Don’t let your shoulder leave the floor. Even if your knee doesn’t touch the floor that is okay. Keep your shoulders down. Look over your right shoulder. Hold for 3-5 breaths then switch to the other side.
Lay down flat on your mat. Take your heals out as wide as the mat and let your feel splay out. Have your palms facing up and your arms out as wide as you’d like. Make sure your shoulders are not scrunched up. Relax, stay here with your eyes closed for 3-5 minutes. Eye pillow or face mask is optional.
I post yoga videos specifically tailored to VIPKid teachers every Friday. I posted this video early just for this blog. If you would like a guided yoga flow for sleep watch the video below.
Getting restful sleep is crucial to our health. Doing these yoga moves daily will help you to relax and be ready for bed. Also, if these poses don’t work you can always do some “bedroom yoga” with your significant other (wink wink). That has proven to be effective as well.
The VIPKID Yoga Teacher, Heather Fritz
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