[Pose Of the Week] How to Do Sleeping Yogi Pose (Advanced)

Sleeping Yogi Pose is an advanced yoga pose that stretches the entire body and may help to reduce anxiety and promote inner peace…

Sleeping Yogi Pose (Yoga Nidrasana) – also known as Yogic Sleep Pose – is actually a lot harder than sleeping! This advanced pose requires extreme flexibility in the hips and hamstrings, but even just attempting to work your way into this pose provides some great benefits. Sleeping Yogi stretches the hips, legs, arms, shoulders, neck, and lower back. It also stimulates the internal organs and wrings stale air from the lungs, and is thought to reduce anxiety and promote relaxation.

Before performing this pose, make sure you are fully warmed up. Be sure to relax as fully as possible in the pose. Holding any tension or trying to force things will only make the pose more difficult.

You’ll need to be able to place your legs behind your head, so if this is not yet possible for you, practice getting comfortable with opening the hips and stretching the legs with poses like Extended Side Angle Pose, Seated Forward Bend, Lizard Pose, Firefly Pose, Tortoise Pose, and Foot-Behind-the-Head Pose.

Those who are pregnant, or who have any kind of injury to the hips, legs, or back should avoid this pose.

How to Do Sleeping Yogi Pose:

  • Begin lying flat on your back.
  • Bend both knees and hold onto the outside edges of your flexed feet with your hands. Keep your arms on the outsides of your legs. Gently use your upper body strength to equally press both knees to the floor below your armpits. Try not to tense your shoulders or chest but keep everything relaxed. This pose is called Happy Baby, and it’s a great prep for Sleeping Yogi.
  • From here, move your arms to the insides of your legs. Use both hands to help your left knee come behind your left shoulder, and eventually your foot behind your head. Then bring the right knee behind your right shoulder, and your right ankle behind your left ankle.
  • Whether both legs are behind your head or not, bring both hands to your lower back, and try to clasp them together.
  • Stay like this for five deep breaths. To release, bring both legs to the floor. You may wish to follow this pose with Fish Pose as a counter stretch.
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