Relaxing Bedtime Yoga Can Help Beat Stress and Insomnia


"Whatever you need to bring yourself into balance, yoga can bring you there" (1:18)
Click here to watch a slideshow of master yoga instructor Sara Ivanhoe's favorite bedtime poses.

The next time you find yourself lying awake at night, grab your yoga mat: Research suggests this ancient form of exercise can help combat insomnia, relieve stress, and ward off aches and pains that can keep you tossing and turning. Closing your eyes and breathing long, slow breaths can have a sedating effect on the body, master yoga instructor Sara Ivanhoe told Health.com at Health's second annual Here Comes the Sun yoga and Pilates festival in New York City. Ivanhoe, creator of the Yoga on the Edge DVD series and featured instructor on VH1's Celebrity Rehab, taught a class on medication and Yoga Nidra for insomnia at the event.

"I've had trouble sleeping since I was an infant," she says. "One of the reasons I got into yoga is because I wanted to learn to relax on command, in hopes that I could get myself to sleep a little better." For some of Ivanhoe's favorite calming and comforting moves, view this slideshow. For best results, put on your pj's first and do them right before you turn in for the night.

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