Standing Forward Bend (Uttanasana)
To perform this pose, stand with the feet about six inches apart and fold the torso to the ground, reaching toward the ground or bending the arms and grabbing opposite hand to opposite elbow. In addition to helping to relieve headaches and insomnia, the pose can also be helpful for lowering stress levels
Plow Pose (Halasana)
Yoga Journal recommends staying in the plow pose for one to five minutes to fall asleep easier. Lie down on your back, lifting your legs over your head and then to the ground behind you, with your hands either on your back for support or on the floor.
Legs Up The Wall Pose (Viparita Karani)
This simple pose, performed against a wall, is excellent for evening relaxation and stress relief. Bielkus recommends staying in the pose for as long as five minutes, with the eyes closed and using a soothing eye pillow if desired.
Corpse Pose (Savasana)
Get your body into sleep mode with a simple corpse pose, focusing the attention on the body and breath, and letting go of the day’s worries.
Supine Spinal Twist (Supta Matsyendrasana)
This reclining twisted pose can easily be performed in bed before you fall asleep. Lie down on your back and bring the right knee into your chest and then across your left side. Extend the right arm out and gaze to the right, taking several deep breaths and then repeating on the other side. You can also try bringing both legs up and then over to each side, as pictured at left.
Seated Spinal Twist (Ardha Matsyendrasana)
Like the supine twist, the seated spinal twist (also known as the half lord of the fishes pose) can create a sense of relaxation in the body while gently stretching the spine. The stretch can be practiced with both legs bent or with one outstretched.
Reclining Butterfly (Supta Baddha Konasana)
A variation of the basic butterfly pose (pictured at left), the reclining butterfly can help the body get into rest mode. Lie down on your back — on your bed or on a mat — and bring the feet together, splaying out the knees in a diamond. If your hips are tight and the pose feels too intense, Bielkus suggests putting a folded blanket or cushion under each of the knees.