Yogic Sleep Pose  - Yoganidrasana


Yogic Sleep Pose or Yoganidrasana (YoG-AA-nid-RAA-sa-nuh) is derived from the Sanskrit word yoga, meaning unite, Nidra meaning sleep, and asana meaning pose. This pose is done in a reclining posture and works wonders on the back muscles. It is also helpful on the pelvis, inner thighs, chest, hips, calves and hamstrings.
The Yogic Sleep Pose is believed to be performed by the sleeping yogis, where the legs are placed behind the back, and the body’s trunk is between the thighs. This pose completely stretches the body and is a common part of the ashtanga yoga practice. It not only strengthens the various body parts but also improves flexibility. This, combined with meditation, improves the quality of sleep. Yoganidrasana pose is challenging to achieve, especially for beginners, but it is worth the effort.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1
Begin by lying down in Savasana (Corpse pose), allowing your body to relax. Take a deep breath in while bringing your knees towards your chest.
Step 2
Cross one ankle over the other ankle, creating space between your knees.
Step 3
Extend your legs in the direction of your head and reach your hands forward, placing them between your legs.
Step 4
Rest your hands on your ankles or lower calves, and gently pull your legs towards the crown of your head. Lift your head and shoulders off the floor, ensuring that your neck remains relaxed and free from strain. Avoid tensing your shoulders.
Step 5
Inhale as you position your feet and ankles over your head, using them to gently pull your head and shoulders through the space between your legs.
Step 6
Slowly push your feet towards the floor over your head, while keeping your shoulders pressing forward, engaging the backs of your knees.
Step 7
Find a comfortable position for your heels, ensuring they provide support for your head.
Step 8
Now, bring your hands close to your sternum in a prayer position. Interlock your fingers and gradually raise your chest to open up your lungs.
Step 9
Direct your gaze upward and hold the position for 30 to 60 seconds, focusing on controlled breathing.
Step 10
Lower your elbows and shoulders back down to the ground, transitioning into the Savasana pose once again, allowing your body to fully relax and unwind.

Benefits and Contraindications


Improves flexibility

Strengthens the core

Relaxes the body and mind

Boosts circulation

Enhances breathing

Improves the quality of sleep


Not suitable for beginners

Injury or medical condition on the back, hips, and shoulders


With high blood pressure

Heart problems

Modifications, Props and Tips

    You can modify the yogic sleep pose by using the simple yoga props:

  • Place afolded blanket under your headto block the direct contact from the ground in case you feeling pressure on the vertebrae while chest upraising in the complete yogic sleep pose.
  • In order to keep the leg behind the shoulder for longer, one can bind the legs with the help of ayoga strap. It will prevent the returning back of the leg in Yoganidrasana.
  • Practitioners who are unable or having difficulty in raising their head upward can practice this asana against the wall to rest head upon it. However, one can take the help of a second person as well to assist the posture.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are there any anatomical limitations to Yoganidrasana?

Yogic Sleep Pose is an advanced-level yoga pose that requires a high degree of flexibility in the hips, hamstrings, and spine. Thus it takes time to master the pose. Nevertheless, there are certain anatomical limitations that can make it difficult or impossible for the practitioners to get into the pose. Among them:

  • Hip Joint Anatomy: The shape and structure of the hip joint can affect the range of motion in the hip, which is crucial for Yoganidrasana. Individuals with a shallow hip socket or a less mobile hip joint may find it challenging to perform the pose.
  • Hamstring Flexibility: Tightness in the hamstring muscles can limit the forward fold in Yoganidrasana. If you have tight hamstrings, you may need to work on gradually increasing their flexibility through regular stretching.
  • Spine Flexibility: The pose requires a significant degree of spinal flexibility, particularly in the lumbar and thoracic regions. Individuals with limited spinal mobility may find it challenging to perform the pose.
  • Age and Body Type: Age and body type can also affect your ability to perform Yoganidrasana. As we age, our flexibility decreases, and some body types may find it more challenging to perform the pose due to their natural body structure.

In summary, while some anatomical limitations may make Yoganidrasana more challenging, consistent practice and proper modifications can help individuals progress toward the pose. However, it is always essential to listen to your body and avoid pushing beyond your limits to prevent injury.

Are there any precautions to take when practicing Yoganidrasana?

It is important to listen to your body and avoid pushing beyond your limits to prevent injury. If you have any existing injuries or medical conditions, it is always best to consult with your healthcare provider before attempting the pose. Additionally, it is essential to warm up the body properly before attempting the pose to prevent injury.

Iana Varshavska
Iana Varshavska
Website administrator

A digital marketer in love with yoga and everything that goes along with it. In 2021, her huge passion for yoga led her to yoga teacher trainings. After successfully completing her studies, Iana received her Yoga Alliance U.S. certification, left the corporate IT world and devoted herself to the development of Yanva. To be able to create the best online yoga space for yoga enthusiasts like her, Iana is constantly learning and improving her skills in various aspects of yoga philosophy, anatomy and biomechanics. Since 2021, she has continued to attend various types of teacher training, including yoga therapy, gives online and offline classes, and conducts local workshops for people who want to learn more about yoga. At the moment, Iana continues to work on her personal practice, improving her hand balancing skills, as well as developing her own training programs.