According to the National Sleep Foundation, approximately 1 in 10 American adults suffer from restless leg syndrome. The sleep-related disorder causes an unpleasant and uncontrollable urge to move your legs while resting. The causes of restless leg syndrome have not yet been determined, but researchers believe there may be a link between the sleep disorder and abnormalities in brain chemicals that regulate muscle movements. It may also be related to nutritional deficiencies, including iron, magnesium and potassium.

Regardless of the cause, restless leg syndrome can be painful and frustrating. Performing certain yoga poses can help relax the muscles in the lower body that cause discomfort.

Here are eight poses to calm restless leg syndrome:

1. Down Dog

  1. Begin in downward facing dog position, which looks similar to an upside-down V shape.
  2. Exhale, then bend your left knee and press your right heel to the floor.
  3. Hold the position while you inhale.
  4. Exhale, then bend your right knee and press your left heel to the floor.
  5. Hold the position while you inhale.
  6. Continue to pedal your feet for a total of 10 breaths on each leg.


2. Cobra

  1. Place your palms directly underneath your shoulders and squeeze your buttocks.
  2. Draw your navel to your spine as you lift your head and your chest to straighten.
  3. Use your arms to lift your hips from the floor, but keep your feet on the ground.
  4. Inhale to life and exhale to lower.
  5. Repeat this move a total of three times.

3. Up Dog

  1. Lie on your stomach and place your forearms on the floor, with your hands slightly in front of your shoulders.
  2. Squeeze your buttocks and draw your navel to your spine.
  3. Lift your head and chest up from the floor to extend your spine, then slowly lower back down.
  4. Inhale to lift and exhale to lower. Keep your feet on the ground at all times.
  5. Repeat this move a total of six times.

4. Pigeon

  1. Begin seated. Bend your right knee to a 45-degree angle and point your right heel to your left hip bone.
  2. Extend your left leg straight behind you while you press your palms to the floor.
  3. Keep your chest upright and take five deep breaths to feel the stretch in your right outer hip.
  4. Repeat on the other side.

5. Half Forward Fold

  1. Begin seated with your left leg straight and your right knee bent to the side.
  2. Keep your back flat while you hinge forward and reach for your foot or shin.
  3. Hold the pose for six breaths then switch sides.

6. Full Forward Fold

  1. Begin seated with both legs straight out in front of you.
  2. Flex your ankles and lean forward to rest your head toward your knees.
  3. Hold the pose for six breaths.

7. Bridge

  1. Lie on your back with your feet hip-width apart.
  2. Exhale, then lift your hips up and interlace your hands under your back.
  3. Press your fists into the ground and open your chest.
  4. Hold for three breaths while you squeeze your backside to decompress your lower back.

8. Bow Pose

  1. Lie on your stomach with your elbows bent as in a cobra pose.
  2. Bend your right knee and bring your heel as close as possible to your buttocks.
  3. Reach your right arm back and hold your ankle, then lift your head and chest to look forward.
  4. Hold the pose for three breaths then switch sides.

Paleo Hacks
National Sleep Foundation
Web MD