Prepare for Bed With These Yoga Poses
Relax with these yoga poses
It happens to the best of us – no matter what we do, even if we’re super diligent about turning off our electronic devices and light-up screens an hour before bed, brushing teeth, jumping into pajamas, and finally snuggled in bed, we can’t fall asleep.
It’s especially frustrating when we’ve got a big event the next day and really need the shut-eye.
Incorporating a short, relaxing yoga routine, or a pose or two, before bed could help you fall asleep faster and with less frustration.
So try out the following 4 classic yoga poses to see if a little stretching and mindfulness can clear your busy brain and set your body at ease.
Getting down on the floor with knees separated hip-width apart, angle your feet together behind you so the big toes are touching each other. Now sit down on your lower legs with the tops of your feet against the floor and heels facing up. Slowly take a deep inhale and sweep your hands up, reaching for the ceiling.
Exhale, folding your body forward and down to the floor, reaching your hands out in front of you. Your stomach and torso will come to rest on your upper thighs and your forehead should gently rest on the floor.
Relax your arms down to the floor in front of you with palms flat on the floor.
Legs Up the Wall
You’ll need a clear floor and wall space for this pose. Lie on your back as close to the wall as you can get your sit-bones – choose a position that is comfortable.
Walk your feet up the wall until your legs are fully raised up and engaged but resting against the wall. Open your arms out to your sides, resting against the floor with palms up. Breathe deeply and slowly.
Reclining Bound Angle Pose
Start seated with legs extended in front of you. Bring your knees in towards your chest and heels as close to your pelvis as is comfortable. Then turn your heels in towards each other and press your feet together.
Your knees will naturally fall out towards the sides of your body. Slowly start to lean back to the floor, supporting your upper body with your elbows against the floor for a gentle, safe decline until your back is fully pressed against the floor.
Before fully relaxing into the pose, lift your chest up slightly briefly, allowing your shoulders to broaden and press your shoulder blades together in your back. Then come back down to the floor. This shoulder movement provides support for your spine. And if your thighs are tight, that’s okay.
Don’t be tempted to press down on your knees with your hands; you risk overstretching and that can be painful. Just breathe into the tightness and try to relax.
Knees to Chest
Lie down on your back with legs extended straight out from hips. Draw your knees in towards your chest and wrap your hands around your legs. Breathe in and as you exhale, relax your shoulders, allowing your back to flatten against the floor and your chest to broaden.
To lengthen your spine, try to bring your tailbone down towards the floor as well.
Do these poses for as long as you’d like, but if something becomes uncomfortable, stop, take a break and reassess.
While practicing yoga before bed, it’s especially important to listen to your body, relax into the poses and breathe.
Focusing on your deep breathing can do wonders for quieting your mind and releasing tension in the body.
Updated July 9, 2018.
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