How to Improve the Quality of Your Sleep with Bedtime Yoga
Yoga practice can be focused on so many different things. You can stretch your body, strengthen it, tone it up, connect it with your mind, work on your breathing, and learn to relax. The unwinding yoga positions before your sleeping time is what we'll focus on here.
Yoga can be anything you want or need it to be. It would be insanely perfect if you do some energizing yoga poses in the morning to start off your day and a soothing routine in the evening for better sleep. Here's a truly yummy sequence to finish off your day, which you can do either on your mat or right in your bed.
Connect with your breath, declutter your mind, and stretch out the aches in your body to have a satisfying and valuable rest.
1. Child's pose
Cool off, relax, and connect with your breath in the comfort of the Child's pose.
Kneel on the ground/bed and sit on your heels, knees hip-width apart, big toes touching. Lay your torso on your thighs, rest your head. Let your arms fall in parallel with your body on each side or extend them forward in front of you.
Try to keep your spine lengthened by drawing the crown of your head away from your shoulders and your lower ribs away from your tailbone.
Rest for a few deep breath cycles.
2. Butterfly pose
Give some love to your hips and lower back.
Sit with your spine straight and your knees bent in front of you. Gently let the knees to fall on each side and place the soles of your feet together. Then start reclining your chest towards your feet.
Place your palms on your feet, your thighs, or stretch them in front of you depending on what your body is telling you.
Stay in this pose for 5 deep breath cycles.
3. Pigeon pose
Bend one of your knees in front of you and extend the other leg behind you. Plant your forearms in front of you and recline your chest on your front thigh. Let your back gently arch.
Stay in this pose for five long breath cycles. Then do the same with the other side.
4. Sphinx pose
While you lie on your belly, pull your upper body up and let it rest on your forearms extended forward, shoulders over your elbows.
Let your spine extend and stretch in the inward curve. Be mindful of your shoulders and keep them away from your ears. Pull your head slightly back towards your shoulder blades but keep your gaze in front of you.
Stay like this for 5 deep breath cycles.
5. Reclining spinal twist
Turn over on your back. Cross one of your knees over your torso. Hold it with your opposite hand and turn your torso and your head to the side of your active leg to make a whole-body twist. Stretch, but keep it comfortable.
Relax and stay like this for five deep breath cycles, then do the same with the other side.
6. Happy baby
Give your yoga sequence for good sleep a fun twist with a all-time's favorite Happy baby pose.
While on your back, bring your legs up, bend your knees, and catch the outer edges of your feet with your hands. Experiment with this position as you please. You can stretch your legs outwards, spring them inwards, bend and then straighten up your knees. Don't forget to engage your core.
Have fun for a few deep breath cycles.
7. Legs up the wall
This is an excellent end-of-the-day pose to reduce the blood flow in your legs, to stretch the hamstrings, and to relieve the aches in your lower back.
Draw yourself as close to the wall in front of you as possible. Lay your upper body and get your legs to climb up the wall until you feel your bottom touching the edge between the ground/bed and the wall. Extend your legs upwards and stay in this pose for 5-10 deep breath cycles.
You can use a blanket or a pillow to support your lower back. Comfort is the key here.
8. Corpse Pose
Yoga for better sleep is unimaginable without this awesome pose, which is often overlooked in general practices.
Stretch your whole body lengthwise and completely relax it. Allow your arms and legs to fall open on each side. Let your palms face upwards and your toes point to the sides.
Lengthen your spine as much as you can. Breathe deeply and calmly.
Stay in this position for a while before going straight to your bed or, if you're already there, moving to your favorite resting position.