sleep is one of the most important
factors when it comes to living a healthy life and feeling your best and
just functioning at the absolute best that you can for the people in your life
and for your job and all the things that you have to do most of us have such busy
days that when it’s time to go to sleep we usually have a hard time shutting our
brain off and actually relaxing so I wanted to show you some really quick and
simple yoga poses that you can do right before bed to help you get a better
night’s sleep there are so many studies that have
shown that not getting enough sleep can hurt your immune system your brain
functioning your heart health your metabolism your weight so if we’re not
getting enough sleep we’re going to see that as a ripple effect in all other
areas of our health not just physical health but our mental health too because
lack of sleep is really linked to stress and anxiety and depression sleep is a
really great one-stop-shop because if this is the one thing that you’ve change
and you improve your habits on you can start seeing improvement across so many
different areas of your life so this is one of the most fundamental habits to
have if you’re going to start creating a more healthy lifestyle and by
incorporating a short and relaxing yoga practice into your evening routine right
before you go to bed this is a really good way to decompress from the day
because these poses are held for much longer than you would in a normal yoga
class so you’re not going to be getting your heart pumping as much but this is
going to be activating the parasympathetic nervous system so where
you are going to be more relaxed and slowing down so you can slow down the
brain slow down the heart and really start to tap into that deep sense of
relaxation so that you can get a much better night’s sleep
begin by stacking two pillows on top of each other
this will mimic the support of a bolster typically found in a yoga class but
since you’re in bed these are great props to use reclining bound angle pose
or soup to baddha konasana position yourself sitting with the base of the
pillows touching your tailbone bring the soles of your feet together
letting your knees splay out and if that’s not comfortable you can place two
pillows under me for a little more support slowly
lower yourself down onto the pillows making sure that your head is supported
and your neck is comfortable closing your eyes and place your hands anywhere
you feel comfortable either on your lower abdomen tops of your thighs or
arms out at your sides palms facing up here you’ll feel a deep hip opening
stretch but the supportive nature of this posture will help you sink into a
deep state of relaxation connecting with your breath here
feel the slow steady inhale and exhale releasing any areas of tension where you
find yourself holding tightly this is one of my favorites to practice in a
restorative sequence or just by itself you can hold this for as long as you
like baddha konasana or bound angle pose come
to a comfortable seat with the soles of your feet touching letting your knees
splay out to the sides this is the same setup for reclining bound angle pose but
now we’re going to take a forward bend reaching your arms out in front of you
slowly bend forward to whatever level is comfortable to you you may want to keep
your arms straight or if your hips are flexible you can bend your elbows and
place your forearms on the bed or the floor slowly letting your head release
feeling the stretch in the back of your neck and your upper back and if your
back is tight you may not want to bend too deeply but this is where you listen
to your body and do what feels best and once you’ve found a comfortable posture
you can hold for one to three minutes allowing yourself to release more and
more tension in the neck as your body becomes more and more relaxed forward
bend postures are great for bedtime because they promote turning inward away
from the world and into yourself which is a great practice when letting go of
the day seated forward bend beginning in a
seated position with your legs extended out in front of you pull your flesh from
out from beneath your sit bones to assist in removing any curve in your
spine with your feet flexed slowly lift your hands up towards the sky
and bend forward from the hips make sure you reach out and keep your back flat
instead of rounding your spine if this is too much for your body you can
slightly bend your knees continue to slowly bend forward while keeping your
feet flexed and shoulders relaxed with each inhale slightly lift and lengthen
the torso and with each exhale release and fold a little more this mind calming
pose stretches the hamstrings and the spine reclined twist lying flat on your
back bring your right knee into your chest and slowly bring it across your
body to rest on your left side using your left hand to guide it and letting
your right hip lift up so your hips now face the left side of the room you can
keep the left leg straight or bend it along with the right leg as well keeping
your shoulders flat on the bed or the floor turn your head gently to look over
your outstretched right arm you’ll feel a gentle twisting of your
spine and torso as your hips face the left and your head points to the right
hold this pose for one to two minutes or however long feels good for you and
repeat it on the other side legs up the wall come to the wall or to your
headboard the easiest way to get your butt as close to the wall as possible is
to start by sitting with one of your hips touching the wall and then slowly
bringing your legs up the wall as you lay back almost like your legs are the
hands of a clock laying flat on your bed or the floor extend your legs up along
the wall taking a slight bend in the knee if you need to if your hamstrings
are too tight you can try this pose with a
or a bolster underneath your hips to give them some lift creating less of an
angle in your hips but for most of us our hips will be at 90 degrees if you
have props at home you can use a strap around the thighs for extra support or
place the sandbag on the soles of your feet for a wonderful grounding sensation taking slow deep breaths in and out
begin to relax here into this pose which you can hold for up to five minutes or
longer going with whatever feels best for you corpse pose or shavasana start
lying flat on your back if you’re comfortable you may want to use a pillow
under your neck or not tucking your pelvis in scoop your tailbone up towards
the sky and draw the navel down to create length in the lower spine letting
the arms rest along your sides on the bed or the floor allowing the palms to
face up or you can place them on your heart and belly gently press into the
arms and head to slightly lift the chest off the ground while drawing the
shoulder blades together and down inhale to open your heart and expand the chest
then exhale to rest back down to the earth relaxing everything from your toes
to your fingertips and allow the tongue to fall away from the roof of your mouth
releasing any tension in your neck and in your jaw or the muscles around your
eyes and forehead take a deep breath in and on each exhale completely let go
surrender to the moment quiet the mind and embrace the beautiful piece of this
pose