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Need to unwind your mind? Here is a before bed yoga routine that will help you fall asleep faster!
Are you having trouble getting shut-eye? Do you lie awake, tossing and turning, your mind racing? Well, in today’s hectic world, it can, unfortunately, happen to the best of us. It’s easy to get caught up in everyday anxieties, like bills, work, chores, and relationships, and a lack of proper sleep even affects your mental health. But what if I told you that yoga can help you sleep better? Yes, sleep yoga is a thing, and it’s extremely beneficial in preparing your body for a snooze by lowering physical tension, your heart rate, and decreasing your stress hormones. Studies have that yoga is very beneficial for sleep. It provides numerous sleep and health benefits. Sleep yoga has been found to reduce prenatal depression and anxiety. Additionally, pregnant women who practice yoga report fewer sleep disturbances. Here are five bedtime yoga stretches that can help calm the mind, and bring your breath and body back into harmonious balance.
15-Minute Bedtime Yoga Stretch Routine
Ready to get started? I recommend doing this bedtime yoga routine in your bedroom to prepare you for rest. It’s a great mindfulness practice that will help you relax. Light some candles, incense, or use essential oils like lavender and bergamot to create a calm and soothing space. This routine only takes about 10-15 minutes and helps to relax the vitally important areas of your body needed to get to sleep.
#1 Yoga Breathing- (Nadi Shodhana Pranayama)
I recommend starting with Nadi shodhana pranayama, which literally means “subtle energy clearing breathing technique.” Also called alternate nostril breathing, this practice may help to: relax your body and mind, reduce anxiety, and promote overall well-being. Sounds great, right? Here’s how to try it out for yourself:
#2 Supine Twist
The supine twist is a must in any bedtime yoga routine. This is a pose that is done lying on your back. Start by bringing your arms out to the sides with your palms facing downward (in a T position). Bend your right knee. Then, rest your right foot on top of your left knee.
Exhale and drop your right knee over to the left side of your body, gently twist the spine and low back. Gaze out towards your right finger tips.
Make sure your shoulders stay flat on the floor. Gently cover your eyes with an eye pillow, if you have one. Close your eyes and relax into the posture. Hold the pose for about 10 breaths.
#3 Legs up the Wall
Also called Viparita Karani, this is one of my favorite bedtime yoga poses. This is a restorative pose that is perfect for bedtime. The words “Viparita Karani” means “inverted” and “in action.” Because this pose inverts what happens when you sit or stand all day, it is especially refreshing if you have been stressed or fatigued.
Here’s how to do the pose:
I first suggest placing a cushion, folded blanket, or bolster under your hips.
- Sit with your right side against the wall, with bent knees and your feet drawn in toward your hips.
- Swing your legs up against the wall as you turn to lie flat on your back.
- Place your hips against the wall or slightly away.
- Place your arms in any comfortable position.
#4 Child’s Pose
Next in the before bed yoga routine is the Child’s Pose. This is a restful pose that is perfect for doing right after Viparita Karani. Instructions:
- Kneels on the floor. Place your toes together so that the big toes touch.
- Put your weight on your heels.
- Separate your knees approximately hip-width apart.
- Place your palms on top of your thighs and then exhale, lowering forward. Your torso should be between your thighs.
- Extend your arms alongside your torso. Place your palms facing down.
- Relax your shoulders toward the ground. Rest in this pose for anywhere from 30 seconds to a couple of minutes.
#5 Savasana – Yoga Sleep Meditation
Lie down on your mat and get physically comfortable, allow yourself to tune inwards and relax the entire body. Find your place of inner peace and calm. Stay here for as you’d like. You can even do your final resting pose in bed, and try out a yoga sleep meditation- or yoga nidra practice- and drift right off into a blissful nights sleep.
These five different bedtime yoga stretches calm the mind, and bring your breath and body back into harmonious balance. Try the entire 15-minute practice out for yourself when you’re feeling especially restless, or better yet, make a routine of it- so you can always get the shut-eye you deserve and need to wake up feeling rejuvenated.
More Important Bedtime Yoga Tips
Although these poses are great for most people, always talk to your doctor before doing any kind of exercise.
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