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5 Yoga Moves For Before Bedtime

Yoga For Before Bedtime

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

After a long and hectic day filled with work and other daily activities, it can be challenging to unwind and attain a good night’s sleep. If you’re finding it hard to wind down and feel relaxed, incorporating yoga into your pre-sleep routine might be just the solution you need. Engaging in this practice before bed can effectively aid in relaxation, alleviate feelings of stress and anxiety, and help you attain the right mindset for a restful night’s sleep. Below are our top 5 yoga poses to help you wind down before bedtime:

1. Childs pose (balasana)

Child’s pose is a gentle yoga posture that can be highly beneficial when performed before bedtime. This simple yet effective pose provides a range of physical and mental benefits, making it an ideal pose to include in your pre-sleep routine.

For child’s pose, kneel on the floor with your knees apart and lower your torso until your forehead touches the ground. This pose will provide an excellent stretch for the back, hips, and legs. At the same time, releasing any physical tension or tightness that may have built up throughout the day. It can also help to open up the hips and release any strain from the lower back, providing a sense of physical ease and comfort that can help promote a good night’s sleep.

In addition to its physical benefits, a child’s pose can profoundly impact mental well-being. The pose is often considered a restorative posture, promoting a sense of calm and relaxation. The forward bend can help to slow down the breath, providing a soothing effect on the nervous system. In turn, reducing feelings of stress and anxiety. This can be especially helpful before bed when the mind is racing and filled with daily thoughts. The child’s pose can help quiet the mind and promote inner peace and tranquillity by bringing attention to the breath and body.

2. Corpse pose (savasana)

Corpse pose is a foundational yoga pose often practised at the end of a yoga class to promote deep relaxation and rejuvenation. This pose can be particularly effective for winding down before bedtime and helping you prepare for a restful night’s sleep.

In corpse pose, you lie down on your back with your arms and legs extended, palms facing up. Your feet should be relaxed, and your eyes should be closed. This pose allows you to fully surrender to the ground and release any physical and mental tension. By lying still and focusing on your breath, you can enter a state of deep relaxation and calmness.

Corpse pose is an effective way to quiet the mind and reduce stress and anxiety, which can be particularly beneficial before bed. By allowing the body to fully relax, this pose can also help to reduce muscle tension and promote a sense of physical ease and comfort. It can also slow heart rate and lower blood pressure, promoting relaxation.

corpse pose

3. Legs up the wall (viparita karani)

Legs up the wall is a restorative yoga pose that can be particularly helpful for promoting relaxation and preparing the body and mind for sleep. This pose involves lying down on your back and lifting your legs up against a wall, with your hips close to the wall.

You’ll need a clear wall space and a pillow or folded blanket to support your head and neck to practice legs up the wall. Start by sitting with your side against the wall, then gently swing your legs onto the wall as you lower your torso to the floor. Place the pillow or blanket under your head and neck for support, then rest your arms by your sides. Stay in this position for 5-15 minutes or as long as you feel comfortable. Focus on your breath and allow yourself to fully relax and unwind.

One of the benefits of this pose is that it can help to reduce stress and anxiety, which can be particularly beneficial before bedtime. By reversing the flow of blood and lymphatic fluid in the body, this pose can help promote relaxation and reduce tension. It can also help to calm the mind and reduce mental chatter, making it easier to quiet your thoughts and prepare for sleep. This pose can help reduce swelling in the legs and feet and improve circulation and blood flow to the upper body.

4. Seated forward bend (paschimottanasana)

The seated forward bend can help stretch the spine, hips, and legs. This pose can help alleviate tension and promote relaxation throughout the body by gently lengthening the muscles in these areas. It can also be helpful for those who spend a lot of time sitting, as it can help counteract the effects of sitting for long periods.

To practice the seated forward bend, start by sitting on the floor with your legs straight out in front of you. If your hamstrings are tight, you may need to sit on a folded blanket or cushion to elevate your hips. Inhale to lengthen your spine, and then exhale as you slowly fold forward, reaching for your toes or shins. Keep your spine straight, and your shoulders relaxed, and hold the pose for 5-10 deep breaths. If you find reaching your toes or shins challenging, you can use a strap or towel to gently pull yourself forward. Remember to focus on your breath, fully relax, and let go of any tension in the body and mind.

Incorporating the Seated Forward Bend into your bedtime routine can be a helpful way to promote relaxation and reduce tension in the body and mind. By stretching out your spine, hips, and legs, and by focusing on your breath and quieting your mind, you can prepare your body and mind for a restful and rejuvenating night’s sleep.

5. Cat and cow pose (marjaryasana and bitilasana)

Cat and cow pose is a popular yoga sequence that offers numerous benefits, particularly for those struggling with neck, spine, and back tension. Practising this sequence before bedtime can help release accumulated stress or strain in the body, allowing you to relax and unwind more easily.

To get into the pose, start on your hands and knees, with your wrists directly below your shoulders and your knees directly below your hips. As you inhale, lift your head and tailbone toward the ceiling, arching your back and letting your belly drop towards the floor, this is the cow pose. As you exhale, round your spine and tuck your chin to your chest, bringing your tailbone and head towards the floor; this is the cat pose. Repeat this sequence slowly and smoothly, moving with your breath.

By alternating between these poses, you can create a gentle, flowing movement that helps release tension in your body and bring a sense of calm to your mind. It’s a great way to stretch and soothe your muscles before bedtime, so you can drift off to sleep feeling relaxed and rejuvenated.

Incorporating these poses into your nighttime routine can help you relax, de-stress, and get a good night’s sleep. Just remember to be mindful of your breathing throughout each pose, listen to your body and never push yourself beyond your limits. Sweet dreams!

If you want to learn more about the benefits of yoga, click here. If you would like to try a sun salutation, click here to read our blog, and for more information on mountain pose, click here. Finally, don’t forget to tag us in your photos at @surrender_to_happiness. We love to see how all our readers are getting on.

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