Treat yourself to a few minutes of quiet time and gentle yoga at the end of the day. Yoga helps settle the mind and relax the body, and it can be done in the comfort of your own bed and pajamas. Before you get under the sheets, try these simple yet calming yoga poses to get ready for sleep.
Child’s pose (with pillow variation)
Start by kneeling on your bed. Then, lower your hips down toward your heels, big toes touching, and fold over, drawing your chest onto your thighs, resting your forehead on your bed. You may try widening your knees and placing a pillow, lengthwise, underneath your torso. Rest on your elbows and if you are able, push your arms forward and lay your head on the pillow, facing to one side. Child’s pose is a restorative pose, meaning it can be very calming to your central nervous system.
Lay on your frontside and lift your torso up by resting on your forearms, with your palms face down and gently pressing into your bed. Draw your elbows directly under your shoulders along the sides of your ribcage, and broaden your chest by widening through your collarbones. Your chin is parallel to the mattress with a soft gaze forward. This pose is a gentle back bend that helps strengthen your spine. Pairs well with watching TV or reading a book.
Seated forward fold (with pillow variation)
Come seated with your legs straight in front of you. You may use a pillow (or three!) and place it on top of your legs. Slowly fold over, dropping your head onto the pillow, relaxing your forehead. Come to your edge (no matter how far down you go) and breath. Breathing helps you go deeper into the pose. Forward folds help draw your attention inward, so they can be very therapeutic and soothing to your nerves.
Knees to chest
Lay on your back and draw your bent knees toward your chest, hugging them into your chest. On your next inhale, straighten your arms, drawing your knees away from your chest. Exhale, hug your knees in (repeat 5 rounds with your breath). Moving in sync with your breathing is a form of movement meditation and helps ward off unwanted thoughts.
Supine spinal twist
Lying on your back, draw your knees into your chest. Let your legs fall over to the left side of your body, resting on your bed as you open your arms out to a letter “T.” Look over your right shoulder. Repeat on the other side. Excellent for digestion and detoxifying, not to mention lower back release.
Legs Up the Wall (or against headboard)
Sit with the outer side of your left leg touching your headboard. Slowly lean back on your forearms and swing your legs upside down, resting against your headboard. You may also chose to simply lay in the middle of your bed with your legs up in the air. Try a pillow under your hips if you feel some discomfort. You’ll reap the benefits of this pose if you can hold it for two to three minutes.
Reclining bound angle
Come lying on your back with bent knees. Slowly open your knees, bringing the soles of your feet to touch. You may place pillows and blankets underneath your outer knees for support. When you are ready to come out of the pose, draw your knees to the right and allow yourself to rest here for a few minutes.
Finally, the pose you have been waiting for (hopefully)! When you are ready, lay on your mattress with arms by your side, palms facing up. Allow the soles of your feet to spread apart. Your tongue releases from the palate and drops to the bottom of your mouth, and your eyes rest in their sockets. Unfurrow your eyebrows and relax your jaw. Draw your awareness to your breathing – one breath in and one breath out. Staying awake in this pose may be a challenge!
The idea for this post came from https://caspersleep.com/.