In today’s fast-paced world where we are always supposed to be available and on, finding peace and relaxation before bed can be a challenge for many.
Yoga and meditation practices like bedtime yoga are great habits to incorporate into your evening routine, especially if you’re having trouble letting go of work, to-do lists, and other preoccupations that can affect your rest.
In this article, we will share with you:
- What is bedtime yoga?
- Benefits of practicing yoga before bed
- Bedtime yoga poses on the floor
- Bedtime yoga poses in bed
- Other bedtime practices to help you sleep
Discover 14 soothing yoga poses and other techniques that help release tension, promote deep sleep, and leave you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated upon waking.
Read on to learn more about bedtime yoga:
What is bedtime yoga?
Bedtime yoga is designed to help you relax and fall asleep more easily.
Practicing yoga asana before bed is a great way to wind down after a long day and prepare your body and mind for sleep.
In the same way that practicing yoga in the morning, or in the middle of the day have its own set of benefits, taking the time to unwind with yoga in the evenings before you go to sleep, can be a great habit to incorporate in your life.
Benefits of practicing yoga before bed
Practicing yoga before bed is a great way to create a clear demarcation between your day and the time that you reserve for rest.
Here are some benefits of practicing bedtime yoga:
1# Improved sleep quality
The postures and breathing techniques used in bedtime yoga can help you relax your body and mind, making it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep.Numerous studies have found that people who practiced yoga before bed experience significant improvements in sleep quality, compared to those who do not practice bedtime yoga.
2# Reduced stress and anxiety
Yoga can help to reduce stress and anxiety, which can interfere with sleep.
Bedtime yoga can be effective in reducing stress and anxiety in people with insomnia.
3# Increased flexibility
Holding asanas for longer periods of time can increase flexibility, which allows you to get into a comfortable position for sleep and stay asleep for longer.
4# Improved mood
Bedtime yoga can help to improve your overall mood, which can make it easier to fall asleep, stay asleep, and wake up refreshed and ready.
5# Reduced pain
Certain yoga postures and practices like the ones we’ll share below, can often help to reduce pain and physical discomfort, which can make sleep easier to .
Bedtime yoga poses on the floor
Although you may think that bedtime yoga should be practiced on a bed, here are a few postures that will help you prepare for rest that you can practice on the floor instead, just in case you’re not quite ready to fall asleep.
1# Child’s pose (Balasana)
Practice this bedtime yoga posture on the floor or on the bed, making sure that you support yourself with pillows, bolsters, and any other props you may want, to bring yourself into maximum comfort and relaxation.
2# Cat and Cow pose (Marjaryasana-Bitilasana)
These two postures are great to mobilize the spine and can help you release tension in the body.
If your knees are sensitive, practice this posture on the bed, or place a blanket underneath them. To support the wrists, make fists instead.
3# Crocodrile pose (Makarasana)
This prone posture is very grounding and relaxing. All you have to do is lay on your stomach and make a pillow with your hands to rest your forehead on them.
4# Sphinx pose (Salamba Bhujangasana)
A gentle backend, you can use this posture to open up the front of the body, and also release some tension on your neck by lowering your chin to your chest.
5# Bound Angle pose (Baddha Konasana)
A great hip opener that can help release tension in the groins, lower back and legs, try using blocks underneath the knees if your hips feel tighter.
6# Bharadvaja’s Twist (Bharadvajasana)
Twisting movements like Bharadvaja’s twist stimulate and massage the digestive organs, which can help improve digestion and relieve any discomfort.
This can prevent indigestion or heartburn, allowing you to sleep more comfortably.
7# Cow face pose (Gomukhasana)
Gomukhasana stretches the hips and shoulders, releasing tension and stiffness accumulated throughout the day.
Practicing Gomukhasana before bed can serve as a transition from a busy or active day to a more calm and peaceful state.
8# Seated Forward bend pose (Paschimottanasana)
This yoga asana helps to calm the nervous system, release tension from the body, and promote deep relaxation.
By stretching the entire back of the body, including the spine, hamstrings, and shoulders, release stored stress and tension, allowing your body and mind to unwind before sleep.
Bedtime yoga poses in bed
If you’re ready for sleep and want your practice to truly prepare you for sleep, try some of these bedtime yoga postures that are best practiced on your soft mattress and if you’d like, with the support of some pillows.
9# Wind Relieving Pose (Apanasana)
By gently compressing the abdomen, Apanasana stimulates the digestive organs. It can help to relieve any bloating or discomfort, aiding in better digestion before going to bed.
10# Supine twist (Supta Matsyendrasana)
Try this bedtime yoga posture to relieve tightness in the spine, massage the internal organs, and get better rest.
11# Happy Baby pose (Ananda Balasana)
This deep hip opener can be practiced on the bed or on the ground.
12# Reclined Bound Angle Pose (Supta Badhha Konasana)
Use pillows and blankets to support both your spine and your knees in this relaxing bedtime yoga pose.
13# Legs up the wall (Viparita Karani)
A pose that can really help let go of tension and stress and calm the nervous system, can be very comfy when practiced on your bed.
14# Corpse Pose (Savasana)
Savasana is the ultimate posture to help you drift to sleep.
Other bedtime practices to help you sleep
There are many practices beyond the asana practice that can be great complements to your bedtime routine.
Here are a few:
A simple meditation that involves focusing your attention on different parts of your body.
Try it here.
This is a type of meditation that involves paying attention to the present moment without judgment.
Sit quietly and focus on your breath. Notice the sensations of your breath as it enters and leaves your body. If your mind wanders, gently bring it back to your breath.
Visualization meditation involves creating a mental image of a calming scene to help you relax and release, making it an excellent bedtime yoga practice.
You can visualize yourself in a peaceful place, such as a beach or a forest, and as you visualize, try to relax your body and mind.
Consider using a guided meditation or script to support you.
This is simple and accessible, especially for those who have never practiced pranayama before.
Inhaling for a count of 4, holding your breath for a count of 4, exhaling for a count of 4, and holding your breath for a count of 4.
Repeat this cycle for 5-10 minutes.
Nadi Shodhana is a calming pranayama technique that involves breathing through one nostril at a time, helping us balance the energy in the nadis, the energy channels in the body.
Sit in a comfortable position and close your eyes.
Place your right thumb on your right nostril.
Inhale through your left nostril, then close your left nostril with your ring finger and exhale through your right nostril.
Inhale through your right nostril, then close your right nostril with your thumb and exhale through your left nostril.
Continue alternating nostrils for 5-10 minutes.
This is a simple pranayama technique designed to help you be present and relax the body and mind.
Sit in a comfortable position and close your eyes.
Inhale for a count of 4, hold your breath for a count of 7, then exhale for a count of 8. Repeat this cycle for 4-5 minutes.
Yoga is a great way to help you wind down from your day as well as improve your sleep quality.
Bedtime yoga can help to calm your mind, relax your muscles, and improve your sleep quality as well as help you be more rested for the day ahead.
If you are struggling to fall asleep, stay asleep, or get good quality sleep, try incorporating these poses into your bedtime routine.
Bedtime yoga poses and other practices like meditation and breathwork techniques are tools to help you improve your sleep quality and wake up feeling your best.
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