May 17, 2018
A healthy bedtime routine is a key to getting a good night’s sleep. Your bedtime routine should be calming and offer relaxing activities. Reading a book is a popular choice that works for many people, but yoga is also a good choice. It can help you reduce stress, relieve body aches, and prepare your body for a good night’s sleep.
Practicing yoga can help you reduce stress, by alleviating the production of stress hormones. In fact, yoga can help you trigger the relaxation response, which is associated with reduced psychological distress, mitigation of depression, anxiety, and insomnia.
Bedtime yoga can be combined with meditation, offering a focus on calmness. When you trigger the relaxation response with yoga and meditation, you can slow brain wave patterns and your heart rate, lowering blood pressure and improving your sense of well being.
Stretching out with yoga is especially effective in relieving the tension of the day. You can work out stiffness, aches, and pains before you get into bed for a better night’s sleep and more refreshing rest.
Making yoga a part of your bedtime routine is an excellent choice. It allows you to relax, stretch, and release stress, so you’re calm and comfortable as you slip into bed. Try these yoga poses just before bed to relieve tension and pain while promoting a calm, relaxing sleep environment. Some of these poses can be done on a firm mattress, but make sure you have proper support (and height clearance) before trying these in bed.
Standing forward bend pose: Release the stress out of the top of your head with this pose that stimulates your brain and upper body. Stand in mountain pose, then inhale and reach your arms up above you. Exhale and fold your body forward as you tuck your chin in toward your chest. Straighten your legs as much as possible and shift your weight forward onto your toes as you place your hands on the ground if possible. Hold this pose for at least ten breaths.
Legs up the wall pose: Use this restorative pose to relieve pressure from your lower body, especially if you spend a lot of time on your feet. It can help to ease the stress that results from sitting each day and promote better circulation. Lay down with your legs placed upward against the wall. Rest your shoulders and head on the floor and use your hands for balance if needed. Hold this pose for several minutes, focusing on mindful breathing as you feel your breath move through your body.
Bound angle pose: You can open up your hips and counteract the effects of sitting throughout the day with this pose. Sit with your legs straight out in front of you, then bend your knees and pull your heels toward your pelvis. Drop your knees to the side and press the soles of your feet together, bringing your heels as close to your pelvis as you can comfortably. Hold your toes, or clasp your hands around your ankles or shins.
Seated forward bend pose: You can relieve tension in your hamstrings with this pose. Sit on the floor with your legs straight out in front of you. Then lean forward from your hip to reach the sides of your feet with your hands.
Child’s pose: Child’s pose is restful and relaxing. You can kneel on the floor, separating your knees about as wide as your hips. As you exhale, lay your torso between your thighs. Lay your hands on the floor and press the front of your shoulders toward the floor. Rest for up to a few minutes.