Today on Holistic Living Rachel shares a sequence of yoga poses that you can preform in bed to help you unwind from the day, calm the body and help you drift into dreamland.
Yoga for a Good Night’s Sleep
Now that spring has sprung, the days are getting longer and the nights are getting warmer. Adjusting to changes in the weather and the shifting hours of daylight can sometimes wreak havoc with our sleeping patterns. For parents, mastering the perfect bedtime routine is a must for getting a child to sleep. It is a practice adults might preach to kids, but rarely follow themselves. No matter what the age, a simple bedtime regiment will work wonders when it comes to getting a restful sleep. I recommend working a gentle yoga sequence into your routine to help relieve stress, unwind the body and mind, and provide relief to any physical discomforts that tend to flare up at night, such as restless legs. The best part about this yoga flow is that these few simple poses can be performed on ones bed with the aid of a standard pillow.
Sleepy Time Sequence
Before you begin, turn off any main lights in your bedroom, and, if possible, turn on a lamp or dim light within reach of bed. Make sure this is the last thing you do before you go to sleep, so be sure to empty your bladder ahead of time.
1) Staff Pose with support
– Start by comfortably sitting with a pillow underneath your sit bones. (This can be
performed with your back against the wall or bed frame)
– Roll the shoulders back and down, and begin to make gentle circles with your head,
releasing any tension in the neck.
– Make any adjustments you desire, take note of your breath, and slowly start to flex
and point the feet to the rhythm of your inhalations and exhalations. Continue for one
or two minutes.
2) Seated Forward Bend with support
– Returning to center, square your torso over your legs.
– Extend your arms straight up overhead with palms facing together, and begin to hinge at the hips, being sure not to round the back or shoulders.
– Come to a point where you feel a good stretch in the hamstrings and relax the arms down.
– Try shifting your hips with your breath and rolling your shoulders from side to side to loosen any muscles that may feel tight. This sequence is NOT meant to be rigid, but flowing and relaxing.
3) Extended Puppy Pose
– Remove pillow from underneath bottom, and make your way onto all fours.
– You can add some cat and cow poses before performing extended puppy pose if you so desire.
– Push back as if you were going into child’s pose, but send the sit bones to the ceiling, slightly arching your back, keeping your head in line with your spine.
– Again, perform any movements you see fit, such as swaying hips from side to side.
4) Supported Child’s Pose
– From Puppy Pose, place a pillow, or two, under your abdomen, with your legs straddle either side. Extend arms to where they are most comfortable, rest on your cheek, with eyes closed and face relaxed.
5) Supported Fish Pose
– Make your way into a seated position, set up your pillow(s) vertically, and place them so they are in contact with your low back.
– Roll your shoulders back and down, and then slowly lower yourself onto the pillow. Extend your arms out to the sides, opening up your chest.
– Close your eyes and focus on your breath.
6) Supported Bound Angle Pose
– Keeping your upper body in the same position, place soles of feet together and bring up as close to your groin as possible.
– Relax the hips, letting the weight of your legs bring your knees closer to the bed (or mat). Keep your eyes closed.
7) Legs up the Wall Pose
– Slowly roll to your side to come out of your Bound Angle pose.
– Position the pillow next to the wall, and sit sideways adjacent to the wall/headboard.
– Swing your legs up the wall, and adjust the pillow underneath your low back. Your sit bones do not need to be completely against the wall, but they should be moving down into the space between the pillow and the wall. You might need to make several adjustments until this feels correct.
– Relax the arms to the side or overhead, and close the eyes.
8) Corpse Pose
– Removing the pillow from your low back, coming to a seated position, prepare for your final relaxation pose.
– If you so desire, place your pillow under the sheets, in the middle of the bed, in order to support your knees.
– Perform this final pose under the covers with the lights off.
– Lie on your back, shoulder rolled back and down, with your head resting directly on the bed, no pillow. Arms should be out slightly from the body, palms facing up. Close your eyes.
– Begin your savasana by taking deep belly breaths. Inhaling for a count of five, exhaling for a count of five.
– Start at the top of the head and begin to relax your muscles; facial muscles, shoulders, arms, torso, hips, legs, and feet. Feel your body sink comfortably into the mattress, as you let go of any thoughts that may be playing on your mind.
Sleep Tight 🙂
LYL Holistic Living Expert
(Disclaimer: None of the images found in “Yoga for a Good Night’s Sleep” are property of LYL or Author)