Benefits of Bedtime Yoga

by Katie Faulkner

Nothing is more important or restorative to your body than a good night’s sleep. But sometimes, the day’s physical and mental stresses prevent your body from relaxing enough to fall asleep. A quick bedtime yoga routine can help your body unwind naturally and ready your body for a peaceful night’s sleep. 

How it Works

Reduces Stress / Yoga can reduce anxiety and stress by stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system, which sends the “rest and digest” signal. Yoga can also help lower your heart rate and ease the production of cortisol (the stress hormone).

Promotes Physical and Mental Relaxation / By stretching tense muscles and pulling mental focus to an internal point of meditation while emphasizing breathing, yoga has the ability to immediately relax the mind and body.

Beginner Poses for Peaceful Sleep


 


Forward Bend

Start by standing with feet hips’ width apart, knees straight but relaxed, and slowly bend at your hips toward the ground. Reach down with your arms, slowly stretching your back. Try to raise your hips to the sky to increase the intensity of the stretch in your hamstrings.


 


Cobra Lay

on the ground, front side down. Keep legs and palms flat on the floor and lift your chest. Allow the stretch to broaden your chest, and stretch down through your abdomen and thighs.


Knees to Chest

Slowly lower yourself back to the floor. Roll over onto your back, and exhale as you bring your knees to your chest. Keep your back flat and your knees together while tucking your chin to lengthen your spine.


 


Legs Up a Wall

Gently release your legs and return to flat on the floor. Move to a flat, clear wall and remain on your back. Position your tailbone as close to the wall as possible and extend your legs, side by side, up the wall. Flex your toes back to stretch your leg muscles and allow your back to release and stretch. This position is very restorative to the body and also gives your cardiovascular system a short break.


 


Child’s Pose 

Finally, lower your legs and return to sitting. Sit up on your knees keeping them hips’ width apart with the tops of your feet on the floor. Inhale deeply, then, as you exhale, reach your torso over your thighs, stretching your hands forward on the floor. Bow your head forward and try to lengthen the spine and neck by stretching your ribs away from your tailbone.

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