Anxiety can lead to stress and restless nights. A simple bedtime yoga routine can ease tense muscles, increase mindfulness, and help you feel strong and resilient.
Yoga is often touted as one of the best exercises for overall health, and one of the biggest benefits cited is the calming effect on your body and mind. It helps relieve tense muscles, increase mindfulness, and promote an overall feeling of wellbeing.
Practicing yoga is a fantastic way to relieve stress and help your body feel strong and resilient. Here are some of the best yoga poses to do before bed that will benefit your health and wellbeing.
1. Standing Half Forward Wall Bend
The standing half forward wall bend is a great pose to improve digestion and stimulate your organs. Performing this pose before bed can help your entire body feel more relaxed and ready to rest.
To perform this pose, stand about 1 foot away from a wall and bend at the hips, pressing your hands into the wall. If it feels comfortable, step backward until your back is straight. For this pose, focus on your breathing until you feel comfortable and slowly walk your feet back up to standing.
If you want to challenge yourself more with this pose, the standing forward bend is a more advanced variation of this move. To do this variation, step away from the wall and instead hold your elbows, allowing your body to relax deeply into this stretch.
2. Reclining Hero
The reclining hero is one of the best poses to lower blood pressure. Additionally, it can help calm the body and relax the muscles so you are ready for a great night’s sleep. It’s important to note that you do need basic equipment (most people choose to use a pillow) to perform this move.
To do this move, kneel on your shins in as wide of a stance as necessary. Then, begin to lean back to rest your forearms on the ground/your pillow. Allow yourself to relax into this pose and focus on your breathing, before slowly releasing from this pose one leg at a time.
3. Child’s Pose
The child’s pose is a classic yoga move that can relieve tension and improve circulation to your head. It is often done as a break during a yoga session to give yourself time to recenter and relax. Doing the child’s pose during your nighttime yoga session can help you feel relaxed and in tune with your body before falling asleep.
To perform this pose, kneel on the floor and sit back on your heels. Bend your torso down towards your thighs, and read your arms forward as far as possible with your palms facing the floor. Hold this pose for several breaths, before slowly releasing back to an upright position.
4. Sphinx Pose
The sphinx pose can promote feelings of wellbeing by combatting stress and helping open up the chest. This pose stretches the spine, chest, lungs, and abdomen, helping provide an overall feeling of relief and relaxation before bed.
To perform this pose, lie on your stomach with your elbows underneath your shoulders. Draw your shoulders down to your back and open your chest, supporting yourself on your elbows. Hold this pose as long as it feels comfortable before releasing it back to the floor.
The locust pose is an alternative option to the sphinx pose where you lie on your stomach and lift the chest without support from the forearms.
5. Legs Up the Wall
This yoga pose is known to help soothe insomnia and ease anxiety. It is a great opportunity to practice mindfulness, allowing yourself to forget the stressors of everyday life and focus only on the present moment.
To perform the legs up on the wall, you should first sit sideways against a wall and slowly lay down while extending your legs up onto the wall. Once in position, place your arms at your sides and focus on your inhale and exhale pattern. Stay in this pose for up to five minutes.
6. Cat and Cow Pose
The cat and cow pose sequence is a classic yoga move that can ease back pain and help restore balance. This sequence can help alleviate any pain in the core and lower back region before going to bed so your body feels completely relaxed and rejuvenated.
To perform this pose, get into tabletop positions with your hands and knees planted on the ground. Acting like there is a string tied to your belly button, hollow your spine as if the string is being pulled towards the sky. Then, arch your back and allow your tailbone to point upwards, moving into the cat pose. Repeat this sequence as many times as feels comfortable, focusing on your breathing.
Building up this connection between your body and your mind can help you feel relaxed, rejuvenated, and at peace, which can lead to an overall better night’s rest.
There is a multitude of benefits to doing yoga before bed, from relaxing tensed up muscles to allowing your mind to tune in to how your body is feeling. Building up this connection between your body and your mind can help you feel relaxed, rejuvenated, and at peace, which can lead to an overall better night’s rest.
Interested in adding yoga as part of your nighttime routine? Check out the infographic below for a complete list of calming yoga poses to relax your body and mind.