Sleep isn’t something that comes easy for some. Whether you’re dealing with sleep apnea or insomnia, it can sometimes be hard to fall asleep and stay asleep each night. To combat sleep issues, crafting a perfect bedtime routine is key. When practiced before bed, yoga can be a great addition to your nighttime routine, as it helps relax your mind and body and can help improve your overall sleep quality.
Here are a few moves you can try to help you relax and unwind before bed.
Child’s pose, also known as balasana, is a simple move that can help with relaxation and calmness while relieving any tension in the back and shoulders. Start by kneeling on the floor with your toes together and hips shoulder-width apart. Next, gently push your hips back and rest your chest between your thighs.
Rest your forehead on the ground and stretch your arms forward. Hold this pose for three to five minutes, taking slow and steady breaths through your nose. If you’re comfortable, enhance this pose by slowly rocking your head back and forth to relieve tension in your brow.
Legs Up the Wall Pose
This pose is pretty self-explanatory when looking at its name. Also called viparita karani, the legs up the wall pose helps relieve stress and anxiety, ease tension and fight off symptoms of insomnia. This is a great pose for those who have a hard time turning their mind off before bed.
Begin by placing a mat on the ground, and setting it up perpendicular to the wall. Then, lie back and place your legs up the wall with your arms relaxing at your sides. If you need extra support, add a pillow or cushion to your tailbone or neck. Hold this pose for five to 20 minutes, or until you feel relaxed. Make sure you have a comfortable pair of workout leggings on so you can ensure you feel the stretch in your legs and are able to hold the pose for a while. If you want to take the pose to the next level, try practicing diaphragmatic or belly breathing.
Reclining Bound Angle Pose
Also known as supta baddha konasana, the reclining bound angle pose helps ease tension in the hip and groin area while aiding in stress relief. Begin by lying on your back, bending your knees and placing your feet on the floor. Feel free to lay on a mat or on your bed. Bring the bottoms of your feet together and drop your knees away from each other—similar to how your legs would be in a butterfly pose.
Place your arms at your sides, over your head, on your stomach or wherever feels comfortable and natural. To enhance this pose, put on calming and soothing music to help relax your mind.
Corpse pose or savasana is a great ending move for your nighttime yoga routine. Start by lying on your back with your legs straight and arms beside you with your palms facing up. Close your eyes and allow your body to relax completely. This move can be done on a mat on the floor or from the comfort of your bed.
Focus on deep belly breathing and remain in the pose for five to 10 minutes, or as long as you’d like. This pose works great for lowering blood pressure and heart rate, relieving tension and promoting relaxation. To enhance this pose, try meditating during it.
For more yoga moves you can try before bed, as well as tips on how to craft a relaxing bedtime routine, check out the visual guide below.