While I consider myself a morning person for the most part I have found that, these days, I wake up more easily than I used to, and it’s all due to my bedtime yoga routine.
Just as I need my morning cup of tea, I need my evening yoga. Asanas with Early Gray are great to get up and go when your limbs aren’t so limber. However, there’s something magical and uber-relaxing about bedtime yoga for me. The perks are great, too: better flexibility and less stress. It’s my favorite yoga ever!
Let me share some of my favorite poses with you. You can even do these in bed. Each of these poses are good to build flexibility, super relaxing and easy to do for all levels:
Reclining Goddess Pose
After a long day at the office, you need to claim back your divinity and have some chill time. The reclining goddess pose is perfect to do that:
- Lie on your back.
- The soles of your feet should be touching, with your knees bent.
- Your arms may lay by your side, palms up. You may also stretch your hands over your head.
This pose is adjustable to what feels best for you. It lets you truly unwind and still the mind after a chaotic day. It’s also beneficial to stretch out the hip area.
Next is child’s pose. You’re basically curled in a fetal position. It’s a beginner resting pose that stretches your hips, thighs and ankles. This position mimics your time as a developing baby in your mother’s womb:
- Kneel down on the floor, sitting on your heels. Try to separate your knees as wide as the span of your hips.
- As you exhale, rest your torso between your legs. Your upper body should nestle between your thighs. Lift your skull toward the ground, bending it away from the back of your neck.
- Lay your hands on the floor beside your chest or beneath your head, comfortably.
Stay in this pose for at least one full minute, inhaling and exhaling with slow deep breaths. Feel your body connect with Mother Earth, and release the tension in your body to her. When you come up, lengthen your upper body, inhale deeply and slowly, and lift from the tailbone to rise.
This rocking pose also mimics a self-soothing position children assume. Here’s what you do:
- Lay on your back and hug your knees close to your chest. Cross your ankles, embracing your shins with clasped hands.
- Rock your body upward in a sitting position. Exhale, and roll back. Yes, you are rocking back and forth.
Continue until the soothing effect takes place, or for at least one minute. From this point, if you feel ready, drift off to sleep.
The legs-up-the-wall pose is great to stretch your legs and relax your back. If you stand on your feet for most of the day, you need this pose in your life:
- Lay down on the bed or floor on your back. Your hips should face the wall.
- Kick your legs up to the wall, and rest them against it vertically. Sone people also spread their legs apart and back together, to work on flexibility.
Feel the stretch in your legs, but remember to relax. If you have issues with your hips, a comfortable pillow under your butt will help to ease awkward tension. This is one of my favorite positions, and I tend to stay in it for at least three minutes. I’ve thought about putting glow-in-the-dark stickers on my ceiling as a meditative focal point.
Sure, it sounds creepy, but the corpse pose is ridiculously relaxing. You also have the added benefit of telling people you slept like the dead. Now, try not to laugh while breathing during this pose:
- Lay on your back.
- Your arms should rest by your side, palms up.
That’s it! This pose is all about resting consciously, even though you’re lying flat on your back. Be a pancake — a cozy, fluffy pancake — for a minute or more. You may choose to end in this pose, as many yoga instructors and practitioners do, and drift off to sleep.
What’s great about these poses is that anyone can do them, and the only time it takes is at least five minutes from your day. What’s better than getting your exercise and relaxation in bed?
Skip bingeing TV shows, and start a new bedtime ritual with yoga. The rewards are amazing and achievable: you will feel more well-rested, relieve daytime stress and gain more flexibility with each pose.