Taking a few minutes at the end of the day to come back into your body and making yourself feel comfortable for bedtime is essential to unwinding at the end of a busy day. Get ready to feel more at home in your body with these yoga poses to help you sleep and relax into a great night’s sleep.
Cat and Cow Pose (Marjaryasana and Bitilasana)
Roll forward onto your hands and knees. For the cat pose, exhale as you tilt the crown of the head and the tailbone down to the ground, arching your spine into a C-curve and pulling shoulder blades apart.
Inhale into the Cow pose by bringing the crown of the head and the tailbone up towards the ceiling, hollowing out the lower back. Flow between these two poses as long as you’d like, moving with the pattern of your inhales and exhales and feeling like you’re putting space between every vertebrae and loosening up your spine.
Seated Forward Fold
The seated forward fold allows the mind to settle and the body to stretch. It gently releases the tension in the hamstrings and lower back.
Sit with your legs straight out in front of you. Relax your legs, fold forward, and gently reach for your toes.
When you transition from a seated forward fold to a straddle, you’ll continue to work on opening the hamstrings while also relaxing the chronically tight groin muscles. But this only works if you keep breathing deeply! You aren’t going to release any tension if you’re clenching up and focusing on discomfort. Sit with your legs wide apart. Walk your hands forward, and fold your torso.
Legs Up The Wall
Put your feet up. This is perfect if you’ve been on your feet all day. It brings lots of benefits like improving your circulation and lymph flow. You can practise Legs up the Wall Pose without the bolster and also with your hips further away from the wall. You can also let your feet fall wider apart for a stretch of the inner thighs. So how do you get there? Start off lying on your side with your bolster within reach, bring your hips close to the wall. Bend your knees and then roll onto your back. Push into the wall to lift your hips and slide the bolster under your lower back.
This pose provides you with greater awareness of your space and your breathing pattern while allowing the tension in your chest and shoulders to release prior to a long night of sleep. Lie on your back. Bend your knees, and place your feet hip-distance apart. Your feet should be flat on the floor and close enough that you can touch your heels. As you press through your feet, gently lift your hips. Press into your upper arms to create space in the front of your chest.
Reclined Spinal Twist
This final pose will help ease any neck and shoulder tension while improving circulation.
Lying on your back, bring both knees to your chest. Reach your arms out wide, and gently draw your knees over to the right. Rest here for 10 slow breaths, then switch sides.