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Winding down and setting yourself up for a good night’s sleep can be tricky.
It’s so hard to put your phone down, turn off that movie and actually let yourself switch off. These five yoga poses will help relax your body and prepare your mind for a night of rest, and you can do them from your bed…
This is one of my favorite poses in yoga, mainly because it doesn’t involve too much stretching! It helps me focus on my breath without having to totally contort my body into weird shapes – the best of both worlds. You can hop out of bed and do this on a mat (or folded up towel), or you can practice it in bed.
Shift so that you’re on your knees, with your feet tucked underneath you. Lean forward until your body is essentially resting on your thighs. Place your forehead gently on the ground or mattress. There shouldn’t be any tension in your body, so relax your shoulders down, and stretch your arms so they rest alongside your body.
Aim to find space between your ears and your shoulders. We all tend to have our shoulders hunched up due to stress or working on laptops all the time. You can choose to have your palms facing up or down.
From here, focus on your breathing and, if you can, rest your bum onto your heels. If this isn’t possible, don’t worry. Your head being on the floor is the main aspect of this pose, so it doesn’t matter too much if your bum is sticking in the air!
Your body will still wind down, and you don’t really have to do much work. Happy days…
I think that this is my favorite yoga pose – I’m currently wearing a t-shirt that says ‘I’m just here for savasana’ to show my devotion to this chilled posture. This is also known as ‘corpse pose’, so get prepared to stay pretty still…
Lie on your bed with your legs spread slightly apart and your arms at your sides. They shouldn’t touch your body, and your palms should be facing the sky. Readjust your torso so that your shoulders are snuggled underneath your ribcage.
Again, look to make space between your ears and shoulders. You shouldn’t feel any excessive stretching or tautness. This is designed to be a pose for reflection, so take the time to get settled.
I sometimes like to take a variation and place my left hand over my heart and my right hand over my stomach. Rest the hands gently, don’t push down or fidget. Notice your breath and how it moves through your body. This will help relax your muscles and will take your mind off the other three hundred things it normally thinks about.
Another easy pose to practice in bed! Lie on your back with both legs fully stretched out and straight. Raise and bend your left leg towards your body. Twist your torso so that the left knee rests on the floor by the outer edge of your right knee. This time you should feel a nice stretch as your leg crosses over your body, and your hips should feel loose.
Shift your arms – stretch them both out to form a straight line from your shoulders, through the elbows, to your hands. From here, you can choose to move the lower part of your arm so it’s at a right angle to your bicep. Imagine you’re trying to look like a cactus!
Look to the left so that your upper body is twisted in the opposite direction to your leg. Hold for ten slow breaths and swap sides. This will help your body wind down and also aids digestion.
This is a reclining variation on the regular butterfly pose, so you can easily drift off without having to move too much. Lie on your back and bring the soles of your feet together, letting your knees naturally fall to the sides.
It doesn’t matter if your knees don’t touch the mattress, just allow them to grow heavy and find a comfortable position. Your legs should now be in a diamond shape.
You can do whatever you like with your arms here, really – rest them on your body or allow them to fall by your sides. Focus on your breathing and close your eyes. If you want to, you can slowly and gently allow the knees to bob up and down.
This is another super easy pose that will you unwind. You’ll quickly see where the name comes from. Lie on your back and shift your weight so that your legs are up in the air.
Keep the knees softly bent and hold on to your big toes, or soles of your feet, with your hands. Hold the feet about knee-width apart if this is comfy – the idea is to have a foot in each hand and chill here.
Your back should be flat to the floor, and your legs and arms can both be bent. You can rock gently from side to side if it feels good, or just bounce your legs slowly up and down. This return to a child-like state will help your mind relax, and is a comfy position to hold for a few minutes at a time.
Don’t stretch your legs out straight unless it feels good to do so! This isn’t meant to be competitive, so don’t feel as though you have to push yourself. Find a comfy position and relax there, breathing deeply and slowly.
Practicing yoga does wonders for your mind and body. Some poses are perfect for getting you ready for a busy day, while others are more restorative and soothing. These five poses will help your muscles relax at the end of a long day. The focus on your breath will help your mind shift from a state of activity to one of calm.
Don’t force anything, and try your best to move with purpose. It’s so common to rush to the next step, even when you’re sleepy. We’re wired to constantly think about what’s happening next, but try and calm your mind. Make each movement meaningful, and really think about what it’s doing for your body.
The idea here is to commit to the moment, and let go of the day’s stress and tension. These should not feel as though they are putting any extra strain on your body, so make sure you feel comfortable and you’ll find yourself drifting off…
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