When you start a bedtime routine, you may look for a way to increase relaxation and sleep. You might not even think that yoga is something that can help you with your sleep, but it can. Here is a step-by-step yoga routine that you can do next to your bed before bedtime.
Downward Facing Dog
Start with the downward facing dog pose. This pose stretches the leg and back muscles. This helps remove tension from your body. The idea of this pose is to make a triangle with your body. Place your feet flat on the mat. Then put your hands in front of your feet, toward the front of your mat. This creates a triangle with the rear as the point. You can modify the pose to be easier on the body. If you slowly move your feet and hands closer together, you’ll make it a more challenging pose that builds your flexibility.
Side Angle Pose
From downward facing dog, you can easily transition into the side angle pose. This pose has you rise up to an upright V shape, with your core being the point of the V and your feet spread out flat on the ground. Raise your arms and lean to one side and then to the other. Your goal with this pose is to stretch your side muscles. Perform the pose slowly to work out any tension. You will breathe slowly through each side for at least twenty seconds.
As you move out of the side angle pose, bring your feet together and bend at the waist. The idea with this pose is to be able to place your hands in front of your feet, flat on the floor. Though this may seem impossible initially, you can work up to it. The critical point at first is to bend at the waist and try to touch your toes without causing harm to your body.
Once you have finished the forward bend, you can move to a sitting position. The ideal seated position is called the lotus pose. This pose has you sitting with your legs crossed, and your hands turned palm up on your knees. Close your eyes and begin breathing with slow, steady meditative breaths.
The final pose is the corpse pose. To perform this pose:
- Lie on your back on the floor.
- Place your legs out straight with your feet slightly further than shoulder-width apart.
- Face the soles of your feet outward. Your arms should be approximately a 45-degree angle from your body, with your palms facing up.
- Lay in this pose for several minutes, breathing slowly.
By doing this routine as the end of your sleep ritual, you will sleep better over time. If you share the bed or have kids, this can be tougher to do, but you can work around that and get your yoga routine in for bedtime and better sleep.