8 Nighttime Yoga Moves to Try for a Restful Sleep
Have trouble sleeping, or maybe just need a natural routine to take the edge off at the end of your day? Wrapping up your evening with a simple and soothing yoga routine could be just the solution to rid you of stress while preparing for a restful sleep.”When you slow down and stay in a pose, you can feel different areas of the body that are tense … gradually letting that go as you sit and breathe through the pose,” yoga instructor Darcie Clark told Best Health.
Try these eight moves to prime your body and mind for a more restful night in bed.
1. Revolved Janu Sirasasana
Sitting up on a mat or in bed, extend legs out in front of your body. Fold one knee into chest, then open it to the side so that the sole of your foot is tucked and touching the inner thigh of the opposite leg. Open your chest, then extend your top arm overhead, arching toward the foot and extended leg. Slowly twist your torso to lengthen the waist, holding this post for five to eight breaths. Perform the stretch on both sides for best effect, recommends Health.
2. Bent-Knee Lying Down Twist
Begin by lying on your back, says Women’s Health. Bend your knee back against your chest as shown. Then, twist your leg over and across your body. Turn your head to face the opposite direction, then bring your arms to a T shape — extended outwards toward either side. Perform this stretch on both sides.
3. Upside-Down Relaxation
Here’s an easy move from Fitness to get your legs stretched out and comfortable before a long night of sleep. Sit down facing a wall or the headboard of your bed. Lie back, extending your legs upward to lean along that surface. Scoot closer to or farther from the wall to get the right intensity level for your stretch. Rest arms by your sides, palms facing upward. Breathe slowly and gently, feeling the stretch in your hamstrings and the backs of your legs.
4. Nighttime Goddess Stretch
Lie on your back. Place the bottoms of your feet together and let your knees fall outward and open to form a diamond shape with your legs, advises Fitness. Rest your arms on the bed, stretched out on either side of you. If this stretch proves to be too demanding on your legs, place pillows underneath knees.
5. Child’s Pose
Child’s pose — also called balasana, notes Yoga Journal — is a wonderfully relaxing rest pose. In order to perform it, Fitness says that you sit up comfortably on your heels. Next, bring your torso forward until your forehead rests on the bed or mat in front of you. Hold this pose and breathe for 10 seconds, or as long as desired.
6. Supine Spinal Twist
Also called supta matsyendrasana, this move is a great way to release tension in the spine, observes Yoga Journal. To perform it, lie down on your back. Bring your right knee into your chest and then across your left side. Extend your right arm out and direct your gaze to the right side. Breathe deeply, then repeat this move on the other side. To perform a variation, The Huffington Post writes that you can bring both legs up together, bring them to the left, breathe, then switch to the right.
Savasana – also referred to by Yoga Journal as Corpse Pose — is another restful position to help guide you toward a night of pacifying sleep. To perform this simple move, lie down on your back and extend your legs straight, suggests The Huffington Post. Rest here for a minute or so, breathing slowly and mindfully.
8. Brief Meditation
In her Women’s Health feature, Stiles adds that a brief meditation period is the best way to wrap up a soothing yoga session in the evening. To perform this meditation, sit up in a comfortable position on your bed. Your legs can be extended in front of you or folded, whichever is to your liking. Sitting up, lean slightly back against pillows or backboard. Close your eyes, breathe slowly and deeply, and drop your palms onto your thighs.