Practicing yoga is a great way to start the day. You can choose between gently waking the body up through Pawamuktasana or you can warm the body up fast with a couple rounds of Sun Salutations.
There are a great number of benefits from practicing yoga in the mornings:
- Sets your breath for the day
- Sets your mental tone
- Encourages health for the whole day
- You’ll focus better on the day ahead
- Your energy levels will be boosted
- You’ll be better able to manage stress
- Boosts your digestive system
But did you know that practicing yoga before bed can be just as beneficial to your body and mind as it is in the mornings? Think of this scenario: you’ve had a long day at work, you’ve come home, cooked dinner, tidied up, and you’re exhausted. You’d consider going for a walk but it’s raining outside and so you simply just want to laze around and go to bed. Sound familiar?
If so, why not try some ‘Bedtime Yoga’?
- If your muscles and joints are achy and sore from standing or sitting at a desk all day, this routine will ease them and give you a much better quality of sleep.
- Yoga helps the circulatory flow of energy through the body. When the prana is flowing we feel much happier and content. If we are much happier and content before we go to bed, we have an even greater quality of sleep!
- These 15 minutes you’ll spend before going to bed will be spent not scrolling through social media on your phone, tablet, or laptop.
- Bedtime yoga is one of the best defences against insomnia.
- Going to bed with your mind racing is results in a sleepless night, bedtime yoga with counteract that.
- It’s night time so why not create the perfect environment for yourself to relax? Light some candles, essential oils, low lighting, blankets, and set the correct mood for your poses in preparation for sleeping.
All it takes is 15 minutes before you crawl into bed – and you can even do it in your bedroom!
Standing Forward Bend
Forward bends are very soothing to the nervous system so when your head is hanging downwards it will feel as though all the stress from the day is pouring out of the top of your head! Start with Mountain Pose, inhale raising your arms above your head and exhale folding down from the hips with a straight back lengthening the spine. Relax your shoulders, tuck your chin in, and extend the crown of your head towards the floor lengthening your spine even further. Place your hands on the floor, fingertips on the mat, or hands to the backs of your calves – whichever is comfortable for you. Hang there breathing slowly and deeply for ten breaths.
Wide Legged Forward Bend
Loosen up your shoulders, spine, and legs all at the same time in this powerful and tension releasing pose. Standing with your feet apart so that when your arms are stretched out your wrists and ankles are aligned. Bring your arms behind your back, clasp your fingers and push the heels of your hands together. Fold forward from the hips bringing the crown of your head closer to the floor. Relax into the position as your shoulders slowly release and your arms stretch further outwards. Hold for ten breaths.
Stretch out your spine, hips, thighs, ankles in this incredible stress reducing pose. Get into a kneeling position, Stretch your arms forward, while keeping your tailbone pushed back against the the back of your heels. Stretch until you feel comfortable and then rest your arms into a relaxing position. Your stomach should sit on top of your thighs. Relax and take ten long and deep breaths.
Happy Baby Pose
Let go of all that tension in your hips and lower back with this beautiful and relaxing pose. Hug your knees into your chest for a couple of breaths. Once achieved, separate your legs and hold onto the outside edges of your flexed feet with your hands – remember to keep your arms on the outsides of your legs. Try not to tense your shoulders or chest and remember to keep everything relaxed. Hold for ten breaths.
Release that tension in your spine from a long day’s work with this reclined twist. Lie on your back and wrap your left toes around the back of your right ankle. Extend your arms out straight or in cactus with palms facing up. Slowly lower both knees to the left. When they are resting on the ground turn your head in the opposite direction. Hold for ten breaths. Use your core to bring your knees back to centre and the repeat for the opposite side.
Legs up the Wall
Drain out all those toxics and fluids that accumulate around your feet, ankles, calves and knees by sitting with your bottom close to where the floor meets the wall. Lie down on your back, shuffle your bum in even closer and prop your legs up against the wall like a right angle. Close your eyes, let your arms fall out and allow your body to relax. Hold for ten breaths.
…. And Shavasana! ॐ