8
Oct
2014
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Yoga poses to help you wind down

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I read a study recently that said that a lot of Americans don’t get enough sleep (click here for article) I think a lot of us forget the actual value of getting rest. A lack of good night’s sleep not only affects our energy levels the next day, it is also linked to helping us lose weight, increase concentration, prevent injuries and more! (click here)

Most of us are physically tired by the end of the day, but it’s our brains that don’t seem to shut off that in turn keeps us awake. As I lie in bed, my brain does the list that goes something like this…

“Oh must sign up for gym session…get gift for so-and so, oh damn forgot to RSVP to the baby shower, hmm shower – yes must buy new shampoo and make sure it’s without sulfates, I hear sulfates are bad for the environment, speaking of the environment.. I should really compost….”

I’m sure a lot of you are familiar with this..and if you don’t do this before bed, then I’m really jealous.

So what can we do to quiet our brains down before bed? Here are some bed-time rituals one could try..

  • Read a book or listen to an audio book in dim lighting
  • Take a warm bath
  • Listen to soft / soothing music
  • Do the following yoga poses in your bed listed below!

You guys knew this was coming – it is a yoga blog after all 😉 I have listed a few yoga poses below that you can do to help your mind and body just relax. Dim your bedroom lights, lie on your comfortable bed, relax, try some of these stretches out and notice how your body and MIND feel!

I’ve demonstrated these poses on the ground but you can definitely just do them on your bed (perhaps on a casper mattress?* A good mattress definitely makes a difference)

Sukhasana – Easy Seat – Closing your eyes and doing a silent meditation for a few breaths. Maybe think of something that you’re grateful for and just breathe here for a couple of minutes.

Apanasana – Hugging knees to chest – Roll side to side and relax your low back, your spine and kidneys. This feels so yummy for your low back!

apanasana

Supta Baddha Konasana – Supine Bound Angle – With your lungs fully exposed and relaxed, take a few deep breaths and send your exhales to your hips. A lot of us have desk jobs and we sit all day and don’t get to stretch our hips out much. Instead of a bolster used in this picture below, use a pillow if you like or simply lie flat 🙂

photo 1

Ardha Ananda Balasana – Half Happy Baby – I love this pose for easing tension in my quads and hips! You know anything with the word Baby in it is going to feel great. Extend one leg, bend the other and hold the outside of the foot as you gently flex your foot into your hands as you push your hand into your foot creating mild resistance.

halfhappybaby

Jathara Parivartarnasana – Reclining Twists – SO good to help loosen the tension stored in our hips, shoulders, and hamstrings

recliningtwists

Jathara Parivartarnasana Part 2 – Reclining Twists part 2 with both knees bent

twistagain

Figure 4 stretch (sorry don’t know the Sanskrit name for this…is there one??) – I like to open up my hips in this pose as I put mild pressure on the bent knee (for the leg that is resting on the other one…make sense?..gosh I hope)

hamstring

 

Finally, just rest. Lie flat and get comfy. Think good thoughts as you lie there and just breathe easy. With each exhale, think about releasing tension from all parts of your body and hopefully, you eventually drift into relaxing slumber.

It’s been a really rough few weeks for me work and life-wise and I hope I use my own advice. Let me know it goes for you!

As always, thanks so much for reading.

Namaste

*Disclaimer – I was contacted by Casper Mattress to write a blog post about bed time yoga poses. However, I am not being compensated in any way shape or form. All thoughts and opinions are my own and the blog post was written by my own volition*

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1 Response

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