Yoga has taken off in the last few years as a great way to reduce stress and stay in shape. But did you know that certain yoga poses can also help your body know when it’s time to turn in, as well as improve your quality of sleep? Be sure to breathe deeply and hold each pose for a few minutes – using props like blankets and bolsters is a great way to make holding poses more comfortable and help yourself relax. Slow and steady wins when it comes to bedtime yoga.
Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend)
Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your knees slightly bent, then fold forward and hold opposite elbows or allow your hands to rest gently on the floor. Stay for about 10 breaths or until you feel you’ve received the benefits of the pose. When you’re ready, slowly roll up one vertebra at a time, bringing your head up last.
Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose)
Find a comfortable seat on your yoga mat. If you’re using a bolster, place it at the base of your spine with a rolled-up blanket at the other end for your head. Bend your knees and bring the soles of your feet together and let your knees fall to the floor. Recline and breathe, imagining yourself melting into your mat or bolster. After a few minutes, roll to one side and slowly sit up.
Viparita Karani (Legs Up The Wall)
Sit sideways as close to the wall as you’re able. Using your hands to keep you steady, lower yourself to lay on the floor and bring your legs up to rest on the wall so that your body is in an L-shaped position. Place your hands beside you on the floor or with one on your belly and one on your chest. Relax and remain for as long as you’re comfortable. The gentle inversion of this pose can improve circulation and lead to a calming sensation that’s sure to send you off to dreamland.