Sleep is serious. Now more than ever, people are having trouble sleeping, struggling with bad dreams, or anxious thoughts that keep them up. Reduced sleep quality has a significant impact on the quality of your day. These five yoga poses are particularly relaxing, and you can do them right before bed. They aren’t challenging or going to make you sweat.
These are all poses from yin yoga, which focuses on holding poses for a longer duration. Each pose is performed on the floor; sitting or laying on the floor helps relaxation compared to more challenging standing poses that make you use muscles for balance. Just be sure to consult with a doctor before trying out any exercise regime.
Oh, child’s pose. There’s nothing more relieving than finishing a good yoga session in this simple pose. Child’s pose is a basic pose everyone learns in a beginner’s yoga class. It gently stretches your lower back and shoulders, so it’s very relaxing, especially if you hold it for a while and sink into it.
At first, this pose might seem a bit uncomfortable. Let yourself ease into it and don’t push the initial stretch too hard. After a minute or two, you will relax into the stretch.
A lot of us shift around a lot in bed before finally falling asleep. It’s harder to settle into sleep when your lower back feels tight. Supine Twist loosens your back muscles as well as the neck and shoulders. Sure, it looks like a weird pretzel move, but it definitely doesn’t feel that way.
Puppy Dog Pose
This is a bit like Child’s Pose, but your weight is shifted more to the top of the mat. Keep your hips centered over your knees. It’s another pose that makes you feel relaxed once you hold it for a while, and like the other stretches here, it isn’t challenging to perform. Add a calming, meditative element to the pose by focusing on your breath and gradually loosening up your shoulders.
Thread the Needle
This is an excellent pose for dealing with shoulder tension. If much of your day is spent at a desk, you probably need to relax your shoulders more than you realize. Make sure you ease into this pose. It can feel a little tough at first, so just go easy and let yourself relax as you hold it for a minute or two.
If you’ve ever done yoga, you know the relief of hearing your instructor say the magic word, “savasana.” You may not even think of this as a pose at all, but if you lay down in the pose (palms up, legs slightly apart), you’ll realize most of us never actually just lay out like this and just a few moments to relax.
This is a great pose to use in bed just before sleep. Focus on your breathing, let your mind be calm, and you’ll be on your way to a good night’s sleep before you can say, “namaste.”