Stretching your Body and Mind before Bed with Yoga
Yoga is a great exercise to help you wind down your muscles before bed, or rejuvenate your body and realign your energy in the morning. Sometimes it may be difficult to know exactly which poses have what effects on your body, so we’ve collected a list of our favorite yoga poses before bed…
Hastapadasana (Hand to Foot Pose, Foot to hand Forward Bend Posture, Standing Forward bend, Jackknife Pose)
Benefits: This position is great for correcting any discomforts in the belly or the digestive track. The chest and hands will become stronger, and your body will also become well-balanced and back posture will be corrected. This stretches the back muscles and makes the spine supple.
Marjariasana (Cat Pose, Billi Posture, or Majr Asana)
Benefits: The cat pose will relieve the tension in the back and neck, as it increases the suppleness of the spine. The stretch also works the inner abdominal organs simultaneously and can be a great benefit people with asthma or heart problems as it expands lung capacity. Most importantly, this is an excellent stretch for spine flexibility, but it also improves digestion and helps blood circulation.
Shishuasana (Child Pose)
Benefits: This position is deeply relaxing for all areas of the body, especially the back. It calms down the nervous system and relieves constipation. All benefits of this position will really help you relax the tension in your body before bed.
BaddhaKonasana (Bound Angle)
Benefits: This position consists of sitting in an upright position while joining the soles of your feet, focusing deeply on your breathing. This will open up your hips and your chest, as well as lengthen your spine, while stimulating the reproductive nervous and respiratory systems. It is also known to remove fatigue and stress especially those from long hours of walking or standing upright.
ViparitaKarani (Legs up on the Wall)
Benefits: This position consists of lifting your legs pointing straight up against the wall, relying on the weight of gravity to give you balance. You will feel the regulation of blood flow, alleviation of menstrual cramps, relief of swollen ankles and varicose veins. It is also known to improve digestion, restore tired feet or legs and increase flexibility.
Shavasana (Corpse Pose)
Benefits: Savasana which is also known as the corpse pose and usually the final yoga pose for its extremely relaxing qualities, putting your body in full rest. It helps relieve mild depression, high blood pressure, headaches, fatigue and insomnia. With this last position, your fatigued muscles get to relax. The tension in your shoulders, jaws and eyes will soften, promoting a quieter state of mind, getting you entirely prepped for a restful sleep.
We recommend to avoid doing Bhastrika Pranayama and SudarshanKriya in late evenings because they have the tendency to fill you up with lots of energy, which could probably hinder with your ability to fall asleep.