Gentle Nighttime Yoga Routine
After a long day, it feels great to wind down with a nighttime yoga routine. Try these poses that promote relaxation and prepare you for a restful night’s sleep.
In this gentle pose, you warm up the body for the gentle relaxation poses to come. Start by sitting on top of your bent knees. Stretch your arms upward, lifting up your torso and slowly lowering it to the mat below. The key in this pose is to keep your bottom touching your feet while simultaneously stretching forward with your arms. The result will be a deep lengthening of the spine and stretch in the arms.
Legs up the Wall Inversion
Start by lying on your back facing a wall. Bring your legs straight up and let your heels rest on the wall. Let your arms come out to your sides, palms up and breathe deeply into the stretch in your hamstrings. If it feels like too much, move your bottom farther from the wall. If the stretch isn’t enough, move closer to the wall. This inversion pose drains the blood from the lower body and brings the mind to a peaceful state.
Start by lying down on your back: bring your knees up to your chest and hug your arms around them. Cross your ankles and let the opposite hand clasp the other. While inhaling, rock your body up to be seated; while exhaling, roll your body back up. Do this several times to promote fluid release in the spine (which reduces tension built up over the course of the day).
Lie flat on your back and turn your legs outward, bending at the knee. Bring the soles of your feet to touching and let your hands lie still on either side of you. Concentrate on soft, controlled breaths while you feel the soothing stretch in the inner thighs.
This is the best way to end your nighttime yoga routine because it so closely mimics sleep. Lie on your back with your legs straight and your hands gently resting on either side with palms facing up: Pay attention to your breath. Pay attention to any discomfort (an unbalanced sit bone, an itching foot, etc.) and adjust accordingly. Adjusting in this pose is necessary to promote ultimate relaxation.
What’s great about this nighttime yoga routine is that it can be completed in the five minutes before you go to bed. Just dedicate one to two minutes per pose. These poses can even be completed in bed!