You are all wound up, and it is time to go to bed. You know a book might not work, you have done everything else you can think of… but what if there were some yoga poses to help you sleep better at night? Guess what? There are. A gentle yoga practice at night that is focused around forward folds can be just the thing to quiet your mind and its endless chatter.
- Begin with some gentle ujjayi breathing while standing.
- Create an intention for your practice.
- Side stretch with breath work. Inhale stretch your left arm overhead and stretch to the right (sideways stretch). Hold your breath, stretch up and over more, then exhale to release. Change sides and do this as many times as feels good.
- Temple pose -legs about three feet apart, toes turned out 45 degrees, lean forward- hinging at the hips. Inhale arms out to sides with palms up. Exhale hands to prayer. Do this 3-5 times.
- Inhale to stand.
- Wide legged forward fold –turn toes in, slightly pigeon toed.
- Move from temple to forward fold three times, taking 3- 5 breaths in each pose. Take variations of the forward fold each time if you like.
- Seated twist –sit with right leg straight, cross left leg over right, twist by hugging knee to chest. Inhale to extend the spine, exhale to twist. Change sides.
- Pigeon –bring right leg forward and walk right foot to the left side of the mat, place your left knee down and slide it back, right foot may be close to hips or shin parallel to front of your mat. If your knee hurts, bend your back knee and sit on your right hip so legs make a z formation. Change sides after a few minutes on each side.
- Meditation –take some time to radiate gratitude toward something or someone you love
- Viparita Karani– legs up the wall
- Enjoy a good night’s sleep.
If you try this sequence at home, we’d love to hear from you. Did it work? How well did you sleep?