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Bedtime Yoga

Last Updated: January 20, 2024

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Learn bedtime yoga for a better night's sleep. From gentle yoga poses to deep breathing techniques, these routines can enhance sleep quality.

Bedtime Yoga Explained

Are you struggling to relax and fall asleep after a long day? Bedtime yoga and stretching might be the solution you need. Engaging in a calming bedtime yoga routine can help ease muscle tension and bring your nervous system to a calm state.

Whether you're new to yoga practice or looking to deepen your nightly routine, our guide offers relaxing yoga poses, breathing techniques, and insights into how bedtime yoga can lead you to a better night's sleep.

What is Bedtime Yoga

Bedtime yoga is a sequence full of gentle yoga poses and deep breaths designed to relax the body and calm the mind before sleep.

Unlike more intense yoga practices, bedtime yoga focuses on gentle stretches and calming poses like a child's pose or legs up the wall. The goal is to ease muscle tension, promote a calm state of mind, and prepare the body for a night's rest.

The Benefits of Bedtime Yoga Practice

Engaging in a bedtime yoga routine offers numerous benefits to both the body and the mind:

  • Better Sleep Quality: Practicing relaxing yoga poses before bed can lead to deeper sleep and improve overall sleep quality.
  • Reduces Stress: The calming effect of gentle practice helps reduce stress and anxiety, allowing for a more peaceful night's sleep.
  • Enhances Flexibility: The gentle stretching involved in bedtime yoga helps release muscle tension in areas like the hips, shoulders, and spine.
  • Promotes Relaxation: Through deep breathing and calming poses, bedtime yoga fosters relaxation, aiding in a smoother transition to sleep.
  • Supports the Parasympathetic Nervous System: By focusing on deep breaths and relaxation, bedtime yoga engages the parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for rest and recovery.

The Use of Yoga Nidra

Yoga Nidra, or yogic sleep, is a powerful meditation technique used in conjunction with bedtime yoga. Unlike regular sleep, Yoga Nidra places the practitioner in a deep state of conscious relaxation between wakefulness and sleep.

This practice involves lying down in a comfortable position, often on a yoga mat, and following a guided meditation.

The guide leads you through a series of body awareness exercises, visualizations, and deep breathing techniques, allowing the mind to relax while maintaining a trace of awareness.

Practicing Yoga Nidra is highly effective in calming the nervous system and can be a significant part of a bedtime yoga routine.

It helps relieve the long day's stress and prepares the body and mind for a restful night's sleep.

Many find it a valuable tool to enhance relaxation and improve sleep quality, making it a popular choice in evening yoga.

Other Yoga Types For Sleep

While bedtime yoga is tailored explicitly for relaxation before sleep, other yoga types can also promote a calm state and a better night's sleep. Here's a look at some ways to practice yoga in the evening:

Gentle Hatha Yoga

Hatha Yoga focuses on slow and controlled yoga postures or asanas, perfect for winding down.

Restorative Yoga

A restorative sequence utilizes props like pillows and blocks to support deep relaxation.

Evening Yin Yoga

A Yin practice targets the connective tissues, allowing deeper stretching and relaxation.

Incorporating these types of yoga into your nightly routine can add variety and deepen the calming effect on your body and mind.

Eight Yoga Poses to Use in a Bedtime Routine

  1. Child's Pose: Sit on your heels and fold forward, stretching your arms out in front of you. A calming pose for stretching the back.
  2. Legs Up the Wall: Lie on your back with your legs extended against the wall. It relieves tension in the legs and promotes relaxation.
  3. Happy Baby: Lie on your back, grab the outside of your feet, and draw your knees toward your armpits. The happy baby pose helps relax the tight hips.
  4. Forward Fold: From a seated position, stretch your legs and fold forward. It stretches the spine and calms the mind.
  5. Cat-Cow Stretch: Alternate between arching and rounding your back on all fours. This pose enhances spine flexibility.
  6. Savasana (Corpse Pose): Lie flat on your back, arms and legs relaxed. This pose encourages full-body relaxation.
  7. Supine Twist: Lie on your back and bring your knees to your chest, then twist to one side. This pose helps relieve back tension.
  8. Butterfly Pose: Sit with your feet together and knees apart, folding forward. It opens the hips and promotes calm.

Breathing Techniques to Use

Breathing deeply and consciously is a vital part of bedtime yoga. Here are two essential techniques:

Diaphragmatic Breathing

During diaphragmatic breathing, focus on filling the diaphragm, taking slow, deep breaths through the nose, and exhaling fully.

4-7-8 Technique

While performing 4-7-8 breathing, start with an inhale for four counts, hold for seven, then exhale for eight. Repeat four times. This method induces a calming effect.

These breathing techniques help activate the parasympathetic nervous system, facilitating relaxation and preparation for rest and deep sleep afterwards.

Simple Stretches for a Good Night’s Sleep

simple stretches for a good nights sleep

Before delving into certain poses, simple stretches can ease you into the practice and help you relax, releasing tension and setting a relaxing tone. Consider these:

  • Neck Rolls: Gently roll your neck from side to side, releasing tension.
  • Shoulder Shrugs: Lift and drop your shoulders, loosening tightness.
  • Arm Stretches: Extend arms, stretching both overhead and across the chest.
  • Gentle Leg Stretches: Extend and flex the legs, focusing on the hamstrings and calves.

Combined with bedtime yoga poses and breathing techniques, these stretches create a comprehensive bedtime routine that can significantly enhance sleep quality and relaxation.

Frequently Asked Questions About Bedtime Yoga Routine

Can you do bedtime yoga in bed?

Absolutely! Bedtime yoga can be adapted for the bed, focusing on poses comfortably performed on a soft surface. Seated stretches and deep breaths in bed can conveniently integrate yoga into your nightly routine.

What yoga pose is best for sleep?

Child's Pose is often regarded as one of the best yoga poses for sleep. The forward fold, combined with the resting position on the heels and feet, creates a soothing effect on the body and mind, promoting relaxation and stress relief.

What yoga poses should you avoid before bed?

Avoid poses that are too energizing or stimulating before you head to bed at night, such as backbends or intense inversions.

These can activate the sympathetic nervous system, which is counterproductive to winding down for sleep.

References

Try This Bedtime Yoga Routine For Better Sleep

The Best Free Bedtime Yoga Videos on Youtube

Bedtime Yoga: Benefits and Poses to Try

15-Minute Bed Yoga Routine to Help You Sleep

Five best yoga poses to help you sleep better and relax at bedtime

Disclaimer

The contents of this article are provided for informational purposes only and are not intended to substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. It is always recommended to consult with a qualified healthcare provider before making any health-related changes or if you have any questions or concerns about your health. Anahana is not liable for any errors, omissions, or consequences that may occur from using the information provided.

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