Yoga is an incredible way to unwind and bring relaxation and peace to a busy and stressful life. So many people struggle to shut off at night and have trouble sleeping because their mind keeps them up.
Incorporating a regular yoga practice into your night-time routine can have some amazing effects on sleep and stress levels. We tend to carry tension around both physically and mentally and yoga is a terrific way of releasing everything you've been holding on to throughout the day, allowing you to get those Z's!
1. Relieves insomnia
Research points to the effectiveness of yoga and other mind-body therapies in treating insomnia and promoting better sleep. You may be able fall asleep quicker, sleep for longer and have better quality, less distrubed sleep.
2. Promotes relaxation
Yoga helps to put your body in a calm state, known as the relaxation response where your body goes into the parasympathetic nervous system. This is the opposite of the fight-or-flight response. This calms you down, promotes good digestion and may cause you to have lower blood pressure and lower amounts of the stress hormone cortisol.
3. Weight loss
A consistent yoga practice is related to
4. Helps depression and anxiety
Those who struggle with mental health, know that it can often be a cause of insomnia and an inability to switch off and relax. Spending a short amount of time practicing yoga as regularly as you are able to is proven to help manage the feelings of depression and anxiety. It might not be a cure, but so many people have found life-changing positive effects from yoga.
The Best Yoga Poses For Before Bed
1. Seated Forward Fold
This pose is great for grounding down and surrendering. You can place a bolster or cushion in between your legs as you fold for added comfort.
- Sitting down on your bottom with your spine straight, shoulders engaged and chest open, extend your legs in front of you, toes flexed
- Fold forward from your hips and extend your torso and arms out in front of you. Keeping your chest open - don't let your shoulders fold foward.
2. Seated Spinal Twist
A powerful and heart opening pose that stretches and rejuvenates your spine, torso and side body.
- Sitting down, with one leg crossed, bring the other leg over your thigh and place it down just on the outside.
- Take the arm that is on the same side as the raised leg and cross your elbow over the bent knee.
3. Downwards Facing Dog
A great pose for strengthening and self reflection, as it's an inverted pose, it's very calming.
- From table top position, tuck your toes and push your hips up and back towards the sky.
- Spread your fingers and push down with your palms.
- Try and get your heels on the floor for a great hamstring stretch.
4. Child's Pose
A very calming pose for grounding and internal focus. For added cozy-ness, place a bolster or pillow between your legs and under your torso.
- From table top position, push your hips back down towards your heels and stretch your hands forwards.
- You can either keep your knees close or take them wide, for a deeper stretch.
5. Pigeon Pose
Pigeon pose is a fantastic way to ground down through the hips and find stillness. You can fold forward in the pose (add bolsters or cushions if you want!) for extra calming.
- From downwards facing dog, bring one leg forward (as you would a lunge) and place it sideways across your mat as close to a right angle as comfortable.
- Come down off the back leg and relax into the hip, making sure that they remain facing forwards.
For those of you who like a full hours practice or coming into the studio, we offer lots of calming restorative and yin classes in the evening both online and in studio, check out Our Timetable.
What poses help you to relax? Let us know in the comments!
By: Katrina Scales