Good evening yogis! These are a few poses and modifications to poses to do before sleep.Lately I’ve been feeling tired when I wake up, as if I didn’t get the full hours of snoozing that I did. I also have a dangerous habit of watching TV or checking my phone before falling asleep which apparently make its harder for your body to fully ‘check-out’ whilst you slumber. I’m trying to sort this problem out with books and yoga 15 minutes before bed instead of tv or phone. Keep the restful sleep!
You don’t need a fancy sports bra or expensive yoga props -or even an entire 75 minutes-to do some meaningful yoga for you body and mind.15 minutes in your bed with a pillow (to ensure you aren’t ‘pushing yourself’ and instead focusing on relaxing into the shape) can make a world of difference when that alarm goes off in the morning.
Here are 5 propped poses you can practice in your own bed (whether its a large one or a small one) at your own pace and to your own comfort!
1.Seated Forward Bend//Paschimottanasana
Gently swing your legs out in front of you and find a ‘neutral pelvis’ (where your spine is long and tall and comfortable). Place your pillows- as many as you would like!- over your extended legs and keeping your spine long, fold forward slowly while exhaling. Fold until you are comfortable- for me, thats not very far at all, for you it may be further! You can hug the pillow and continue to breathe here for as long as you feel the pose needs to work. I find it takes me a long time breathing in this pose before I begin to feel ‘the magic’.
Placing the pillow between you knees, begin to sit your bum back and towards the bed as much as is comfortable. You may even wiggle a pillow behind your bottom as well to have your hips raised a bit for comfort. This pose is really calming and as such you should place your arms wherever feels safest for you. I love to keep mine extended over head/ around my face because it forces me to close my eyes and release deeper. You can also keep your arms down by your sides or even hugging the pillow beneath you.
3. Wide Bound Angle Pose//Baddah Konasana
Instead of doing bound angle pose where your feet are pulled in tight to your body, I invite you to extend them outward, connecting the soles of your feet. This creates a diamond shape with your legs. Note that if you have any difficulty with your knees, you should use pillow props under them as well! Now you can place a pillow in between your knees and very very slowly begin to fold forward on an exhale. This is great pose for anyone who tends to sit all day long but be sure to take great caution. If it doesn’t feel good, do not go further!
4. Pillow Propped Heart Opener
Sitting with your tailbone to the long edge of the pillow begin to slowly slowy lower yourself to be laying over top of them on your back. Be very careful of your surroundings and never ever move quickly when lowering yourself down. It would be awful to bump your head! Your chest will feel a slight opening as well as your low back. Again this is a great pose for those sitting or hunched over a computer all day. Most of the poses in this post are forward folds- this pose allows the spine to move the opposite way creating balance before you go to sleep.
5. Legs Up The Headboard//Viparita Karani
Shimmy you bum as close to your headboard as possible (or your pillows) and carefully swing your legs up the ‘wall’. I place a pillow under my head for comfort but you don’t need to if you don’t feel like it. This pose is a slight inversion and a great for calming the nervous system. Perfect for right before you fall asleep!
I also love to read before sleep- sometimes you can even incorporate the poses into your reading! Books are best in legs up the wall-amiright? 🙂