Stressed Before Bed? Try Flowing Through This 10 Minute Yoga Sequence To Help You Unwind
You know when you're tired AF after the longest day ever, and sleep sounds like the sexiest thing in existence? But right when you get all cozy and ready for some quality shut-eye, your brain decides to perk the f*ck up and remind you of every single thing you've ever been stressed out about since, like, the fourth grade? Ah, good times. Don't worry though, because if you're frequently stressed before bed, a simple, soothing yoga flow could be the answer to your late-night anxiety.
Honestly, no matter how many deep breaths you take, sheep you count, or copious amounts of lavender you aggressively rub onto your temples, catching some Zs just seems downright impossible some nights.
But according to Mayo Clinic, adding just a few minutes of yoga to your nightly routine helps reduce stress, as well as lower your blood pressure and your heart rate — all which lead to totally blissful slumber.
Of course, stress is pretty much unavoidable, but that doesn't mean it has to interfere with your sleep schedule. As a yoga teacher, every time my brain goes into overdrive right when I hit the pillow, rolling out my mat and moving my body through gentle poses is always a surefire way to help me relax.
So, the next time stress is keeping you up at night, try flowing through this simple, 10-minute yoga sequence for total mind-body relaxation. Before you know it, you'll be out like a light.
1. Seated Side Bend Pose (Parsva Sukhasana)
Crawl out of bed and onto your yoga mat, starting with a seated side bend pose.
Start breathing slowly and deeply, raising your right arm up and over your body, and placing your left hand on the floor. Feel the juicy stretch in your neck, shoulders, and back, which are all areas that commonly hold onto stress acquired throughout the day.
Repeat the movement on the other side after a few breaths and begin to release any thoughts that aren't serving you.
2. Cat Cow Flow (Marjaryasana/Bitilasana)
Flowing through cat cow poses will bring your deep breathing into the front and back of your body and encourage relaxation.
This expansive, fluid spinal stretch is the perfect way to unwind after a long day, and will silence any chatter circulating in your mind.
Make sure to link each movement with its own breath, and add any additional movements that feel good for your body.
3. Wide Knee Child's Pose (Balasana)
Child's pose is an incredibly grounding and soothing asana that feels both safe and nourishing for your body and mind.
Stress can put pressure on your adrenal glands, which are located near your kidneys. Child's pose soothes that pressure and releases the tension stored in the body.
Make a conscious effort to allow your hips to sink into the ground in this pose, and release any tension in your head, neck, shoulders, and jaw.
4. Forward Folding Butterfly (Baddha Konasana)
Baddha konasana is typically done with your feet closer in toward your body, but in this more restorative, before-bed version, you'll want to distance your feet from your pelvis.
Slowly melt toward the ground with a rounded back, using each exhale of the breath to sink a bit deeper.
This asana will bring your awareness inward and feel like a massage for both your body and your mind.
5. Legs Up The Wall Pose (Vipareet Karani)
According to Yoga Journal, a lot of yogis believe this pose has the ability to cure just about anything in the body. #ChallengeAccepted
Harness the unique power of this pose to melt your stress away. Maintain even, expansive breathing as you rest in this pose. Consider using a blanket underneath if you'd like a little extra support.
6. Corpse Pose (Savasana)
Finally, settle into a sweet savasana with your mind newly restored, relaxed, and renewed.
Corpse pose is an asana of complete relaxation that quiets the entire physical body and the mind. Take a deep inhale and on your exhale, release any lingering negativity or tension you may be holding onto.