10 min bedtime Yoga Flow
by Trisha Hurckes on Saturday 18 February 2023
4 min read
We all know too well that sometimes life can get a little intense with the mind going through a million things at once, wreaking havoc in our sense of wellbeing and sleep.
As soon as our heads land on the pillow we grab our phones and dive into a mindless scroll through social media, the news or anything that can entertain us until our eyelids become heavy. Our thoughts spiral into a sort of numbness, which then sends us into an average and mediocre sleep.
Coming out of lockdown, a time where our only connection was through our phones and social media, it is important to change the way we wind down for a good nights sleep. Tapping into our parasympathetic nervous system, otherwise known as our rest and digest mode, through yoga and breath work before bed allows for a healthier and more substantial nights sleep. Not only will we wake up feeling less groggy but studies show that a good sleep can lead to a better immune system and higher brain performance.
Ideally this change in our sleep routine would happen every night! But lets start with a small goal of just 1-2 nights per week, and sooner or later your new nightly habits will become too irresistible to skip. Wind your mind and body down, away from the hum of the everyday with this quick 10-minute yoga sequence. And if done daily, you could be catching better and more zzz’.
- At least 30 min to an hour before bed try not to look at your phone (I know, that’s crazy talk but trust me it helps!)
- Put on a relaxing playlists, nature sounds, or even silence is an option!
- Sit up comfortable in any seated position (this can be done in bed or on the floor up to you!) Softly close the eyes and relax your shoulders.
The Yoga flow
- Start to let go of the day by focusing on the breath. Inhale through the nose for 4 counts, and exhale through the nose for 5 counts.
- Make your way to childs pose (Balasana) with the knees either together or slightly apart. If you would like more support, you can place a pillow underneath your forehead or your belly. Stay here for 1-2 minutes, roughly 10-15 long breaths.
- Slowly roll up and extend the legs out in front. Keep your knees soft or bent and slide a pillow under your legs. Melting into to a forward fold (paschimottanasana), with the hands resting down by your side. Stay here for 1-2 minutes.
- After your last breath slowly make your way back up to a seat, remove the pillow from under your legs and bend the knees into the chest giving yourself a little hug for a breath in and out.
- Lower down onto your back for Sleepy Butterfly. Slide a pillow under your back in between the upper spine and lower back creating a subtle arch. With the soles of your feet together, let your knees fall out to each side. For extra support place any other pillows you have under each knee. This is my go to before bed, allowing the heart and shoulders to open up after a long day of sitting, scrolling, typing, and working at a desk. Stay here for the 2-3 minutes, roughly 20-30 breaths.
- If you aren’t already zenned out and ready for bed the last pose you can transition to is legs up the wall. Laying flat on your spine scotch as close to the wall as you can and extend your feet up the wall. This pose alleviates tired legs and helps the body to de-stress and decompress. Hold this for the remainder of your 10 minutes or longer if needed. At least 10 breaths. Slowly bend the knees and roll onto one side.
- Once you are done, make your way under the covers for some shut eye, you can always end with a savasana in bed and allow yourself to doze off into good nights sleep.
If you enjoyed that, give one of Virgin Active’s Yoga Calm Classes a go, where it focusses on restoratives moves held for a period of time to help you decompress from a long day.
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