It’s no secret that sleep is a recurring theme in my world. I’m a troubled sleeper (to say the least) and have found a few tips and tricks over the years to help me get quality rest. One of the best tools has been bedtime yoga. I love yoga anytime of the day or night but there are a few key postures that quickly ease me into restful sleep. And the best part – you can do this yoga in your pajamas right in bed! Casper, the makers of the outrageously comfortable memory foam mattress, asked me for my favorite poses that can be done in bed.
These poses, in particular, are sleep superstars. They ease tension in the body and mind, release your lower back and hips, and encourage deep breathing. This sequences includes inversions, gentle twists, hip openers, and restorative poses.
Seated forward fold (Paschimottanasana)
Sit in bed with your legs extended and toes pointed toward the ceiling. Inhale and lift your arms toward the sky and exhale while bending forward from your hips. Imagine your torso moving to rest on your thighs. If possible, hold your feet. You can use a strap to assist in the pose or bend your knees. On the inhales lengthen from your torso and on the exhales stretch a bit deeper, being sure that you don’t round your spine. Hold for one minute.
Seated spinal twist (Ardha Matsyendrasana)
Sit in bed with your legs extended. Bend your left leg and cross it over your right leg with your left foot on the mattress. Gently twist your torso to the left and place your left arm behind your seat and your right elbow against your left knee. On the inhales lengthen your spine long and on the exhales twist deeper. Hold for one minute and reverse sides.
Legs up the wall (Viparita Karani)
Sit facing the wall or your headboard. Lie down with your knees bent and feet on the mattress. Lift your legs straight up toward the ceiling and position your back so your legs are straight up and resting against the wall. Place your arms at your sides with your palms facing up. You can stay in the position, breathing deeply, for several minutes. Optional: place a bolster, pillow, or folded blanket/towel under your seat for support.
Double pigeon (Agnistambhasana)
Sitting in easy pose, place your right leg on top of your left so that your right ankle is over your left knee and your shins are parallel to the wall in front of you. Inhale and length your spine tall and exhale, bending from your hips just to the point of gentle stretching. You can rest your hands on your knees or place them on the floor. On each inhale lengthen your spine and stretch deeper on the exhales. Remain in the pose for one minute and switch sides.
Child’s pose (Balasana)
Start in a tabletop position on your hands and knees. Bring your big toes together and your knees wide apart. Sit back on your heels, place several pillows (or a yoga bolster) in front of you (optional) and extend your upper body forward so you are resting on the mattress or pillows. Rest your arms wherever the feel comfortable and breathe deeply. Enjoy this restful position for several minutes.
Corpse pose (Savasana)
Lie back (making sure you move any pillows out of your way so your head is on the mattress), allow your feet to fall to either side and stretch your arms out to your sides with your palms facing up. Optional – use an acupressure mat under your back, listen to a guided meditation or calm music, place a blanket over you, and wear an eye mask. Stay in this position for as long as it takes!
What are your favorite bedtime yoga poses?