Posted by on Oct 8, 2016 in Wellness, Yoga and Meditation | 0 comments

Bedtime Yoga for Restful Sleep Video

Yoga can be a wonderful way to complete your day and wind down for a restful night of sleep. Sleep is such an integral part of health and well-being and allows our bodies and minds to recover, repair, and integrate our day-to-day experiences in a holistic way. Making sure that you get enough of that deep, REM sleep is very important. Relaxing before bed with yoga can assist you with that!

Like the other videos on this site, it may be helpful for you to read through the video transcript first to get a feel for what to expect and then you can practice along with me. Just relax, unwind, and let go! Sleep well!

 

Click Here to read a full transcript of this video

Introduction: Hi, I am Wendy and I am a Marriage and Family Therapist, the founder of Sol Flower Wellness, and a Certified Yoga Teacher. Today I am here to talk to you about a yoga sequence that you can use right before you go to sleep to wind down from your day and drift off into a rejuvenating and relaxing sleep. So to begin just find a place in your bedroom where you can lay out a mat or a towel or whatever it is that works for you and that you would have enough room to extend your legs and be able to extend your arms out to the sides. So just go ahead and make that room for yourself and then come down to the mat and we will begin the poses!


PRACTICE:


Forward Fold: We will begin with a basic forward fold. Forward folds really help our body to relax and close down from the day. Extend your legs straight out in front of you, pull your toes up towards your nose, sit up nice and tall on your sitz bones, let your hands rest comfortably at your sides, lift up through the chest, and relax down through the shoulders. Take a nice deep breath in and let it out. Sitting up nice and tall, inhale again and exhale folding forward from your hips. Hinge from the hips and reach forward towards your toes. Keep your back nice and flat and extended, head is in line with your spine. If you can reach your toes, great, if not just let your hands rest wherever they may. Then once you have come as far forward as you can, just allow your head to round over. At this point you are not pulling on anything, you are just allowing your body to relax fully. You can even let your hands rest at your side. Just breathe deeply in and out here. With each breath, every exhale, just allowing your body to relax a little bit more, going slightly deeper into the pose. Just allowing gravity to do the work. Allowing any stresses or thoughts from your day to just release with every exhale. Close your eyes, let your mouth and face relax. (Long Pause)


And then very slowly, support yourself with your hands and roll yourself all the way back up, extending through the spine, nice and slow. Deep breath in and let it out. Good.


Butterfly Pose: Coming into butterfly pose, bring both soles of your feet together, again sitting up nice and tall, you can grab your feet wherever you like, you can bring your hands around your toes or you can hold your ankles. We always begin the poses with a nice straight spine. So inhale, lift through your chest, let your knees fall out to the side, exhale and hinge forward from those hips, keep your spine extended. Keep it extended as you come as far forward as you can. Once you find that edge, then release, and just hunch yourself all the way over, just let your head drop, rounding through the back. Your hands again can just rest comfortably here. Allow the breath to bring you further into the pose. Not forcing anything, just really allowing your body to be wherever it is today. Just releasing and relaxing and letting go. Relax through the shoulders, relax through the hips, allow your legs to open up to the sides. We carry so much tension in our hips, so with every exhale just imagine whatever you are holding there just releasing all the way out. (Pause) With every breath just moving slightly deeper into the pose, no forcing, just allowing gravity to help you. Good, again using your hands for support, come all the way back up, coming all the way back to the beginning.


Seated Half Moon Pose: Now take your right leg and extend it out in front of you, keep your left leg in so that the bottom of your foot is right against the inner thigh, your extended leg is straight out in front of you, sitting up nice and tall, exhale and fold forward. Once again you can grab your feet or your shins, wherever its comfortable, come as far forward as you can and then just relax down over your leg. Let your hands fall wherever they may. Deep breath here. Inhale and expand, feel that opening through your back and your side, exhale and release, feel your hamstring extending. (Pause) The further forward you fold as you breathe in and out you may feel your abdominals pressing into your thigh, creating some pressure there just helping with any digestive issues that you may have. Allowing your body to just relax as it prepares for the end of your day. Relax through the shoulders. (Pause) Good, while you are here if you can reach your feet you can even give yourself a little massage just pressing into your foot and releasing the tension there as well. Then slowly come back all the way up. Inhale, exhale and release. Switch legs so that the other leg extends, left leg this time, right leg pulled in, sitting up nice and tall, inhale lift up through your chest, exhale fold forward, reach for those toes, ankle, or shin, wherever you find yourself today. Deep breath in, exhale, and just fold all the way down over that leg. (Pause) Feel your body releasing and relaxing, again you can even massage those feet if you like. Breathe deep and full. (Pause) And then slowly bring yourself all the way back up.


Supported backbend with bolster/mat: Now we are going to come into a pose that we can use a prop for. For this demonstration I’m going to use a mat. So if you have an extra yoga mat, you can use that, you can roll up a towel, you can use a long pillow or a bolster, so whatever you have in your home that you can roll up or that can serve as a tube-like support for you. We have a couple of ways we can work with this, one is to have it long-ways, the other way is to have it like a “T” on your mat. The goal here is to be able to open your chest and be able to relax down over it. So, you can either relax this way [with mat horizontal to the mat], this is a bit more open, a little more intense. For today’s pose we are going to do it long-ways. So what I would like you to do is bring the mat or bolster right up just underneath your waistline. You are going to lie back over it, allow your head to be supported. You can open your feet out slightly and let your toes roll out to the side, let your arms open, palms are up. Allow your heart to open here, release your shoulders, allow everything to just open up. Breathe deep and full right up into your heart. Opening through the chest, allowing your heart to just open. Letting all of the stresses of your day just drift away. Close your eyes, allow yourself to feel supported by this prop beneath you and the earth below. Feeling fully supported. Feel your body heavy and resting. (Pause) Really allow your breath to be expansive and full, breathing into your belly as well as up into your diaphragm and all the way up into your chest. And when you exhale, really allow that breath to release all the way out. Cleansing your body here of anything that isn’t serving you that may be left over from your day. Clearing the way for a good night sleep. Allow your mind to quiet down. (Pause) So just feeling yourself relaxing even more. To come out of this pose we are going to gently release this prop and then come all the way down into Savasana, which is all the way down on our back. To come out of the pose, come all the way onto your side, very gently, reach back behind you and pull the prop out from underneath you, and then roll all the way back onto your back.


Savasana: Allow your hands to rest out to your side, your feet are about the width of your mat and let your toes roll all the way out. Just rest comfortably, draw your shoulder blades down your back. Take a deep breath in and just let it all the way out. Just noticing how your body feels after this short practice. Feeling more clear, relaxed, and ready for a good night sleep. Let’s take a moment here together in the silence and allow this to integrate. Breathe out any remaining tension or stress or thoughts, allow yourself to draw your day to a close. (Pause) And then gently draw your knees in, bring your knees all the way into your chest and give yourself a hug. Gently roll over to one side and then slowly bring yourself all the way back up to sitting.


Conclusion: I hope that you feel relaxed and ready for a great night sleep. You can use this anytime that you need to. Thank you so much for watching. Namaste.