7 Yoga Poses to Do in Bed for Enhanced Relaxation and Better Sleep

7 Yoga Poses to Do in Bed for Enhanced Relaxation and Better Sleep

When it comes to sticking to an appropriate bedtime, sometimes our brains and bodies just don’t want to cooperate.

Instead of just lying there trying to count sheep (or worse—checking your phone!), why not take advantage of the situation by performing a few restorative poses right in your bed to help relax and prepare you for sleep?

Here are seven restorative poses to try in bed for better sleep.

 

Reclined Bound Angle Pose (Supta Baddha Konasana)

This hip-opening pose helps to lower blood pressure and slow the heart rate, decreasing tension both in the mind and the body. You can place your arms by your side with palms up, reach your arms above your head to grab opposite elbows, or alternatively rest your hands on your belly to feel the rise and fall with your breath.

Video: How to do reclined bound angle pose

 

Reclined Spinal Twist (Supta Matsyendrasana)

After a long and busy day, the back could use a good stretch to relieve built up tension. Reclined spinal twist stretches and relaxes the spine while lending a hand to digestive health by giving the abdominal muscles a soothing massage.

Video: How to do reclined spinal twist

 

Seated Forward Bend (Paschimottanasana)

One of the big perks of doing seated forward bend in bed is that you can place a couple pillows over your legs and fold over them for an extra soothing and cozy stretch! This pose stretches the spine, hamstrings, and shoulders while stimulating important organs like the kidneys and liver.

Video: How to do seated forward bend

 

Wide-Angle Seated Forward Bend (Upavistha Konasana)

Wide angle seated forward is known to have a calming effect on the brain as it stretches the insides and backs of the legs, releases tension in the groin, and strengthens the spine. Remember to keep the knee caps pointed toward the ceiling as you fold forward and consider rolling up your bedsheets to support your knees if you need to.

Video: How to do wide-angle seated forward bend

 

Legs Up the Wall (Viparita Karani)

Even if there’s no wall on either side of your bed, you can still put your legs up the headboard to get into this pose. It induces relaxation by stimulating venous drainage, improving circulation, and soothing swollen or cramped legs and feet from standing, walking, or sitting all day.

Video: How to do legs up the wall

 

Thread the Needle Pose (Sucirandhrasana)

Threat the needle pose helps to release tension that builds up in the upper back and shoulders while stretching and opening the chest, arms, neck, upper back and shoulders. Doing this pose in bed will be easier on your knees and you can optionally place a pillow underneath your torso to keep yourself more upright.

Video: How to do thread the needle pose

 

Corpse Pose (Savasana)

Of course corpse pose had to make the list. It’s the ultimate surrendering pose and arguably the hardest one of them all. If you can learn to allow your mind and body to let go of stress and tension as much as possible in this pose, however, you’ll ultimately feel more relaxed, calm, and ready for a good night’s sleep.

Video: How to do corpse pose


5 Stress Relieving Yoga Poses to Relax Your Mind and Body

5 Stress Relieving Yoga Poses to Relax Your Mind and Body

Worried? Tense? Or just plain old stressed out?

We’ve all been there. December is an especially stressful month for many yogis—especially since most of us finding ourselves trying to balance our healthy lifestyle habits like healthy eating and fitting our practice into the day with seasonal tasks like shopping, decorating, cooking.baking, entertaining, and attending special events.

Next time you step onto your mat for your yoga practice, or anytime you just need a quick stress reliever, try the following poses.

 

Low Lunge Pose (Anjanayasana)

We carry a lot of emotional stuff in our hips, which is why some yogis experience emotional release (sometimes even through tears) when they work on opening their hips. Low lunge pose is great for targeting not only the hips but also the quadriceps, groin, and hamstrings to promote full range of motion in the lower body.

 

Photo via Daku Resort Savusavu Fiji

 

If you want to get into a deeper stretch from this pose, you can reach back and grab your foot to pull the heel as close to your glute as you can. Try extending the other arm upward to challenge your balance.

 

Extended triangle pose (Utthita Trikonasana)

Extended triangle pose offers a full-body stretch that is well known for relieving stress, anxiety and in some instances physical pain too. In addition to stretching the hips, groin, hamstrings, calves and spine, this pose also opens your chest while strengthening your legs, feet, ankles, back, and abdominal muscles.

 

Photo via Tom Britt

 

If you experience neck pain or discomfort in this pose, you can easily turn your gaze to face downward while focusing on relaxing your neck. If that goes well, you can gently shit your head so that that you’re gazing forward.

 

Cow Face Pose (Gomukhasana) with Eagle Arms

Although it can be an intense seated pose, cow face pose is known to help induce relaxation by releasing tension. The hips, thighs and shoulders will be stretched while the squeezing of the eagle arms will help to stimulate blood flow for for improved book circulation.

 

Photo via Daku Resort Savusavu Fiji

 

Hint: Full eagle pose (garudasana) is another well known stress reliever, so you may want to try that one as well. Because it involves balancing on one leg while the other is crossed over it, you’re forced to focus on a single point to keep your balance, which is a big component of the pose that makes it effective for stress reduction.

 

Legs Up the Wall Pose (Viparita Karani)

For a soothing, restorative effect on both the mind and body, look no further than legs up the wall. This one is ideal for those who aren’t in it for flexibility or strength and helps to reduce stress by renewing blood and lymph drainage back toward the heart space.

 

Photo via kellinahandbasket

 

You can do this one up against any wall, but many yogis love to do it in their beds for a cozier feeling. Combine it with controlled breathing to help lower the heart rate and enhance relaxation.

 

Child’s Pose (Balasana)

Good old child’s pose. How can you go wrong? A true resting pose, placing your third eye down on your mat or the floor is instantly calling for the mind. It also soothes the adrenals, opens the hips, improves digestion, and stretches the back.

 

Photo via Daku Resort Savusavu Fiji

 

Hold child’s pose for as long as you want while taking slow, deep breaths. A few minutes later, you’ll feel less stressed and more rejuvenated so that you can continue taking on the day’s tasks with confidence and purpose!


8 Simple and Practical Ways to Enhance Your Meditation Space

8 Simple and Practical Ways to Enhance Your Meditation Space

You can certainly mediate almost anywhere that’s relatively quiet and free from distraction, but making a welcoming space for meditation can help you relax more easily whenever you sit down for your practice.

Here are a few good tips for creating a meditation space that soothes your mind and gets you in touch with your true self.

 

1. Pick a space that makes you feel calm.

Most people don’t have an entire room to dedicate to meditation, which is why it’s fine to pick any space in your bedroom, living room, guest room or other room that is easy to relax in. During the warmer seasons, you could even take your meditation outdoors to your backyard or patio.

 

2. Consider the sound you want to tune into while meditating.

Quiet spaces are best for meditation, but if you like a little background noise, you could choose a space near a window if you like listening to the traffic in the distance, in front of an analog clock if you prefer the ticking noise of the second hand, or somewhere near a sound system so you can put some ambient music on low volume.

 

3. Remove clutter.

Physical clutter will make it more difficult to detach from thoughts, so make sure to consider finding a new home for anything that doesn’t serve your meditation practice. Since your meditation spaces might also double as a regular living space, however, you can certainly get away with leaving a few items—as long as they don’t distract you or trigger negative thoughts and feelings.

 

4. Make sure you have something comfortable to sit on.

Some people like to meditate on their couches or in their lounge chairs while others like to meditate on their beds or on the floor. Pick a seat you know you’ll be comfortable sitting on, taking into consideration your poster, the softness/hardness of your seat, and whether you want to have your legs straight out in front of you or bent.

 

5. Bring a few elements of nature into your space.

Nature will help ground you as you prepare to sit down to meditate, so decorating your space with natural items can enhance this effect. You could try adding a houseplant, a piece of driftwood, a few stones, some seashells or even some artwork of a natural landscape.

 

6. Use a blanket, throw, quilt, or scarf to help keep yourself warm.

Resting in one spot without moving, slowing the breath, and calming the mind can have a cooling effect on body temperature, which is why it can be worthwhile to keep something around to cover up with before you start. Yogi Surprise members of our Lifestyle Box will receive a gorgeous drape scarf from Rising Tide this November to help stay warm during meditation.

 

7. Add a little aromatherapy.

Certain essential oils can be used to calm the mind, improve focus, and boost concentration—making them perfect for meditation. Consider investing in a simple essential oil diffuser or creating an aromatic lotion by combining your favorites with some carrier oil (like coconut oil). Among the best to use for meditation include lavender, sandalwood, frankincense, bergamot, cedarwood, and rose.

 

8. Put a mantra somewhere to remind you of what you want to concentrate on.

This one allows you to get as crafty as you’d like—perhaps painting a one-word mantra like “love” or “gratitude” and framing it or carving it into a patch of bark you found on the ground outside. Or you could simply write it out on a plain piece of paper and keep it in your space just like that to keep it super simple.