Yoga Poses For Relaxation

January 12, 2009, 7:00 amwomenshealth

Need a little extra help relaxing before going to sleep? Some gentle yoga poses before bedtime can help.

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Short Meditation

Sit up in bed comfortably, either with your legs folded or straight in front of you; whatever you can do with the most ease. Sit up and lean slightly back on your pillows or backboard. Close your eyes and rest your hands on your thighs and just breathe here for a few minutes. This doesn't have to be a serious meditation but just a short while to do nothing but breathe.


Seated Twists

Stay in your seated position and twist around to the back of your bed. If you have a backboard you can grab onto that to help your twist. Breathe into the twist for a few breaths and then try the other side.


Easy Forward Bend

Keep your seated position and gently bend forward at your hips and let your hands stretch out straight in front of you on the bed. This will feel good in your hips and your whole back.


Legs Extended Forward Bend Flat Back

Slowly start to straighten your legs in front of you. You can keep your knees bent slightly since we are working towards sleep here instead of the power yoga move of the day. Reach towards your feet with your knees bent and keep your back flat. Bend your knees as much as you need to keep your back flat. This is a really nice hamstring stretch.


Legs Extended Forward Bend Round Back

Keep your legs extended out in front of you and round your back gently over your legs. This is a nice stretch along your spine.


Lying Down Knee to Chest

Roll back down on your back and rest your head on your pillow. Bring one knee into your chest and grab your shin to pull it closer to you. Breathe here for a few breaths. This lengthens your extended leg and loosens up your hip. Switch legs and do the other side.

You can also do a Knee Hug by hugging both knees into your chest and rocking slowly side to side on your back.


Hamstring Stretch

Extend your leg straight up to the ceiling. Grab behind your knee or closer to your ankle. Keep the leg straight and slowly start to bring it closer to your head on each exhale. Try the other side. Remember to stay gentle with these stretches--almost like you are half-doing them. This will help you drop any tension left in your body before bed.


Half Happy Baby

Bend your knee again and flex your foot to face the ceiling. Grab the outside of your foot with the same arm as foot and bend your knee towards your armpit. You can also do this with both feet at the same time.


Bend Knee Lying Down Twist

Bend your knee back into your chest and twist your leg across your body. Turn your head in the opposite direction and bring your arms out to a T shape. Make sure to do the other side.


Star Shape Twist

Extend your leg that is twisted over and reach with that foot out to the diagonal. Reach with your opposite hand to the opposite diagonal. Look towards your hand. This is a really nice twist. Try the other side.


Knee Hug

Hug both knees into your chest and rock slowly side to side on your back. Let your whole back relax into your bed.


Savasana

You're almost there. Extend both legs out straight into a savasana position. Rest here for a while. If you prefer to sleep in this position then you're all set and have a great sleep.


Sleep

The best yoga position: sleep. Roll over on to your side and enjoy your night of rest.

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