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With demanding work schedules, never-ending emails and that overwhelming feeling of always being ‘on' we’re becoming more and more sleep-deprived. When we don’t prioritise sleep, everything suffers- our health, productivity, relationships, the list goes on.
If you haven’t had a good nights sleep you’re pretty useless the next day. If you’ve had several sleepless nights in a row, and become sleep deprived, life becomes more problematic. Unfortunately, as a nation, the latter is becoming more common.
There are lots of things you can do to improve your sleep (see Dr. Harrys 2-part sleep blog here for some tips) and introducing yoga into your life can be a powerful tool to add to the kit.
In honour of sleep awareness week, I’ve put together this simple pre-bed yoga routine to help you wind down and drift off.
We tend to carry a lot of tension in our shoulders. This pose will loosen up your shoulders and help to destress before bed.
#1 Stand with your feet three to four feet apart slightly pigeon-toed
#2 Bring your arms behind your back and clasp your hands together interlacing your fingers if possible.
#3 Begin to fold forward hinging from your hips bringing the crown of your head and your hands towards the floor.
#4 Try to shift the bodyweight forward so that your hips align with your feet.
#5 Stay here for 5-10 breaths.
#6 Come out on the inhale breath, press into your feet & engage the quads.
This one really helps to open & those hips which is so relaxing before bed!
#1 Sit on the floor, bend both knees and bring the soles of your feet together.
#2 Using your hands begin to open your feet up like you’re opening a book, encourage the knees to move closer to the floor with each breath.
#3 You can also relax your neck here and allow your head to hang if that feels good for your body.
#4 Stay here for 10 deep breaths
This pose stretches out the side of your body, calms the brain, and helps relieve feelings of anxiety!
#1 Bring both legs out in front of you & shake them out for a couple of breaths.
#2 Bend your right knee and bring it towards your chest placing the sole of your foot against your inner thigh.
#3 As you inhale reach both arms up and lift out of your waist, exhale as you fold forward over your left leg.
#4 Rest your hands on the floor either side of your leg, or if you can reach comfortably interlace your fingers around your foot.
#5 Stay here and rest for 10 breaths
#6 Repeat on the other side.
Supported bridge pose is one of the best inversions to try before bed as you perform it from a lying position.
#1 From this lying position make sure your arms are by your side, palms flat to the floor.
#2 Bend your knees enough so that you can touch your heels with the tips of your fingers.
#3 Slowly and gently begin to lift your hips up, at the same time pushing the floor away with your hands.
#4 Keep your hands here or as a more advanced option, bring your hands together underneath your body and interlace the grip.
#5 Stay here for 10 breaths, each time lifting your hips as high as you can.
Ahhh, the perfect posture for a restful night's sleep! Now you’ve gently moved your body around its time to really let go.
#1 Lie on your back and close your eyes.
#2 Relax your arms a few inches away from your body and separate your legs allowing your feet to fall open with toes pointing out.
#3 Lengthen through your spine as much as possible, relaxing your lower back towards the floor.
#4 Make sure you feel 100% comfortable (if your back feels a little too much pressure you can place a block or a folded blanket between your back and the floor)
Stay here for as long as feels comfortable- don’t be surprised if you fall asleep!
Lisa is a contributing writer for Truth Naturals. Her experience originating from being a certified holistic health coach, blogger and yoga teacher for 10 years. Lisa is extremely passionate about health and wellness, natural remedies and plant-based nutrition. You can find her on Instagram at @livesimplylisa