Best time to practice stress relief yoga

You have heard that starting your day with yoga is the secret to good health, and even desk yoga performed midday when your energy levels start to slump comes with great benefits. But is it wise to practice stress relief yoga before bedtime? Let’s find out!

Our hectic lifestyle has made sleep disorders and chronic insomnia way too common. From stressful work schedules to smartphone overuse right before sleeping, there are plenty of distractions that keep the mind wandering hours after you’ve turned out the lights and called it a night. If you haven’t been able to get a good night’s rest in a while, a little bit of stress relief yoga before bedtime could be the answer to your woes. It certainly is a way more healthier and holistic options when compared to sleep aids and pills!


Will Yoga Help Sleep More Restfully?

Yes, some stress relief yoga poses are especially beneficial for calming the mind and letting our bodies prepare for sleep. Yoga can help you unwind at the end of a busy day and become a critical part of a relaxing bedtime ritual. The breathing exercises, gentle stretches and soothing meditation can make that elusive restful sleep highly attainable. If you currently spend the last half hour before bedtime checking your emails, browsing on social networking sites or watching mindless TV, switch these activities for some carefully selected yoga poses.


What Kind Of Yoga Is Best Before Bedtime?

The idea of yoga before bedtime is to relax and unwind; hence you definitely don’t want to engage in rigorous yoga poses that energize the body. If you also practice yoga first thing in the morning, you know exactly what we mean. If you don’t, it’s enough to understand that yoga before sleeping is nothing like yoga performed in the morning or evening. The focus here is on building a sequence of relaxing poses that are slow-paced and gentle for stress relief yoga.

Simple breathing exercises and gentle stretches that realign the spine and relax the large groups of muscles along the body are best. We recommend:

  • Hastapadasana or Forward Bend to stretch the back muscles and boost blood circulation
  • Marjariasana or Cat Stretch to increase spine flexibility and improve digestion
  • Shishuasana or Child Pose for a deep, relaxing stretch for the whole body that also calms the central nervous system
  • BaddhaKonasana or Butterfly Pose to stretch the legs and release the stress of sitting/standing for long hours during the day
  • ViparitaKarani or Feet-Up-The-Wall Pose to gentle stretch all the large muscle groups in the body and boost blood supply to all organs
  • Sukhasana or Easy Pose with Twist to realign the spine and gently twist all muscles and ligaments to release built-up stress from being stuck at your desk for long hours

End the session with seated meditation or Savasana (Corpse Pose) to effectively relax and release all tension stored in the different muscles and joints of the body.


What Yoga Is Best Avoided Before Bedtime?

As is obvious, any rigorous poses that awakens and energizes the body are best avoided before sleeping. Think Sudarshan Kriya, Surya Namaskar, Virabhadrasana, or the Bhastrika Pranayama, which actually help your body gear up for the day ahead. Also, don’t extend your bedtime yoga session too much…a 15 minute gentle routine is best to unwind for the day