Yoga for Sleep and Stress Reduction
Lack of sleep and stress work really well together. Stress, whether it’s from work or a situation in your personal life, can disrupt healthy sleep patterns. Lack of sleep can make stress seem unbearable. It’s a vicious cycle that can at times be hard to break.
Yoga is a mind-body practice that promotes a state of calm and relaxation, which can help in the reduction of stress.
I’ve included a sequence that you can do in bed. You won’t need any props, just get in your jammies, climb in bed, and try these gentle moves.
Ease your way into dreamland with this five-move yoga routine from Edward Vilga, creator of the DVD Yoga in Bed: 20 Asanas to Do in Pajamas (courtesy of Fitnessmagazine.com) The moves will relax your body and mind, but the best part is that you can do them all in bed!
Sit facing a wall (or your headboard) with your butt about 6 inches away from it.
Lie back and extend your legs up the wall.
If this is too intense a stretch for your hamstrings, slide your butt farther away from the wall.
If it's not enough, scoot closer.
Let your arms rest by your sides, palms facing up, and breathe gently, feeling the stretch in the backs of your legs.
Winding Down Twist
Sit cross-legged on the bed and exhale as you place your right hand on your left knee and left hand on the bed behind your tailbone.
Gently twist your torso to the left.
Allow your gaze to follow, looking over your left shoulder. Breathe deeply, then return to center and repeat on opposite side.
Nighttime Goddess Stretch
Lie on your back with knees bent.
Place the soles of your feet together, then let your knees fall open, forming a diamond shape with your legs.
Rest your arms on the bed.
If you feel any strain, elevate your legs by placing a pillow underneath each knee.
Sit up comfortably on your heels.
Roll your torso forward, bringing your forehead to rest on the bed in front of you.
Lower your chest as close to your knees as you comfortably can, extending your arms in front of you.
Hold the pose and breathe.
Lying on your back, hug knees in to chest.
Cross your ankles and wrap both arms around your shins with clasped hands.
Inhale and rock your body up to sit; exhale as you roll back.
Continue for 1 minute, then roll back, extend arms and legs, and drift off to sleep.