Bedtime Yoga Routine

Bedtime Yoga Routine

Beginner or pro, young or old, once a month or once a week… this bedtime yoga routine is a sure way to physically and mentally slow down and start to prepare your body for a good night of rest.

Busy… it’s something we all feel the burden of, yet have no idea how to combat it. This life we live is in constantly go, go, go & to take a few extra minutes before our heads hit the pillow at night to give both our mind and bodies some TLC usually doesn’t even cross our minds {or if it does, we opt to skip it because we simply don’t have the energy left in us}. I’m not here to tell you that I this routine is something I do every night, because I don’t. If we’re being honest, it probably happens once every month {and even that might be a stretch} but what’s important is how I feel after I’ve completed this routine after a long, hectic day. What’s more important is that in 2019, I’d love to take this practice from once a month, to 4-5x/week.

I wrote a lot about my journey with yoga and the benefits that it has provided me over the course of the past few years in my {yoga poses for beginners post} and I’m still absolutely in love with it, but lately I’ve let my practice decrease a bit as I’ve put the extra time and attention into strength and HIIT training. I’m currently borderline obsessed with my gym and appreciate the workouts SO much, but I will say that there is nothing quite like a good yoga practice to center my mind and body, to really force me to slow down.

This is one of the reasons that I decided to make a 2019 intention to step up my bedtime yoga game. Not only is it a way to force myself to ditch work, technology, etc. before climbing into bed, but it’s a way to physically and mentally slow down and start to prepare my body for a good night of rest. Other benefits? Increased flexibility, increased muscle tone, protection from injury, balanced metabolism, decreased anxiety and so many more! I know that if I can just add this simple sequence to my bedtime routine a few nights a week, that soon I’ll be addicted and feel the pull to do it every single night.

As  good as this all sounds, adding yet another thing to the checklist of items I need to cross off before bed is most definitely going to be a challenge. But, that said… I’m excited to start implementing this new challenge and to see how something so simple will change my mind and body. If you don’t currently have your own bedtime yoga routine, I invite you to join in on this challenge with me in 2019. We all give so much to others in the course of a day; our bosses, our colleagues, our significant others, our kids {furry or not} that if you really sit back and think about it, there is absolutely no doubt that you deserve 10-15 minutes every night just to love on YOU.

Beginner or pro, young or old, once a month or once a week… I hope you enjoy this bedtime yoga routine as much as I do. Namaste.

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Flow through each pose at your own pace, focusing on breath and quieting the mind. Complete 3-5 full breath cycles in each pose for the perfect slow down for your mind and body after a busy day.

Note: be sure to listen to your body and modify poses/hold times as needed.

1. Child’s Pose

2. Thread The Needle {bilaterally}

3. Downward Dog

4. Ragdoll

5. Downward Dog

6. Half Pigeon

7. Forward Fold

8. Supine Spinal Twist {bilaterally}

9. Reclining Goddess

Child’s Pose: Begin in a kneeling position on your mat. Bring your big toes to touch and walk your knees to the outer edge of your mat. Slowly begin to crawl your hands forward, extending your shoulders until your forehead is resting gently on the mat beneath you. With every inhale reach your fingertips a little bit closer to the top of your mat and with every exhale sink your hips back closer to your heels. Stay in this posture for 3-5 full breath cycles.

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Thread The Needle:  From child's pose hinge forward into a tabletop position where your joints are stacked directly over one another {shoulders over wrists, hips over knees}. Spread your fingertips really wide, pull your belly button into your spine and engage your inner thighs. On your inhale, reach your right hand up towards the sky and on your exhale, thread your right hand underneath your left arm, bringing your right ear to rest on the mat. Option: take a half bind position by bringing your left hand into your right hip crease, opening your left shoulder further towards the sky with every breath cycle. Repeat on your left side when finished.

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Downward Dog: From your tabletop position, take a big inhale and curl your toes under then as you exhale send your tailbone towards the sky and press your chest back to meet your thighs. Pedal your legs out, bending your right knee while straightening your left and vice versa. Transfer the weight into your thumb and forefingers and then grip the mat with your fingertips to take some of the stress out of your wrists. When you feel comfortable, come to a place of stillness.

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Ragdoll: From downward facing dog, slowly begin to walk your feet behind your wrists. Grabbing opposite elbow with your opposite hand and leaving a slight bend in your knees, let your head hang heavy. Then if it feels good for you, start to sway side to side, releasing any tension in your low back. Switch out your grip halfway through.

Downward Dog: See above.  

Half Pigeon: From downward dog, on your inhale reach your right leg high into the sky and on your exhale, bring your right knee towards your right wrist and your right ankle towards your left wrist, paralleling your right shin to the top edge of your mat. Point your left toes and straighten your leg behind you and as you inhale, sit up nice and tall. Option to stay here and breathe or start to walk your hands forward on your exhale. Full expression of this posture is your arms fully extended, face resting on your mat, but feel free to support your head with a block, pillow or your hands if full extension doesn’t feel great for your low back or hips. Another option is to take supine figure 4 on your back.Repeat on the other side.

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Forward Fold: Either coming from downward dog or a seated position, extend your legs out long in front of you. Sit up nice and tall on your SITS bones and on your inhale, reach your arms up overhead. As you exhale, fold yourself in half, reaching your hands towards your feet. With every inhale, lengthen through the spine and with every exhale, fold a little deeper. Option: start with bent knees and with every breath cycle, extend your legs a little further.

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Supine Spinal Twist: From your forward fold position, slowly lower all the way down to your back, using your abs to control the movement. As you inhale, pull your right knee up in towards your chest and as you exhale, send your right knee over your left side body. Extend your right arm out to a “T” and your gaze can either be at the ceiling or out towards your right hand. Repeat on the other side.

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Reclining Goddess: From a lying position, bring the soles of your feet to touch. Allow one hand to rest on your belly while the other rests on your heart.  

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Chat with me!

Have you ever practiced yoga? If yes, what type of yoga is your favorite and how long have you been practicing? If not, what’s holding you back or what other types of exercise do you enjoy?

P.S. Looking for more at-home workout options? Check out my 20 Minute HIIT Cardio + Abs Workout, 20 Minute Total Body AMRAP or 8 Strengthening Resistance Band Exercises

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