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8 Yoga Poses To Do Before You Go to Bed

8 Yoga Poses To Do Before You Go to Bed

The benefits of yoga are well documented. It is not only valuable for your physical body, but it is extremely meditative and therefore, great for your mind as well. In this way you will experience a double benefit from this practice.

No matter what kind of yoga practice you decide to undertake, make sure you do your homework. Determine which poses and positions are right for your body and which are not. There is a ton of information available on the Internet from yogis and other yoga experts that will help you as you invigorate your life with this practice.

I love yoga because it is very challenging physically and mentally. As a professional athlete, I use yoga in the off-season to train my body and mind. I enjoy the physical adversity this practice offers. At times it can be more difficult than any other physical training exercises I have done for my sport.

I mainly utilize a yin yoga practice, especially now while I am in-season. I find it helps me to rehabilitate my body. I try to do two to three sessions of yin yoga stretching per week. I have found it very beneficial to do this practice in the evening before I go to bed. It is a great way to meditate and clear the stress from my body and mind as I detach from the day. I often have my best nights of sleep after a yin yoga session.

The following is a short yin yoga session that should take you approximately 30-40 minutes depending on how long you hold each position. Suggested time lengths are given for each pose, as well as a detailed description of each pose. It is important that you don’t rush into any of these positions. Yoga is about being patient with yourself and where you are with each position. Do not try to force yourself into the position; rather, slowly fall into it. You will gain flexibility for each pose as you hold it for longer stretches of time. As you hold each pose longer and longer, your body will become more flexible. Slowly work your body into each pose.

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1. Nadi Shodhan Pranayama

This is a breathing exercise to help you calm and focus your mind before you begin your practice. Using your thumb and whichever other finger you want (ring, index, etc.), you are going to go through some alternate nostril breathing. Cover one nostril with your thumb while inhaling through the open nostril. Then cover this nostril with your other finger and exhale through the other nostril. Breathe in again, cover, and exhale. Continue until your feel relaxed and ready to practice.

For more guidelines on this pose click here.

2. Child’s Pose

Suggested length 3-5 minutes. Begin by getting into table top position on your hand and knees. Keep your hands and knees about shoulder-width apart. Then you need to bring your big toes together and form a triangle within your knees as you separate them. From this position gently extend your arms in front of you while sitting your rear towards your heels.

For more guidelines on this pose click here.

3. Half Pigeon

Suggested length 3-5 minutes for each leg. I have yet to do a pose that stretches out my hips like Half Pigeon. From the table top pose you are going to lift one leg off the ground (it doesn’t matter which leg you start with) and bring it to the front of your body. The other leg will straighten behind you. The goal is to keep the hip of the front leg on the ground as much as possible. As you position your front knee you can also press into the toes of your back knee in order to position your back leg. Repeat with the other leg.

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This pose takes a lot of practice in order to get a very deep stretch so in the beginning you will want to keep your elbows on the mat. As you gain flexibility you can place your head on the mat and stretch out your back leg behind you.

For more guidelines on this pose click here.

4. Supta Baddha Konasana

Suggested length 3-5 minutes. This pose is a great way to stretch out your groin. Begin by lying on your back with your knee bent. Bring your heels as close to your pelvis as possible with your feet and knees together. When you get into a comfortable position slowly allow your knees to separate and fall to the ground until you feel a stretch on both sides of the groin.

For more guidelines on this pose click here.

5. Caterpillar Pose

Suggested length 3-5 minutes. This is a forward fold in which you straighten your legs as much as possible in front of you and gently bend forward. If your hips are very tight and this isn’t possible, then it is ok for you to keep the slightly bent in front of you. It is also suggested that you sit on something such as a yoga block, blanket, or pillow if you feel tightness in your hips. It is very important that you don’t rush this pose because it can cause a lot of strain on the lower back.

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For more guidelines on this pose click here.

6. Sphinx Posture

Suggested length 3-5 minutes. Being by lying on your stomach with your elbows bent to the side. From this position you gently lift up your torso by pushing your hands against the ground. Make sure your elbows are directly under your shoulders. You should feel slight pressure in your lower back. Relax your shoulders and don’t tense up your back and upper body. Soften everything and stay relaxed.

For more guidelines on this pose click here.

7. Viparita Karani

Suggested length 3-5 minutes. This is a very simple inversion pose that drains lactic acid from the legs. Place your hips on the base of a wall. Then lie flat on your back and raise your legs to the wall overhead. For extra support, use a block, blanket, or pillow underneath your sacrum.

For more guidelines on this pose click here.

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8. Shavasana

Suggested length 10-15 minutes. This is the finishing pose. You need to lie on your back and extend your legs to the ground. Place your arms and hands comfortably at your side. Allow your feet to fall to the side if that is comfortable for you. Stay in this pose for as long as you wish.

For more guidelines on this pose click here.

Featured photo credit: Koreaboo via quietly-image-uploads.s3.amazonaws.com

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Mike Oppland

Mike is the Creator of Carpe Diem Motivation. He aspires to inspire individuals who are seeking a little extra boost in their lives.

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Last Updated on June 1, 2020

17 Ideas to Get Motivated to Lose Weight Now

17 Ideas to Get Motivated to Lose Weight Now

You made it here – the decision to lose weight! This means that mindfulness is kicking in. This is important for motivation, weight loss, and health. Being healthy and active is necessary!

Our bodies were meant to move, not be sedentary. For weight loss, the success of your journey is based on your ability to stay motivated throughout.

Motivation is easy at first, but holding on to it may breed a little challenge. Please know that this is normal. You will have days where motivation is at its all-time high and other days where motivation is at an all-time low.

In this article, we’ll look into some of the best ideas on how to get motivated to lose weight and why we lose motivation easily along the weight loss journey.

Motivation and Inspiration for Losing Weight

There are varied reasons for wanting to lose weight. The one common factor: everyone needs motivation.

One piece of advice:

Motivation comes a little easier when you determine the reason for wanting to lose weight.

What is/are your motivating factors for losing weight? It is important to understand your “why”, no matter how small.

Losing weight, even just 5% of your weight can help:

  • Improve blood sugar
  • Reduce the risk of heart disease
  • Lower cholesterol
  • Reduce joint pain
  • Reduce the risk of certain cancers

As someone who has been through this journey, I can tell you that it will require constant recharges of motivation.

I did it the old-fashioned way, diet, and exercise. It took me almost 3 years to achieve 85 pounds lost. That may seem like a really long time. However, keep in mind that healthy weight loss averages 1-2 pounds per week.

    Motivation is really strong in the beginning, but it starts to shift when the results aren’t immediate. The results take time, and your motivation is the key to get you there.

    Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.

    Common Weight Loss Motivation Struggles

    Lack of motivation is common for many reasons. Motivation can trigger a number of emotions, making it hard to get motivated.

    Some of the common motivation struggles that people face are:

    1. Unsupportive Social Environment

    Your social environment is your physical and social setting (home, family, friends, etc.). Many don’t realize the importance and influence of a social environment.

    If you are trying to get on the right track and hear something like “oh, you don’t need to do that, let’s go out and get ice cream”, your motivation to do the right thing is will likely be impacted.

    2. Lots of Hard Work for Slow Results

    When you work out 5 times a week and carefully count your calories, naturally you want to see more than 2 pounds gone. Please keep in mind that normal and healthy weight loss averages 2 pounds per week – about 3500 calories burned means one pound lost.

    3. Injuries

    Many suffer from injuries that reduce their ability to exercise. However, you should also consider low impact exercises and exercise modifications.

    Additionally, discussing approved workouts with your doctor is helpful. Exercise can still happen with an injury, but don’t lose motivation!

    4. Cravings

    You will have cravings, and that’s ok! Even the healthiest people have cravings. When cravings strike, be mindful of the craving and the portion.

    Craving cookies? Bake them at home so that you can modify and control the recipe for your goal.

    5. Healthy Food Is Expensive

    There is a bit of truth and a bit of a lie here. Healthy food can be a bit expensive. However, if you eat more of a plant-based diet (fruits, vegetables, grains, etc.), the costs won’t skyrocket.

    6. Lack of Time for Working Out

    If losing weight is really what you are set out to accomplish, then you have to find some time. You have to schedule and coordinate your day to day to include working out.

    For days that you simply can’t, make choices that force a little more movement. Park at the back of the parking lot and take the longer path to the store, take the stairs instead of the elevator, do squats while cooking, and/or do sit-ups during commercial breaks.

    The Importance of Mindfulness for Motivation and Weight Loss

    Be honest with yourself, how many times have you eaten something without actually thinking about what you were feeding yourself?

    Mindfulness plays an important role in our everyday decisions, especially the decisions regarding our health. There are many mindfulness considerations that will help motivate you to lose weight.

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    In the past, we were taught what to eat and what not to eat. However, there was no guidance on how to select and consume, which ultimately contributed to weight issues.

    In general, people have a strong misconception about food and its purpose in our lives and health. This creates unhealthy habits that contribute to weight gain.

    The importance of mindfulness in this journey is crucial to your weight loss success. That’s why mindfulness is essential in knowing how to get motivated to lose weight.

    Take a look at this article to learn more about mindful eating: The Best Benefits of Mindful Eating for Weight Loss and How to Start Now.

    17 Ways to Motivate Yourself to Lose Weight

    1. Love and Appreciation

    Love inspires motivation and motivation feeds appreciation.

    Loving yourself motivates you to appreciate our body and all the things that it can do. Appreciation for the body improves body image and appreciation for body image leads to weight loss motivation.

    2. Mindfulness

    As discussed above, mindfulness is the key to success. Being mindful ensures that you are aware of your “why”, the reason for starting your weight loss journey, and are dedicated to making good choices that support your ultimate goal.

    Mindfulness also keeps you aware throughout the process: food choices, social settings, and process/progress.

    3. Be Committed

    Your motivation for weight loss will suffer if you are not committed. Making a public commitment will help hold you accountable and enhance motivation.

    4. Get a Mentor or Accountability Partner

    Having a mentor and/or an accountability partner will help with maintaining your motivation. Having someone that inspires you and believes in you will also boost your motivation.

    5. Animals Help Motivate

    Getting a dog will increase movement because dogs have to go outside and play. A dog can be an accountability partner too! Not only will they make you move, but they are also awesome support beings.

    6. Goal Setting

    You know your “why” and now you’re ready to get started. What are your goals? Are they realistic?

    As discussed above, an average of 2 pounds a week is normal and healthy weight loss. Setting goals like “I plan on losing 15 pounds in a week” will result in a lack of motivation at the end of the week.

    7. Pace Yourself

    The weight loss journey is a lifestyle transformation journey. This doesn’t happen within a few days.

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    Habits take time to break. Don’t lose hope!

    8. Perfection Doesn’t Exist and Setbacks Will Happen

    Don’t be so hard on yourself. Be patient and love yourself through this process. This isn’t an easy journey, so expect a few setbacks as you transition and get into the groove.

    9. Don’t Set Your Eyes on the End, Set Them on Each Day

    What I mean is, focus on the journey, not the end goal.

    If you are trying to lose 50 pounds, focusing on that number will motivate you initially, but it will cause a lack of motivation later due to being overwhelmed about the length of time.

    Instead, focus on your daily goals.

    10. Incorporate a Plan That Fits Your Daily Life

    Everyone has different responsibilities and different reasons for losing weight. One plan doesn’t work for everyone.

    Build your own plan – one that you can fit into your everyday life.

    Mindfulness is key here and helps keep you motivated. Being mindful of your day and incorporating a weight loss plan is important.

    A few suggestions:

    • Reduce the number of calories you eat. Keep a food journal and track everything.
    • Make smaller plates with smaller portions. Portion control is important.
    • Reduce your unhealthy snack and sugar intake. Sugar can breed disaster.
    • Stay away from deep-fried/fried foods.
    • Eat a lot of fruits and vegetables.

    11. Don’t Weigh Yourself Everyday

    This is a huge NO. Weighing in once a week and keeping track of progress is what you need. Weighing yourself once a day is one of the fastest ways to lose motivation.

    Remember, healthy weight loss averages 2 pounds per week.

    12. Don’t Focus 100% on the Scale

    The scale is just one way to track progression and even in that, special considerations must be given. You may have gotten on the scale 2 weeks ago and have lost 15 pounds, but this week you may gain 5 pounds.

    If you turned fat into muscle, this will happen, so don’t lose motivation! This is a good thing. It means that you are burning fat and building muscle, and building muscle means toning up.

    13. Celebrate and Reward Yourself

    When you reach a goal, celebrate! Share your success with your social environment.

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    Being happy and celebrating your achievement enhances motivation.

    14. Hire a Trainer

    It is okay to hire a professional trainer to help motivate and coach you toward your weight loss goal. The trainer doesn’t have to be a workout trainer. You can consider a dietician or therapist.

    15. Use Music

    Music is a motivation booster for sure! Music will help you move and groove, taking the focus off of the act and allowing happy to kick in and motivate you.

    Research conducted by the North American Association for the Study of Obesity found that those who listened to music while exercising were more likely to stick with it than those who didn’t.

    16. Keep Those Jeans

    You may have a pair of jeans that you want to get back into. Keep them! Let them motivate you.

    17. Take Pictures and Document Your Progress

    Your body will change as your eating habits and exercise habits change. Take a picture at the start and consider a photo every 30 to 60 days. Seeing your progress will help keep you motivated.

    How to Get Motivated to Lose Weight When Motivation is Lost

    You may find yourself 100% motivated in the beginning and less motivated after a few weeks of trying.

    Keep in mind that habits generally take 21 days to break. If you find yourself with 0 motivation after having been 100% motivated before, try these:

    • Go back to your why. Why did you start? What was the purpose?
    • Try resetting your goal. Maybe your initial goal was a little too aggressive. It’s okay to adjust and do what works for you.
    • Talk to a coach or trainer. It is a good idea to discuss with struggles with professionals. Many will offer free insight and advice for getting started and staying on track.
    • Reconsider an accountability partner and/or group. Being around like-minded people on your journey can help so much with motivation.
    • Find out if working out is the problem. Working out alone can be a bit boring. Have you considered a group fitness class? This goes back to being around like-minded people who are sharing your journey.
    • Get more motivational messages. Words and phrases of affirmation are so important. Loving yourself and being patient with yourself is at the core of success for this journey. How about waking up each day to a motivational message that you wrote for yourself?
    • Stop comparing yourself to others. Weight loss reasons, weight loss motivation, and weight loss journeys are different for everyone. Focusing on the journey of others takes you away from your goals and accomplishments. Don’t compare your progress with anyone else’s. This is your journey and you’ll do great!

    The Bottom Line

    It took me almost 3 years to lose 85 pounds. I have kept my current weight for over 5 years and counting. This guide on how to get motivated to lose weight is only here to help you. It’s still up to you whether you will follow them or not.

    Mindfulness and lifestyle transformations really are key for keeping it off. Your journey will make you strong, educate you, and transform you.

    Your motivation is within. Find your “why”, hang on to it, be patient, love yourself, and you will find success at the end of the journey.

    More Tips on How to Get Motivated to Lose Weight

    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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