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6 Yoga Poses You Can Do In Bed Before Sleeping For Better Health

6 Yoga Poses You Can Do In Bed Before Sleeping For Better Health

Sometimes, it’s hard to unwind after a long day, and it can be difficult to fall asleep even when you are exhausted. Fortunately, there are many ways to relax after the day is done that can help you fall asleep. One way is to practice some yoga in the best place on earth: your bed. Now let’s get started so you can start sleeping better tonight.

1. Child’s Pose

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    1. Sit up comfortably on your heels.
    2. Roll your torso forward, bringing your forehead to rest on the bed in front of you.
    3. Lower your chest as close to your knees as you comfortably can, extending your arms in front of you.
    4. Hold the pose and breathe.

    Health Benefits

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    • Releases tension in the back, shoulders and chest
    • Helps alleviate stress and anxiety
    • Flexes the body’s internal organs and keeps them supple
    • Calms the mind and body
    • Encourages strong and steady breathing

    2. Thread the Needle Pose

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      1. Begin on your hands and knees. Place your wrists directly under your shoulders and your knees directly under your hips. Place your shins and knees hip-width apart. Center your head in a neutral position and soften your gaze downward.
      2. On an exhalation, slide your right arm underneath your left arm with your palm facing up. Rest your right ear and cheek on the bed, then gaze toward your left.
      3. Keep your left elbow lifting and your hips raised. Do not press your weight onto your head; instead, adjust your position so you do not strain your neck or shoulder.
      4. Soften and relax your lower back. Allow all of the tension in your shoulders, arms, and neck to drain away.
      5. Hold for up to one minute. To release, press through your left hand and gently slide your right hand out.

      Health Benefits

      • Gently compresses the muscles of your upper chest.
      • Opens the upper and outer muscles of your shoulder.
      • Detoxifies and calms your body with the slight twist.
      • Sends fresh blood to your upper extremities.

      3. Supta Virasana

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        1. Place your hands by your sides.
        2. Exhale and lean backward toward the bed.
        3. Take your weight onto your hands and then your elbows and forearms.
        4. When you are leaning on your elbows, put your hands at the back (on the pelvis)
        5. Now release the buttocks and lower back by pushing yourself downward toward your tailbone.
        6. You can finish reclining by going onto the bed or by reclining onto a support. If you are using blankets for support ensure that you have at least two of them at the same height. This will help to support your spine while you are moving downward.
        7. Hold this posture for about 30 seconds and up to 1 minute.

        Health Benefits

        • It helps the digestive system to function better and improves digestion.
        • The tendons, ligaments and many smaller muscles in the knee are also stretched during this posture.
        • It helps to relieve tired legs.
        • This pose is also useful as it helps to relieve menstrual pain symptoms.
        • It stretches the abdomen, ankles, deep hip flexors and thighs as well.

        4. Viparita Karani

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          1. Exhale. Lie on your back, making sure that the back of your legs press against the wall/headboard, and that the soles of your feet face upwards. It will take you a little bit of movement to get comfortable in this position.
          2.  Place your buttocks a little away from the wall or press them against the wall.
          3. Make sure your back and head are resting on the floor. You will find that your body forms a 90-degree angle.
          4. Lift your hips up and slide a prop under them. You could also use your hands to support your hips and form that curve in your lower body.
          5. Keep your head and neck in a neutral position and soften your throat and your face.
          6. Close your eyes and breathe. Hold the position for at least five minutes. Release and roll to any one side. Breathe before you sit up.

          Health Benefits

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          • It gives the front of the torso, back of the legs, and the back of the neck a good stretch.
          • It helps to relax tired, cramped feet and legs.
          • It relieves a mild backache.
          • This is an asana that helps to soothe and calm the mind.

          5. Savasana

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            1. Lie down on your back. As you recline on your bed, place your feet spread slightly apart from each other. Put your arms at your side with your palms facing up. Your fingers should be curled up naturally.
            2. Tighten and lift your legs. Inhale deeply as you tense your body. Tighten your buttocks and raise your legs slightly off the ground.
            3. Relax your body. Exhale, breathing inward as you release the pose. Lower your legs and unclench your fist as you relax

            Health Benefits

            • Calms the brain and helps relieve stress and mild depression.
            • Relaxes the body.
            • Reduces headache, fatigue, and insomnia.
            • Helps to lower blood pressure.

            6. Jathara Parivartanasana

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              1. From Reclined Bound Angle Pose, stay on your back supported by the pillow and gently guide your knees together using your hands.
              2. Bring your knees over to the left with arms out by your side, palms facing up. Imagine your breath like a wave rippling through your spine, releasing tension with each exhale. Stay here for a minute and then switch to the other side.

              Health Benefits

              • Improves digestion
              • Opens tight shoulders
              • Helps release lower back
              • Quiets the mind

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              Erica Wagner

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              Published on November 29, 2018

              When is the Best Time to Workout to Get Incredible Results

              When is the Best Time to Workout to Get Incredible Results

              “I don’t have time”

              is the number one excuse people give when they’re asked how come they don’t exercise.

              In the book The Power of Full Engagement by Tony Schwartz, it says that it’s management of our energy levels and not time that is the key to higher performance. If we kept our energy levels in check and made sure that every part of our lives contributed to positive energy levels, we would be able to get more done.

              One of those aspects that give us energy is exercise.

              Exercise is the fuel that gives us energy and an activity that keeps on giving even if we are sitting around day in the office and in meetings.

              Reaping the benefits of a good workout is immediate. We have better focus and concentration; we are more alert and awake; we manage our mood better and have more creativity after a good workout than if we skipped the gym.

              If you’d like to get started working out I’m going cover the pros and cons to exercising at different times of the day so that you can find a time that fits for your lifestyle and schedule.

              So, when is the best time to work out? Let’s get started!

              Working out in the Morning

              Most people aspire to exercise first thing in the morning and get it out of the way. If this is you, read on to find out the additional benefits of getting your workout done in the morning.

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              Benefits of Morning Workouts

              1. The rest of the day is yours

              Exercise and lifting weights is a staple and a habit in my life but it’s also the biggest to-do on my list. When I exercise first thing in the morning, then I’m free to do whatever I want the rest of the day. This is why I have a very strong preference of exercising in the morning as oppose to afternoons or evenings.

              I schedule my day with my biggest to-dos first while I have the energy and focus at the beginning of the day. But the more I procrastinate about my workout and putting it on my list for later, the bigger that reminder to exercise sits on my shoulder.

              My mind feels free when I finish my workout and this is the main reason I get my exercise in as soon as the day allows; and if I have to get up before the sun rises, then so be it.

              2. Gyms are less crowded and there is more equipment available

              Here’s the best part about working out early in the morning – there is not competition for equipment.

              Most people typically struggle with getting up early in the morning except for the elderly. And in the morning, the gym floors are pretty sparse, this means there is no wait for equipment or competing for floor space.

              I live in the crowded city of San Francisco where the gyms are packed once it gets to 9 AM, so the best times to get in if I want a squat rack is before 8 AM. Plus, the gym equipment is organized so I can find the free weights I want without much effort and there is usually a bench available.

              3. You have more energy and more clarity to fire up the day

              After you drag yourself to the gym at the crack of dawn, you will walk out of there with more energy and clarity then when you stepped in. Not only will you wide awake but you have extra energy on top of your cup of coffee.

              The extra burst of creativity and focus keeps you productive so that you’re able to make more progress on your projects at work and finish earlier.

              4. You become more consistent

              The ones who see results are the ones who are consistent and morning people are definitely more consistent than people who postpone their workouts later in the day.[1]

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              This is because as the day starts to unfold, unexpected meetings and events come up that can cut into or even eliminate gym time. If you want to workout more consistently, get your workout in first thing in the morning before life happens.

              Downsides of Morning Workouts

              1. You’re a zombie on the floor

              Of course dragging yourself out of bed before the sun rises is why most people struggle with morning workouts. Some of us, like me, don’t want to talk to anyone before a certain time and get really short on a lack of sleep.

              To combat morning zombie, make sure to get at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep.

              2. Your preparation starts the night before

              Your workout may happen in the morning but your preparation starts the night before. If you’re a last minute person and not a planner, you will struggle in the mornings to get out the door in time.

              Packing everything you need for the gym in the morning is the key to getting to your workout in that day. Support successful mornings by modifying your night time routine in order to prepare for the next day.

              How to Make It Easier to Wake Up

              The first step is to make a commitment and stick with it. Don’t go back and forth the night before on whether you should go to the gym in the morning.

              Make the decision to go in the morning and focus your energy on making it happen.

              When you create that habit, you do it even if your workout is less than optimal and you’re not completely ‘all there’ or you’re a zombie in the morning. Just keep going because repetition makes it easier and the more often you go, the easier it gets.

              Eventually your brain will catch up and start to automatically be awake at those times.

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              A question you can ask yourself is what can you do to make it easier for you?

              Can you set your workout clothes out the night before? Or have your breakfast prepared the night before? Or if you’re an alarm snoozer, put your alarm across the room and set back up alarms to make sure you get out of bed to shut them off.

              Again, what can you do to make it 20 seconds easier to help you get up and out of the door in the morning?

              Working out in the Afternoon/Evening

              So what about working out in the evening? Is it a good time to help achieve your fitness goals?

              Benefits of Evening Workouts

              1. Your body performance is at its peak

              When you’re training in the afternoon, your warm ups can be shorter because your body temperature increases throughout the day.

              A higher body temperature leads to increased flexibility,[2] overall muscle strength,[3] and increased endurance.

              Not only does the combination of low blood pressure and heart rate in the afternoon lead to faster reaction times and better performance, but also less likelihood injury.

              At the same time the muscle growth hormone testosterone also peaks in the afternoon which is great for maximizing resistance training.

              2. An accountability partner is easier to come by

              If you’re someone who needs accountability partner to make it to the gym consistently, it could be easier to find a workout buddy in the afternoon than it is in the early morning. There is more flexibility in scheduling during lunch or after work as oppose to early mornings because it could cut into your sleep.

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              3. You have more class options

              If you’re a class person or like to attend group classes, I found that there are more class options in the afternoon/evening times versus mornings. So your favorite instructor may teach a couple more classes in the afternoon during the week giving you more flexibility in your schedule.

              4. It’s a great way to destress after a long day

              One of my favorite reasons to workout in the afternoon is the relief it provides after a long day at work. This is especially true for those who work long stressful hours. That hour you spend at the gym is dedicated you time to zone out is completely relaxing for the mind.[4]

              Downsides of Evening Workouts

              1. Consistency could take a back seat

              Postponing your workouts till later in the day means you are more likely to skip your workouts because of an unexpected event. You’re also more likely to be low on energy after a long stressful day or you have to stay late at work and cancel your workout.

              I find afternoon and evening workouts challenging because I’m ready to wind down after a long day and instead have to find the energy to wind up and be mentally prepared for my workout.

              2. Crowded gyms and classes

              For the most part, gyms are packed in the afternoon because of the after work crowd and in some cases gyms require you to RSVP to classes ahead of time due to limited spots. Majority of the people prefer working out after work and you’ll see an influx in crowds at the gym.

              3. Additional preparation required

              Working out after work means you need to be more mindful of your meals and make sure that you have prepared additional snacks to help you get through your workout.

              It also means lugging around an extra bag with your gym clothes and other essentials.

              Conclusion

              At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what time of day you workout because your body will adjust to your schedule when you go the same times every time. What’s important is that you find a time that you can go to the gym consistently that works with your schedule.

              It’s important to be consistent because consistency is what’s going to get you results. The road to results is simple but not easy. Mastering consistency year round is what is going to make you leaner and stronger one year from now.

              Featured photo credit: Autumn Goodman via unsplash.com

              Reference

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