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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

              More by this author

              Erica Wagner

              Erica is a passionate writer who shares inspiring ideas and lifestyle tips on Lifehack.

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              Last Updated on January 5, 2021

              15 Fitness Goals That Will Help You Live a Healthier Life This Year

              15 Fitness Goals That Will Help You Live a Healthier Life This Year

              Starting a journey with fitness goals is never easy, and you must remember this is not a crash diet; it is a lifestyle. Don’t panic and think you have to do it all at once, as this will most likely overwhelm you. You may also find yourself giving up because crash diets are not sustainable.

              The best approach is to make simple changes to your daily habits, and over time, you will notice all your bad habits have turned into good ones.

              Accordingly to a study by Phillippa Lally, a health psychology researcher at University College London, on average, it takes more than 2 months before a new behavior becomes automatic — 66 days to be exact.[1] And how long it takes a new habit to form can vary widely depending on the behavior, the person, and the circumstances.

              Here are 15 fitness goals to help you on your journey:

              1. Drink More Water

              W.H. Auden said it best when he said,

              “Thousands have lived without love, not one without water.”

              With any diet, the most important thing to remember is to stay hydrated. Drinking water will support your body with digestion, transporting nutrients to your bones and muscles, and even improving cognitive function.

              Ideally, you want to drink about half your body weight in ounces per day, i.e. if you weight 150 pounds, you should drink 75 ounces of water a day.

              2. Add Some Lemon and Apple Cider Vinegar to Your Water

              It is recommended we sleep for about 8 hours a day, but this means we spend about 8 hours per day dehydrated. Therefore, hydrating your body first thing in the morning is absolutely necessary.

              The best way to achieve hydration is by starting your day with a glass or even two of water. For that extra boost, add lemon juice and ½ teaspoons of apple cider vinegar. The lemon and apple cider vinegar will help your body with detoxifying, cleansing, and digestion.

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              3. Stop Drinking Your Calories

              Yes, keeping hydrated is important, but try to avoid high-calorie drinks, such as soft drinks, specialty coffee, and juices as they are full of fast-acting sugar.

              Really push yourself to stop drinking such drinks, and before you know it, you will notice the benefits.

              4. Start Stretching More Often

              The benefits are vast and the repercussions of failing to stretch can be dramatic.

              Do yourself a favor and always stretch before and after a workout. This will promote a healthy cool down, improve flexibility, and reduce next day aches. Failure to stretch can lead to injures and muscle damage.

              Here’re some simple stretching exercises to get you started: 15 Static Stretching Exercises to Totally Enhance Your Workout Routine

              5. Add in Some High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

              You may have heard about HIIT training because it is the big thing right now, and believe me when I say that it works and should absolutely be included in your fitness goals.

              The benefits include lower body fat, increased stamina, leaner muscles, and fantastic hormonal benefits.

              HIIT is where you perform an intense exercise for a very short time frame (about 30 seconds), followed by a slower exercise for about 90 seconds.

              Performing a HIIT routine for 1-3 times a week will lead to great results.

              6. Focus on Your Breathing When You Work Out

              For the most part, breathing is second nature, but when exercising, you may find yourself holding your breath, and this can have negative consequences.

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              It is important to consciously take deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth, as this will fill your lungs with oxygen and give you the necessary energy to continue your workout.

              7. Build More Lean Muscle

              We all want to have lean muscles. Not only does it look good, but it also has great health benefits, including:

              • Improved posture
              • Reduced body fat
              • Improved metabolism
              • Strong bones
              • Protects and improves joint health
              • Improved stamina

              You can build lean muscle by lifting weights or through other specific exercises. Learn more about building muscle in this guide: How Long Does it Take to Build Muscle and Increase Fat Loss?

              8. Decrease Body Fat

              This may seem like an obvious one, but it is one of the most important steps to a healthier you. Reducing your body fat has a lot of benefits such as:

              • Improved joints and tendons
              • Lowered risk of diabetes
              • Reduced risk of heart disease
              • Reduced inflammation
              • Better performance and endurance
              • Improved appearance and confidence
              • Better hormonal profiles in your body

              Remember, it is not a race to see how quickly you can decrease your body fat. Healthy weight loss is around 1-2 pounds a week for your fitness goals.[2]

              Crash dieting or pushing yourself too much in the gym can lead to you achieving an unrealistic target, and you may find yourself gaining all the weight you have lost.

              Think of it as a lifestyle, and take it slow and steady.

              9. Eat More Greens

              What you eat is the most important factor in a healthier living plan. It is important to ensure you are getting as many nutrients and vitamins from the food you are eating as possible.

              Focus on dark, leafy greens, as they will provide you with a wide array of vitamins, minerals, nutrients and antioxidants—all of which you body needs!

              Don’t forget to avoid processed and manufactured food. They are usually high in fat and have minimal vitamins.

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              10. Start Eliminating Sugar

              Another top goal you can start immediately is reducing the amount of sugar you consume. It also won’t cost you anything, and will save you money and improve your health in the long run.

              There’s no surprise we eat too much sugar, and this should be one of your top fitness goals moving forward. Cutting out liquid calories is a great way to start. If you’re looking for something sweet, turn to fruits or even dark chocolate.

              Be careful to eliminate sugar from your diet slowly. Cutting it out all at once can cause symptoms of sugar withdrawal, which can drive you back to sugary snacks[3].

              Common symptoms of sugar withdrawal

                11. Allow Yourself to Rest and Recover

                The workout is where you go to break down muscle tissue, and it builds back through proper nutrition, rest, and recovery[4]. It might be tempting to go to the gym for two hours every day as hard as you can to achieve your goals, but that’s not the most effective approach.

                If you don’t allow for proper rest and recovery, it can set you back a few steps. Your body is more prone to injury and even illness as you can weaken your immune system from all the progressive intensity the body is facing.

                12. Get More Sleep

                When you are deprived of sleep, you make it next to impossible to achieve your health and fitness goals. Lack of sleep can increase stress hormones in your body, and over time these can lead to inflammation and chronic diseases.[5]

                Make sleep a priority to let your body heal and rejuvenate. A good approach is 7 to 8 hours. Also, allow yourself some wind-down time and a pre-bed routine to help get more consistent sleep every night.

                13. Focus on the Habit, Not the Result

                It’s easy to get caught up in trying to achieve a certain look or shed time off of your mile, but the more important focus is on the habit that will bring you closer to those fitness goals.

                Don’t look at the scale, the tape measurer, or the body fat percentage. Focus on the habits that will lead to those achievements.

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                Don’t compare yourself to where others are; you’re right where you need to be.

                14. Take Your Fitness Outside

                This may be hard depending on the weather you experience, but the more you can be outside exposed to fresh air and sunlight, the better.

                Being stuck in the gym doing cardio while staring at a wall won’t do much for your mental stimulation.

                Try to challenge your body more by getting outside. Hiking is great and also just running and walking. Give yourself more access to nature and a constantly changing environment. It also beats breathing in that recycled gym air.

                15. Do at Least One Pull Up

                This is a great last goal to focus on because it’s a great test of strength and to see how you are progressing with your fitness.

                If you haven’t been able to do one, you know what a challenge it can be. Having the goal of doing at least one pull up will not only show you how far you’ve progressed, but it is a great way to become dedicated and motivated.

                The Bottom Line

                These fitness goals will become more attainable through the year if you’re consistent with your fitness. Set yourself a concrete timeline for when you want to accomplish some or all of these in order to create realistic goals in the short term. In fact, start making one of these goals happen this month!

                More on Setting Fitness Goals

                Featured photo credit: Ivan Torres via unsplash.com

                Reference

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