5 Yoga Poses to Do in the Evening
Yoga offers many benefits. It can improve cardiovascular health and circulation, increase flexibility, and helps reduce stress. It's also a wonderful way to unwind after a long day. I've been practicing yoga for a long time and it really makes a difference!
Try these five poses to help you relax and have a better night's sleep. You can do them on a yoga mat, a blanket or towel, or right in your bed before you retire for the evening.
As always, please consult your doctor if you have any questions or concerns.
1. Standing Wide-Legged Forward Fold
This is one of my favorite stretches. Stand with your feet flat on the floor, a little wider than your hips. You can stand beside your bed if your hamstrings are super tight or with your back against a wall for a little more support. Place your hands on your hips and roll your shoulders back to stand tall. Slowly bend forward from your hips, keeping your abs engaged, navel to spine, back flat. Feel the stretch in the back of your legs, and when you're ready, slowly release your hands to the floor, or place your hands on your bed. Bend your knees as generously as you need and don't forget to breathe. This is such a great stretch to let go of any tension from the day.
2. Half Lord of the Fishes
This is a twisting stretch and feels amazing after a long day! Start by sitting down with your legs stretched out in front of you. Bring the left knee up, foot flat on the floor or your bed. You can keep the right leg stretched out, or if it feels good for you, bend your leg as if you were going to sit cross-legged, bringing your foot to your rear end and allowing your knee to point forward. You can keep your left foot where it is, or if it feels good, cross your foot over your right knee, placing it flat on the outside of that knee. Sit up tall, engaging your core. Bring your left finger tips to the floor behind you to help keep your spine straight. You will not put any weight on that hand. Take a deep breath in, and as you exhale, slowly twist to the right, hooking your right elbow onto your left knee. Twist from the core and only as far as it feels good. Hold your twist for a few breath cycles, enjoying the stretch in your back. Repeat on the opposite side.
3. Butterfly Pose
This stretch is simple, but feels so good for the hips and back. Sit with your legs stretched out in front of you. Bend both legs in as if you were going to sit cross-legged, but put the soles of your feet together. Hold onto your feet and sit up tall. You can bounce your knees up and down a little, fluttering like a butterfly's wings. When you're ready, slowly stretch forward, keeping your abs engaged and your back flat. Feel the stretch in the hips. When you've had enough of that, allow your back to round, and bring your arms in front you. Walk your fingertips out inch by inch until you meet your comfortable edge. Bring your chin to your chest to lengthen the back of the neck, but be mindful of your shoulders, keeping them down and away from your ears.
4. Happy Baby
This stretch is amazing for the hips! Start by laying flat on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Bend the right knee up and in toward the chest and flex your foot toward the sky. Bend the left knee up and in toward the chest and flex that foot toward the sky. Reach your arms in between your legs to grab the outside of each foot. Keep your feet flexed and enjoy the stretch. You could also grab the inner arches of the feet if that feels better. You can roll gently side to side or just lay still, allowing the hips to open and stretch. Play around in this pose. You can gently roll the ankles a few times each way, stretch one leg out and then the other, find what feels good in your body. This is a terrific stretch to do before you fall asleep, or first thing in the morning when you wake up.
5. Supine Twist
This is my all time favorite stretch! This is a great one to do in bed before you fall asleep. Start by laying flat on your back. Gently bring both knees in to the chest. You might stay here for a moment, slowly rocking side to side. When you're ready, allow your knees to slowly fall to one side. Turn to look in the opposite direction, reaching your arm out and keeping your shoulder down. Stay here for a few breaths, enjoying this wonderful stretch. Repeat on the other side. Alternatively, you might want to try bringing the right knee up toward the chest and then allowing it to fall to your left side. Reach your right arm out to the side and slowly turn your neck to look toward your right arm. Repeat on the other side.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
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