Practice makes perfect for better sleep and more energy
Long day ahead? We’ve got you. Whether you’re a seasoned yogi or simply a sleep enthusiast, leave the yoga mat in your bag and hop into bed. We’ve got three simple poses that can be done in 5-10 minutes from the comforts of home.
Step one: Put down your phone (we mean it!). Time to quiet your mind and ease tension, focusing on these easy yoga poses that will energize your day and lead to more restful sleep.
Step two: Clear your bed of extra pillows and bulky comforters to create a clean, flat surface for your poses (a comfortable mattress is key!).
Now, ready, set, let’s flow.
The Bound Angle Pose
Photo credit: @omandthecity
Yoga Journal describes the Bound Angle as one of the best hip openers around (perfect for those of us who sit in chairs at work all day). It can also relieve anxiety, improve circulation, and relieve menstrual cramps. All good things, right? Right.
How to do it:
Sit with your legs straight out in front of you. Exhale, bend your knees and pull your heels toward your pelvis in a “butterfly” shape. Drop your knees out to the sides and press the soles of your feet together. If your hips are tight, sit on a blanket or pillow to elevate the pelvis. Stay in this pose for 1-5 minutes while inhaling and exhaling to deepen the stretch.
We bet you’re feeling better already. But let’s keep moving.
The Seated Forward Bend
Photo credit: @freespirited_yogi
A multi-tasker, the Seated Forward Bend calms the brain, relieves stress, and improves digestion while stretching your spine, hamstrings and shoulders.
How to do it:
Sit atop a folded blanket with your legs stretched in front of you. Inhale, keeping your torso long and tall, and lean forward from the hip joints, not the waist. If possible, grab the sides of the feet with your hands, thumbs on the soles, elbows fully extended; if this isn't possible (we weren’t all born flexible!), loop a strap around the foot soles, and hold the strap firmly.
Go deeper into the stretch by lengthening your torso with your head raised but don’t forcefully pull yourself into the bend. Use each exhale to stretch a little bit deeper for 1-3 minutes.
For more tips, see what the experts at Yoga Journal have to say.
Seated Eagle Pose
Photo credit: @aeriallyn
Ok, so your legs and spine are feeling loose now; you’re feeling calm and centered. Let’s finish off with a gift to our upper body. The Seated Eagle opens up the joints in the arms and shoulders and stretches the upper back. It’s also been known to improve concentration, and, did we mention that it feels really good? A great tension reliever to counteract “computer posture” (we all have it).
How to do it:
Sit comfortably on your bed with your legs crossed. Bring your hands together with elbows connected. Intertwine arms like a snake, wrapping your right arm around the left arm and touching palms to one another. Keep your spine straight and relax your shoulders and maintain the position for 15-30 seconds. Repeat by wrapping arms in the opposite direction.