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The Before Bed Relaxation Sequence

Before you tuck in to bed, try these sweet and simple yoga postures to help prepare you for restful sleep.

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Child’s pose on pillow

Sit on your knees with your toes together. Come to stand up on your shins, and place a blanket right up against the creases of your knees. Sit back on the heels, keeping the seat heavy, and then come to rest forward over your thighs, either with your hands like a pillow under the face or arms outstretched in front of you, breathing deeply. If you’d like more support in the chest, you can place stacked blankets underneath the torso and relax down on top of them, supporting one cheek with the hands.

This restful pose will help you deepen your breathing and sooth tension in the back body, while stretching the psoas and the hips.

 Alternate nostril breathing (Nadi Shodhana)

Come to sit up comfortably, with the spine tall and the shoulders relaxed. Hold out your right hand and tuck the pointer and middle finger in. Place the thumb on the right nostril and the ring and pinky fingers on the left nostril. Inhale and exhale deeply through both nostrils. Inhale through both nostrils, then block off the right nostril and breathe out of the left. Breathe in through the left, plug the left nostril and breathe out through the right. Breathe in through the right, block off the right, and exhale to the left. Start with one or two rounds, and gradually, as you become more comfortable with it, build up to 8.

 This breathing practice will balance and calm your nervous system, and both hemispheres of your brain.

 Legs up the wall

Bring your seat as close to a wall as possible, so that the butt is pressed directly against the meeting point of the floor and the wall. Extend the legs straight up, and recline with the palms facing up, so the body makes a right angle, or an L shape. Support the sacrum with a blanket, close the eyes, and allow gravity to settle the femur into the hip socket.

Legs up the wall is a great pose for settling the body into its most relaxed and aligned state. It is very soothing, and a great way to unwind at the end of the day.


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before-bed

Photos by Hailey Wist
Model: Makeesha Hill
Collaboration with Eddie Stern

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