Introducing Yoga Into Your Morning and Nighttime Routine

Yoga brings together physical and mental well-being because it helps manage stress levels and promotes relaxation. By incorporating yoga into your night and morning routines, you may see positive changes in your respiration, energy, and vitality.

OVERALL YOGA BENEFITS

  • Prevents cartilage and joint breakdown
  • Increases your blood flow
  • Drops your blood pressure
  • Helps you focus
  • Relaxes your system
  • Maintains your nervous system
  • Helps you sleep deeper

At Sleepbo, we’ve done the research and developed a morning yoga routine to help you wake up feeling refreshed and energized for the day, and a nighttime yoga routine to help you soothe your body so you feel relaxed before bed. 

THE COMFY CREW’S MORNING YOGA ROUTINE

nighttime yoga for sleep

Stretching, whether you work out or not, is an important part of staying healthy. This is because flexibility keeps us from easily getting injured. Not to mention that moving your body and getting your blood flowing first thing in the morning is beneficial for you as it will help you stay more energized throughout the day. 

Completing the following yoga routine, with instructions, courtesy of Yoga Basics, will help you feel more awake, refreshed, and motivated for the day ahead:

  • Back Bend – Warrior 1 – Complete for both sides.
  • Downward Facing Dog
  • Child’s Pose
  • Seated Head to Knee – Complete for both sides.
  • Standing Forward Fold

BACK BEND – WARRIOR 1 (LEVEL: BEGINNER) – COMPLETE FOR BOTH SIDES.

  1. From a high lunge position, with the right knee bent, engage the legs to ground down through the feet, and inhale the hands up to the bent knee. Use the arms to draw the torso back slightly. Make sure the knee is directly over the right ankle.
  2. Bring the hands to the hips and square the hips and shoulders to the front wall. Relax the shoulders down and draw the shoulder blades towards the spine to open the chest. 
  3. Inhale the arms over the head in an H position with the palms facing each other, or bring the palms together crossing the thumbs, or interlace the fingers together and point the index finger up. Keep the shoulders relaxed and chest lifted. 
  4. Inhale deeply into the belly and chest, exhale and press into the feet, fingers and crown, feeling your body expanding out in 5 directions.
  5. Hold this position for 3 – 6 breaths
  6. To release, exhale and lower the hands down to the floor.

DOWNWARD FACING DOG

  1. From Table position (on your hands and knees), tuck the toes under, press into the hands and begin to lift the hips up towards the ceiling.
  2. Spread the fingers wide apart with the middle finger facing forward, and the palms shoulder width apart. Press out through the fingers and edges of the hands. 
  3. Using straight, but not locked arms, press the hips up and back, reaching the chest towards the thighs. Lift up through the tailbone to keep the spine straight and long. 
  4. Have the feet hip’s width apart with the toes facing forward. Press the heels into the floor, feeling a stretch in the back of the legs. Make sure your back stays flat. 
  5. Breathe and hold for 4 – 8 breaths. 
  6. To release, bend the knees and lower the hips back to Table position, or come all the way down to Child’s Pose.

CHILD’S POSE

  1. From Table pose, exhale and lower the hips to the heels and forehead to the floor. Have the knees together or if more comfortable, spread the knees slightly apart. 
  2. The arms can be overhead with the palms on the floor. The palms or fists can be stacked under the forehead, or the arms can be alongside the body with the palms facing up. 
  3. Breathe slowly and deeply, actively pressing the belly against the things on the inhale.
  4. Breathe and hold for 4 – 12 breaths
  5. To release, place the palms under the shoulders and slowly inhale up to a seated position.

SEATED HEAD TO KNEE – COMPLETE FOR BOTH SIDES

  1. Seated on the mat, extend the right leg straight out in front of you, place the bottom of the left foot against the right thigh. Pull the right leg in to square the hips to the front wall. 
  2. Inhale the arms up and reach out of the waits lengthening the spine.
  3. Keep the length as you exhale forward, bending the right knee enough to interlace the fingers around the foot and to place the head against the knee. 
  4. Work the posture by pressing the head down into the knee, sliding the right heel away from you, lengthening the right leg. Keep the head pressed to the knee while straightening the leg as much as you can. 
  5. Relax the shoulders, neck and face. Make sure the shoulders are parallel to the floor. 
  6. Breathe and hold for 3 – 6 breaths. 
  7. To release, unhale the arms up over your head, exhale them to the floor.

STANDING FORWARD FOLD

  1. From a standing position, exhale forward hinging at the hips. Bend the knees enough to bring the palms flat to the floor and the head pressed against the knees.
  2. Feel the spine stretching in opposite directions as you pull the head down and in and press the hips up. Work straightening the legs to deepen the stretch in the back of the legs.
  3. Breathe and hold for 4 – 8 breaths, actively pressing the belly into the thighs on the inhalation.
  4. To release, bend the knees keeping the back straight, inhale the arms out to the sides and inhale the arms and torso back into Mountain pose.

Try these yoga poses in the morning to help get your day started on the right track.

On the same note, practicing nighttime yoga before bed can take away all of that stress you accumulated throughout the day, allowing the body to relax. It’s a way to renew the body of all its strains and get a good night’s sleep. Read on, for Sleepbo’s recommended nighttime yoga routine. 

THE COMFY CREW’S NIGHTTIME YOGA ROUTINE

  • Standing Forward Fold
  • Legs Up The Wall Pose (Viparita Karani)
  • Shavasana – Corpse Pose

Standing Forward Fold

  1. From a standing position, exhale forward hinging at the hips. Bend the knees enough to bring the palms flat to the floor and the head pressed against the knees.
  2. Feel the spine stretching in opposite directions as you pull the head down and in and press the hips up. Work straightening the legs to deepen the stretch in the back of the legs.
  3. Breathe and hold for 4 – 8 breaths, actively pressing the belly into the thighs on the inhalation.
  4. To release, bend the knees keeping the back straight, inhale the arms out to the sides and inhale the arms and torso back into Mountain pose.

Legs Up the Wall Pose

  1. Begin the pose by sitting with your left side against the wall. Your lower back should rest against the mat.
  2. Gently turn your body to the left and bring your legs up onto the wall. Use your hands for balance as you shift your weight. 
  3. Shift your weight from side-to-side and scoot your bottom close to the wall.  Let your arms rest open at your sides, palms facing up. 
  4. Close your eyes and hold for 5 – 10 minutes, breathing with awareness.
  5. To release, slowly push yourself away from the wall and slide your legs down to the right side. Use your hands to help press yourself back up into a seated position. 

Shavasana – Corpse Pose

  1. Lying on your back, let the arms and legs drop open, with the arms about 45 degrees from the side of your body. Make sure you are warm and comfortable.
  2. Close your eyes and take slow deep breaths through the nose. Allow your whole body to become soft and heavy, letting it relax into the floor. As the body relaxes, feel the whole body rising and falling with each breath. 
  3. Stay in Shavasana for 5 to 15 minutes.
  4. To release, slowly deepen the breath, wiffle the fingers and toes, reach the arms over your head and stretch the whole body, exhale and bend the knees to the chest and roll over to one side coming into a fetal position. When you are ready, slowly inhale up to a seated position.

Try these yoga poses at night to help release toxins in the body, get a deep stretch and renew your body for a good nights sleep. 

The final pose—Shavasana—is also great to do under a comfortable, warm and cozy, weighted blanket . Many find the additional comfort from the deep pressure touch to be extra relaxing, putting their body in a more concentrated sleep state. 

Yoga is a great start and end to the day. By adding it into your routines, you’re taking that step towards overall better health and sleep. 

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