If you practice yoga at home, just before you go to bed, you can focus on the more restorative poses that help mentally and physically calm the body.
Start by sitting quietly in your preferred position, let go of the day's events and all thoughts, and focus on your breathing. When you feel that you have an equal length on both inhalation and exhalation and a calm full breath, you can perform the following poses:
Head to Knee Pose (Janu Sirsasana)
Performed to both sides.
Sitting on the mat, with legs outstretched.
Bend one leg and bring the foot all the way into the inner side of your other leg, resting the sole of the foot on the inner thigh.
Let the knee fall out to the side and down to the mat, the sole of the foot resting against the opposite inner thigh.
On an exhalation, bend forward from the hip, extend the arms forward, and hold onto; the knee, lower leg, or foot. Stay seated for 10 breaths.
Lying twist (Jathara Parivartanasana).
Lie on your back on the floor. Bend both legs and move the knee up towards the chest, the lower legs should be parallel to the floor. Extend your arms out to the side and press your palms into the floor.
On an exhalation, let the legs turn out to the side, and down to the floor. Keep your shoulders on the mat.
Remain lying down for 10-20 breaths, switch sides, and repeat.
Supported Reclining God Pose (Supta Baddha Konasana)
Sit on the mat, place a bolster lengthwise behind you right up to your hips, and come down and lie with your back along the bolster.
Gather the feet and pull them up towards you so that the knees come out to the sides, if you need support under the knees, place a block under each knee.
Remain lying down for 5-10 minutes.
Legs up the wall (Viparita Karani)
The pose is a gentle version of an inverted pose. It is perfect after a long day, as having the legs raised above heart level reduces the strain on the heart as well as the muscles and joints in the legs. It provides the opportunity to release tension in the lower back and hips and includes a meditative aspect.
If your body feels uncomfortable in any way, and you can't get quite close to the wall due to tight hips, then instead perform the position with your legs bent at 90 degrees over a chair to start with.
If you are challenged in the lower back, you can place one or more folded carpet(s) under the lower back and slightly away from the wall.
If you extend your arms above your head, you achieve an opening stretch across your chest as well.
Lie in this position for 10 minutes, either after a training session or in the evening before going to bed.
Dead Still Pose (Savasana)
Come down and lie on your back. Arms out to the side down along the body, palms up.
Don't focus specifically on the breath. But try to maintain an even length on the exhale and inhale
Lie down for 10 minutes, as you take time to notice your body, placing your attention on one limb at a time, and holding it there for a bit before moving to the next.
God night and sleep well.
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