We all know that our sleep is important, but getting into good sleeping habits is not always easy. How we sleep affects our emotional well-being, our mood and not least our energy and stamina. But unwinding, letting go of the stresses of the day and turning off all the thoughts swirling around in your head is often easier said than done.
If you're one of those people who often lie awake at night with your mind racing, then a relaxing evening routine could be just what you need to prepare both body and mind for the night. One way to ground yourself and release the stress of the day is to do a short yinyoga routine in the evening.
Yin stands for rest, recovery, serenity and the light of the moon
Yin stands for rest, recovery, serenity and the light of the moon. Yin yoga is a meditative and calming style of yoga with a focus on breathing where you stay for a long time in yin yoga postures (about 3-5 min).
This type of yoga helps to calm the nervous system and can help to still excessive mental energy. Yinyoga is a gentle style of yoga that is suitable for most people. If you have a bolster and a block, you can use it. Otherwise, a book and pillow or a rolled blanket will do just as well for some of the positions.
Light some candles, put on a relaxing soundtrack and get ready for some alone time
We have selected three yin yoga poses that are particularly good for relaxation. The important thing to remember is that the positions should not hurt. If it feels uncomfortable, it may be a good idea to use a bolster or a block to land comfortably in the positions. Try to stay in each position for 3-7 minutes.
Place your bolster/cushion vertically in the middle of the mat. Sit on your heels and let your big toes meet. Widen your knees, how wide you want it is up to you. Fold your upper body forward and let your chest rest on the bolster/cushion. Bring your forehead or cheek down to the floor or let it rest on the bolster. Stretch your arms out in front of your body or let them rest along your body with your palms up. Focus on your breathing and feel your body become heavy.
Sit down on a comfortable surface and bring the soles of your feet together, letting your knees fall out wide. Place your feet a little away from your body to create a diamond shape. Place your hands on or around your feet. Take a deep breath in and lengthen your spine, then exhale and fold your legs over so that your spine is rounded and your head is heavy. Let your body be soft and relaxed. If it feels uncomfortable to let your head hang, place a block or bolster under your forehead for support.
Lie down on your back. Keep your legs hip-width apart and place your arms a little away from your body. Let your body take up space on the surface as you begin to relax. Place the bolster/cushion under your knees to neutralize your spine. Let go of all thoughts of breathing and let your body become heavy and soft. Take the time to really let go for a little while. Stay in savasana for 3-7 minutes before gently coming up and preparing for a good night's sleep.
*This article is for information purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice and treatment, nor should it be considered a substitute for it.