Iyengar yoga is an excellent choice for those seeking to relax and soothe the body for a restful night’s sleep. It’s a slow and systematic style of yoga that is undertaken at a careful and considered pace even in regular classes. The five poses that we have detailed here are choices from some of our traditional asanas that focus on breath, relaxation, and an unwinding of the bodily processes that produce alertness in our minds.
Certain poses can be used to ease specific sore points and tension throughout the body, like your neck and shoulders. Others can be used to welcome the sorts of deep breathing that prepare us well for a restful night’s sleep. Take a look below to see our pick of five poses to try as part of your pre-bed ritual and let us know how you go when you try them!
1. Bhujangasana or Cobra Pose
Cobra pose is known as one of the ‘baby backbends’, a more relaxed take on poses such as Upward-Facing Dog of the like. This gentler cadence can be just what is needed before bed. The spine is gently lengthened, the legs are kept stable on the floor, and the thoracic muscles are gently brought to a state of relaxation. This pose can be used to ease lower back pain and assist in opening the anterior chain before laying down to rest.
2. Adho Mukha Svanasana or Downward-Facing Dog Pose
Adho Mukha Svanasana, or Downward-Facing Dog, is the natural pair for Bhujangasana or the Cobra Pose. Or for a more advanced practice, this pose can be paired with Upward-Facing Dog to make a single reciprocal flow like this. The rhythm of these two poses together can be comforting and offers an opportunity to relax both posterior and anterior chains in a way that is sure to relax the body and mind before bed.
3. Chatushpadasana or Four-Footed Pose
Typically used at the end of classes to allow students the opportunity to slow down and redirect their blood flow, Chatushpadasana or Four-Footed Pose offers a mild backbend that anchors your practice and quietens the mind. In brief – lie down with your knees bent so that your feet are close to your buttocks. Grab onto your ankles and lift your hips up above the ground. This pose is excellent for redirecting blood flow and offers a great opportunity to focus on your breath.
Unwind and rest well with Yoga Vastu
A gentle sequence of yoga poses before bed is an excellent way to soothe the mind and let go of the stresses of the day. It can also be an excellent opportunity for you to explore new or familiar poses at a pace that feels perfectly comfortable for you. As you develop in your practice, you may want to take inspiration from some of the more advanced poses in our pose library, and gently permit your body to become accustomed to these positions.
To find out more about at-home practice with Yoga Vastu, simply reach out. We have a 14-day free trial available to new sign-ups. Just the right length of time to explore some of our videos and get a taste for what it means to practice Iyengar yoga at home.
If you have any questions, please feel free to get in touch.