5 Yin Poses to do before bed for a better night's sleep

Warrior One is a Baptiste inspired, power yoga studio. But did you know we also offer Yin/Restorative/Slow deep stretch classes? Yin yoga is the opposite of Yang (hot power) yoga. It's usually done in a cool room with poses held for about 3-5 minutes targeting the joints and connective tissues that enclose your muscles. It is restorative, relaxing, and most importantly, introspective. Slowing down the body also slows down the mind, and you are able to go inward to "check in" on how you feel and WHAT you feel in each pose.

If you can't make it to class, here are 5 effective yin poses you can do in your own bed before you go to sleep to get a better night's rest. With your awareness on your breath and your body, the mind chatter dwindles away, and you'll be off to dreamland in no time!

1. Legs Up the Wall

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Sitting sideways, get the side of your hip as close to the wall as you can. Swing your legs up the wall as you lie down on your back. Option to put a pillow under your hips or head for extra support. Close your eyes and breathe. Stay here for 5-10 minutes. 

Benefits: - Extremely restorative, legs up the wall takes the pressure off your heart to pump as hard. Your heart rate slows down. 
               -Your internal organs get                  a richer blood supply
               -Your brain gets a greater supply of
                oxygen improving your memory and mood.

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2. Spinal Twist

 Pillow Tucked under knee 

Pillow Tucked under knee 

Draw your right knee into your chest and take it across your body. Keep both shoulders on the ground/bed. If your knee is coming up tuck pillows underneath for support. To complete the twist through your cervical spine turn your head in the opposite direction of your knee. Complete both sides. 

Benefits: -Spinal decompression
               -Twisting massages your                  internal organs and                         improves their function. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Reach up, elongate your spine 

Reach up, elongate your spine 

3, Sleeping Deer

Sit in a wide legged position. Set 1-3 pillows on the outside of your right leg. Bend your right knee. Option to keep your left leg straight or bent for a deeper twist. Reach your arms up, lengthen your spine, then turn to face your pillows and lie down. If you want to go deeper still, try turning your head to the right. Remember to breathe. 

 Turn towards your pillow and lie down

Turn towards your pillow and lie down

Benefits: -Spinal Decompression
               -Can help reduce anxiety                  and restlessness.
               -Helps improve digestion                  and relive gas.
              

 

 

 

 

 Option to have back leg straight or bent 

Option to have back leg straight or bent 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                               4. Reclining pigeon

Lie on your back and place both feet on the wall. Create a 90 degree angle from your hips to your heels. Lift one leg and place your ankle on top of the leg that is bent. If you need MORE scoot closer to the wall. If you need LESS start to straighten the leg that is on the wall to your appropriate edge. Everyone is different! Find what you need for your body.

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Benefits: -Stretches and releases the gluteal muscles and specifically the smaller muscles of the glutes (ex: piriformis) which can get very tight.
               -Puts pressure on the hip joint, which sends a surge of fresh blood and synovial fluid (think WD-40) to your joint.

 

5. Reclining Butterfly 

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Lie down on your back with a pillow under your head. Take the soles of your feet together and your knees wide. Place your hands on your low belly. Option to tuck pillows under both knees, get comfortable!! Breath 5-10 deep belly breaths and notice the rise and fall of your hands.

Benefits: -Stretches the inner thighs (adductors) and groin. 
               -Stimulates abdominal organs like the ovaries and prostate                           gland, bladder, and kidneys
               -Helps relieve symptoms of stress, mild depression,                                       menstruation and menopause.

 

Now reap the benefits of your practice by lying flat on your back in savasana. Close your eyes and breathe. Who knows, you may even drift                                                         off to sleep ; )