If you’re looking for some Om in your home, and need to add a little Zen to your bedtime routine, try this yoga routine in your bed tonight.
“Nighttime yoga is a wonderful opportunity to unwind. It’s a way to quiet the mind and body to balance accumulated stress from the day,” says Ko Im, a New York City-based certified yoga and meditation teacher, and deputy editor of NY Yoga + Life Magazine.
Im shares and demonstrates a few basic restorative poses for beginners. Hold each move for at least five to 10 inhales and exhales, if not more, to induce calm.
Note: if you have major health challenges, consult your doctor before your practice.
1. Meditate in an easy seat. Find a comfortable position to simply notice your breath and take stock. Cultivate the mindset that you are shutting down slowly, so you can reset and recharge, as if you’re dumping out any excess information or thoughts from the day.
2. In child’s pose, release your low spine from sitting or standing all day by bending your knees and allowing your torso to rest on your thighs and your hips to dip down towards your heels (flattened feet). You can even hug a pillow. Feel a more subtle energy soothing your soul slowly.
3. In wind-relieving pose, come onto your back and draw your knees towards your chest. Give yourself another back release and self-hug as you continue to squeeze out any tension in the lower half of the body.
4.In bound angle pose, bend your knees to the sides and bring the soles of your feet together to touch. As your open your hip region and surrender yourself to gravity, place one hand on your heart and the other on your belly to watch your breath crest. Close your eyes, if possible.
5.“Rested stargazer” is what Im calls this pose. Protect your lower back by placing pillows underneath the knees so your legs can feel heavy (with no tightness in the hamstrings) and your back can be further cushioned. With one hand, take hold of the opposite elbow over your head and allow your mind to wander, inching its way to a dream state.
6. End any detoxing session with a reclined twist. Turn from the mid-back and feel one hip resting over the other. As you look in the opposite direction from the front of the legs, try to keep both shoulders evenly touching the bed and grounded as you unplug. Then, twist the other way. Unwind, and fall into a deep, peaceful sleep.
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Photo credit: Ko Im