Creating just 10 minutes before bed to breathe deeply and draw the senses into the body can do wonders for your sleep routine. Especially during the festive season, modern life can feel all too overwhelming and we can take this feeling to bed with us. Resting in stillness and focusing on the simplicity of breathing will help you to find balance and recentre during a busy time. Our friends at Yogamatters share 3 of their favourite Yin Yoga Poses to prepare your body for a restful night’s sleep.
Supported Fish Pose
We can spend most of our day hunched over a desk or holding tension in our shoulders. Supported fish pose is a great way to soften the shoulders and regain a sense of spaciousness through the chest before bed. Lay a bolster or a rolled up blanket vertical to the back of the yoga mat, and have a yoga brick at the ready to support the head. Lay back onto your chosen support so the body is fully supported but the head comes above the bolster. We love this small rectangular bolster as it is shorter than the average bolster with a flat surface to support the body and mould the body into a place of comfort. Once the body is on the bolster, allow the head to rest onto the brick. Bring the arms out at a 90 degree angle with the palms facing up and allow the shoulders to relax.
Stay for 5 minutes, breathing into the belly on the inhale and softening into the support on each exhale. Stay present with your breath and keep the eyes closed to quieten the mind and prepare to fully wind down. When you are ready to come out, lay flat on your back and pause to notice the difference in the body and honour the stillness.
Supported Seal Pose
Start by laying on your belly with your feet as wide as the mat and the toes untucked. Peel the shoulders, heart and head up from the mat and walk the hands to the front outside corners of your mat. Tipi your fingers and walk the hands forward so you can feel a sense of reaching forwards whilst staying rooted through the pelvis. Keep the back of the neck long and gaze forwards. If the pose feels too intense, then place a small bolster or cushion beneath the ribs to support the torso. Stay here for 3 minutes or until you are ready to come out.
Yin Half Frog Pose
From Seal Pose, stay lying on your belly for a few breaths to give space between the poses. To prepare for Half Frog Pose, place a folded blanket to the right side of your body. Draw the right leg out to the side, keeping the leg bent so the knee stays roughly in line with the hip. Rest the leg on the cushioned blanket. To intensify the stretch, draw the foot in line with the knee and flex the foot so the sole of the foot points to the back of the mat and the toes point to the right. There is also the option to come up onto the forearms for a deeper stretch. Stay on each side for 3-5 minutes and focus on breathing away any tension from the face and shoulders whilst feeling a stretch through the groin.
Pair these gentle yoga poses with a soothing scent, by lighting a Beauty Sleep Candle. A spritz of Beauty Sleep Hyaluronic Mist, Beauty Sleep CBD Concentrate applied to pulse points, followed by gentle breathing exercises and you are ready to surrender to sleep. Sweet dreams.