At the end of a long day, giving yourself some time to bring the energy down will go a long way in helping you get to sleep.
The 5 poses outlined here will help you to stretch out tired and achy muscles. This sequence can be done right in bed if you prefer to crawl under the sheets for your savasana and fall right to sleep.
- Forward Fold – While seated, extend your legs out in front of you. Keeping the feet about hip width apart. You can bend the knees if you need to. Let your spine naturally round as you fold forward. Turn the palms up, and don’t push and pull your way deeper in to the pose. This pose will stretch the entire posterior chain (back of the body). Turn to deep belly breathing, with long exhalations. Relaxing a little bit more with every exhale.
2. Banana Pose – Lower down onto the back. Move the hips towards the right. Shift the upper body towards the left side. If you like, reach the arms overhead and clasp opposite elbows. Extend the legs out, moving the feet to the left side. To take deeper, cross right ankle over the left. Aiming for a deep side body stretch here, by pushing the right hip and shoulder down. Take on the other side.
3. Reclined Butterfly – Come back to center. Bring the soles of the feet together, and drop the knees out towards the sides. Reach your arms up overhead to stretch into the shoulders, or keep your hands on your belly. Close your eyes, and focus inward on the breath. There should be no strain in this pose, little muscular effort.
4. Reclined Pigeon – Start with the knees bent. Cross your right ankle over your left knee. Pushing the right knee away. Stay here, or reach your arms through to draw the legs in. Keep the hips down. Relax the shoulders, keeping the head down.
5. Supine Twist – Extend the left leg out. Cross the right knee over towards the left side. Reach your right arm out to the side, keeping the shoulder blade on the floor. Stack the right hip over the left.
Repeat 4 and 5 on the other side.
Finish with a few moments of savasana, maybe crawling into bed to do so.
If you prefer to be eased through these poses without having to think about what’s next, check out the video below.