What is your number one non-negotiable before bedtime? For me it’s getting a quick stretch in on my mat. Sometimes it’s targeted to one area, but most often I need to release the day behind me from all over the body.

Give these 7 stretches a try tonight before you get ready to go to sleep. All you need is your yoga mat.

  1. Side Bend – Start seated, extending the right leg out to the side and bringing the left foot inside the right thigh. Rest your right hand down on your leg. Reach your left hand up and over, reaching through the fingertips.

2. Baby Wild Thing – Plant the left hand down behind you. Reach right arm up and over. Push into left hand and right foot to lift the hips up. Breathe into this gentle back bend. Lower the hips

3. Forward Fold – Face towards the right foot. Fold over the extended legs. Relax into the fold. Forward folds are so good for the nervous system at the end of the day. Bend your knee if needed.

Repeat 1-3 on the other side.

4. Butterfly – Bring the soles of the feet together, and drop the knees out to the sides. Grab hold of the big toes with the peace fingers. Press the thighs down. Inhale to lift and lengthen, pressing the shoulders back and gazing up. Exhale to round and contract. Move through a few rounds of this seated cat/cow. Then fold down and forward.

5. Pigeon – Come up to table top. Slide the right knee up behind the right wrist, with the toes going towards the left side. Stretch the left leg back behind you. Level out the hips. Inhale to lift the heart up, then exhale to fold down into sleeping/resting pigeon. Stack the palms or fists to support the forehead. Take 5-10 deep breaths here. Repeat on other side.

6. Cobra – Lower down onto the belly. Slide the palms beside the ribs. Extend the legs back behind you, widen them to the edges of the mat. Push into the hands and feet, finding length as you lift up. Keep the elbows bent and hugging in. Broaden through the heart.

7. Back Bend – Sit back on the heels. Bring the fingers back behind you. Squeeze the elbows together. Puff the chest up. Hold for a few rounds of breath.

These poses come from Day 19 of the Evening Yoga Movement, start from the beginning HERE.

Namaste,

Kassandra

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