Mindful Movement: Bedtime Ritual With Grounding Yoga

Got your candles, face mask, and soothing tunes? Well, here are six yoga moves to add to your bedtime routine — we promise they’ll help you sleep better and easier.

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Handphones, tablets, laptops, notes, and to-do lists: these are some of the things that feed on our attention throughout the day, but as it winds down, so should our body, mind, and breath. It’s not an easy task to switch from a state of doing to a state of being, and the constant switch-on can sometimes lead to a diminished quality of sleep.

One practice you can integrate into your bedtime ritual as a natural form of sleeping aid is mindful movement. Gentle yoga poses can help you reconnect with your body and breath, releasing physical and mental tension, and helps let go of the weight of the day to ease yourself into a good night’s sleep.

Once you’ve put your phone aside, preferably outside of your bedroom, and before you drift off to sleep, add these simple yoga poses to your bedtime routine – all of which requires no mat and can be done on your bed.

Make this your own practice by holding these poses anywhere between five breaths to two minutes, depending on what you feel your body needs.

Breathe

1. Find a comfortable seated position to sit in.
2. Reconnect with your breath after a day of tasks and activities to settle the mind by breathing in and out through the nose.
3. Stay here for as long as you need.

Child’s pose

1. Bring your big toes to touch, knees apart wider than your body, and sink your hips to your heels.
2. Breathe here as you rest your lower body into the ground, slowly easing yourself into a more relaxed state.
3. Stay here for as long as you need.

Twisted child’s pose

1. From child’s pose, inhale as you walk your right arm under your left arm.
2. Exhale to lie down on your right ear, body weight over your right arm and shoulder as you allow the tension in your shoulder to release.
3. Stay here for as long as you need.
4. Inhale to lift your head and walk your right arm back to centre. Now, switch to the left side.

Sphinx pose

1. Extend your arms and legs to bring yourself onto your stomach. Inhale, then stack your shoulders over your elbows, and draw your shoulders back.
2. Exhale as you relax your back and lower body to settle into this pose that opens the heart space and brings your spine into a gentle extension.
3. Stay here for as long as you need.

Half happy baby

1. Gently turn yourself over to lie on your back.
2. Inhale to bend your right knee close to your body, foot flexed and facing the sky.
3. Exhale to catch the outside of your foot and allow gravity to bring your knee closer to the bed. This pose is great to work into tight hips.
4. Stay here for as long as you need before taking the left side.

Twist

1. Inhale to bring both knees into your chest.
2. Exhale to turn all the way to the right side, knees dropping all the way down and bending at the elbows to bring your arms into a cactus shape.
3. Look over your left shoulder, stay, and breathe. This is a gentle massage for your internal organs as well as a form of gentle release for the spine.
4. Stay here for as long as you need before switching sides.

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Sara Leong is passionate about yoga, health, and wellness, and bringing all these together for balanced living. She is a certified yoga instructor and full-time copywriter, and when she is not on the mat or writing, she is planning on what to have for dessert (balanced living!). You can find her on Instagram @activelysara