Try This Bedtime Yoga Routine For Better Sleep

woman stretching before bed

Having trouble catching zzz's? Use this relaxing bedtime yoga routine to calm your nerves and score some serious shut-eye.

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The Benefits of Bedtime Yoga

woman stretching before bed
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Whether you spend each day at a desk or on your feet, your commute is a quick walk or a long drive, you did a 20-minute HIIT workout or an hour of Pilates, your body gets put through its paces on a daily basis. So, it's important to give yourself some downtime and, of course, ample hours of rest. Good news: This bedtime yoga routine can lead you straight from Savasana into a more restful slumber.

"Stretching before bed not only relaxes you, it also keeps your muscles flexible so you're less likely to experience discomfort during everyday activities," says Sarah Larson Levey, registered yoga instructor and co-founder of Y7 Studio.

Plus, doing a few relaxing yoga poses before you hit the hay can greatly impact and benefit the rest your body gets throughout the night, which is arguably the best perk of a bedtime yoga routine. "It allows you to release some of the tension you've built up during the day so you can prepare both your body and mind for a good night's sleep," says Levey.

For a better rest, try this bedtime yoga routine created by Levey and Kay Kay Clivio, lead teacher trainer at Pure Yoga in New York City. Pro tip: To make the most out of each pose, breathe in and out through your nose. It has a calming effect on the nervous system. (See also: 7 Bedtime Stretches That Will Help You Fully Decompress)

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Sleeping Swan

sleeping swam stretching before bed yoga pose
Jay Sullivan

Targets: neck, shoulders, back, hips, and legs

A. Sit on the floor with a pillow in front of body. Bend right knee, bringing sole of right foot to left inner thigh.

B. Lift butt and extend left leg behind body. Staying centered, gently hinge forward from hips, placing head on the pillow.

C. Extend arms forward, elbows slightly bent.

Hold for 8 to 10 breaths then roll back up. Switch sides; repeat.

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Standing Forward Fold

standing forward fold stretching before bed

Targets: back and neck

A. Stand with feet about 6 inches apart. Hing forward at the hips to lower into a forward fold, reaching toward the ground or bending arms and grabbing opposite elbows above head.

B. Exhale and lengthen down through crown of the head.

Hang and hold for 15 seconds.

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Lizard Pose

lizard pose stretching before bed yoga

Targets: hip flexors, hamstrings, and quads

A. Start in downward dog, then step right foot outside of right hand and bend right knee, coming to a lunge position with right thigh parallel to the floor, toes turned slightly out.

B. Come down to rest elbows on the ground. Keep neck and spine in one line and press left heel away, keeping hips square. Rest left knee on the ground for a more relaxed stretch.

Hold for 15 seconds. Switch legs; repeat.

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Legs Up the Wall

legs up the wall stretching before bed yoga pose

Targets: glutes and hamstrings

A. Sit facing the wall, then come to lie faceup.

B. Moving buttocks as close to the wall as possible, lift legs and rest backs of legs against the wall, legs perpendicular to the ground.

C. Rest with arms out to sides.

Hold for 15 seconds.

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Before-Bed Bridge

stretching before bed yoga pose bridge
Jay Sullivan

Targets: hips and legs

A. Lie faceup with knees bent, feet flat on the floor, arms extended by sides, palms up.

B. Keeping shoulders down, engage abs and press into heels to lift hips and back, forming a diagonal line from shoulders to knees.

Hold for 8 to 10 breaths.

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Seated Forward Fold

Seated Forward Fold stretch before bed yoga pose

Targets: hamstrings and calves

A. Sit on the ground, back straight, legs together and stretched out in front of body

B. Flex feet, keeping them active, and bend forward from hips, resting forearms on the floor to the side of each leg.

Hold for 15 seconds.

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Seated Side Bend

seated side bend stretching before bed yoga pose
Jay Sullivan

Targets: neck, shoulders, back, and obliques

A. Sit on a pillow with legs crossed. Place left hand on the floor to the side of left hip, left elbow slightly bent. Extend right arm by ear.

B. Lean to the left, keeping butt on the floor, shoulders down.

Hold for 8 to 10 breaths. Switch sides; repeat.

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Happy Baby

happy baby before bed stretching yoga pose

Targets: spine, groin, and hips

A. Lie faceup, lift legs and bend knees, feet flexed toward the ceiling.

B. Grab outer side of each foot with respective hand and further bend knees toward armpits. If able, rock left to right, gently massaging spine.

Hold for 15 seconds.

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Figure Four

figure four before bed stretching yoga pose

Targets: hips, glutes, and lower back

A. Lie faceup with legs extended. Lift right leg, bend knee, and hug leg with arms into chest for 5 seconds.

B. Raise left leg up toward the ceiling and bend left knee, left calf perpendicular to the floor. Bend right knee outward and place right ankle against left quad. Move hand behind left leg and pull left leg toward body.

Hold for 15 seconds. Switch legs; repeat.

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Corpse Pose

corpse pose before bed stretching yoga pose

Targets: mind

A. Climb into bed and lie down with legs extended and slightly apart and arms long by sides with palms down. Close eyes and bring focus to breath.

Hold for 15 seconds or until asleep.

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