10-Minute Bedtime Yoga Flow

Article by Lucas Rockwood

Stretching exercises combined with deep breathing is a safe and natural way to prepare your body for sleep, improve the quality of your sleep, and can potentially even help with symptoms such as restless leg syndrome and nocturnal breathing challenges.

This flow takes just 10 minutes and is the perfect way to set yourself up for a restful night’s sleep. To keep things simple, you can practice right next your bed, and finish up lying down in your bed so you can go to sleep directly afterwards.

4:8 Breathing

We’ll use this nose, mouth, four eight breathing technique in all the postures and practices that follow. It’s a little bit different than typical yoga class breathing as you’ll be doubling the length of your exhale. It prepares your body for rest by promoting a rest-digest-relax nervous system response. Breathe in through your nose to the count of four. And then out through your mouth with a “ha” sound to the count of eight.

Download PDF pose chart

Your 10-Minute Routine

1. Moon Salute Flow

  • Stand next to the edge of your bed, feet hip-width apart, knees slightly bent
  • Inhale, reach your arms out and up, stretch through your fingers
  • Exhale, hinge at your hips, extend your arms forward, shoot your hips back behind
  • Inhale, stand up, reach your fingertips up towards the sky
  • Exhale, crisscross your arms and slide the palms of your hands down the insides of your legs as far as is comfortable
  • Inhale, reach your arms up, stretch through your fingers
  • Exhale, interlace your hands behind your back, squeeze the palms of your hands together, lift your chin, gaze towards the ceiling
  • Release your hands, stand up and shake it out

2. Passive Squat

  • Step your feet a little wider than hip-width apart, turn them out at a slight angle
  • Arms straight, place your fingertips on the bed in front of you
  • Keeping your heels down, squat as low as you can
  • Drop your head, hold, and breathe here – in through your nose for four, out through your mouth for the count of eight
  • Slowly make your way all the way back up to stand, straighten your legs and shake it out

3. Standing Pigeon

  • Lift your right leg and put your right shin across the edge of the bed, using pillows underneath your knee for support if needed
  • Your knee and ankle should both connect with the bed or a pillow
  • Stand up on your toes on your left foot so you feel a good calf stretch here as well as a hip stretch on your right leg
  • Inhale, reach your arms up over your head, stretch
  • Exhale as you fold forward just as far as you feel comfortable over your right leg
  • Inhale, rise up carefully, and slowly reach your arms up towards the sky, spread your fingers
  • Exhale, fold out over your leg onto the bed, just as far as you feel comfortable
  • Repeat once more on this side, then switch legs

4. Windshield Wiper Twist

  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart, outer edges parallel, and both knees slightly bent
  • Extend your arms out in front of you, fingertips on the bed
  • Reach your straight right arm back behind you and straighten your right leg
  • Turn, twist, look at your right hand
  • Exhale as you twist and open to the side
  • Place your right hand back on the bed
  • Reset here and repeat on the other side
  • Slowly place both hands down, straighten your legs, and shake out your arms

Final Breathing Practice

To finish, sit cross-legged on your bed and practice three rounds of 4:8 breathing. Inhale in through your nose for four and exhale out through your mouth to the count of eight. For the final round, inhale and exhale through your nose only. Then lie down and goodnight.

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