Yin Yoga Bedtime Sequence

The following Yin Yoga poses calm the nervous system which aids sleep. This sequence helps to get your body into a restful state ready for a good night’s sleep.

You will need a space against the wall and a mat or blanket to make the floor more comfy. You can put on some relaxing music and light some candles if it helps you to wind down.

Hold each posture for 3 – 5 minutes and the last one (Sphynx) for less time, 1 – 3 mins. The whole sequence is about 30 mins if holding for 5 and about 20 mins if holding for 3. You can keep a clock or timer handy or just feel out the times roughly if you prefer. Or you can listen to reiki music with a timed bell, every 3 mins here and every 5 mins here.

During the sequence breathe in whichever way feels most comfortable to you and relax into the postures. The postures should be comfortable enough to rest in for some time. The eyes can be open or closed. Try to focus the mind on the breath, becoming aware of any bodily sensations or any other feelings that may arise. Gently bring the focus back to the breath when the mind starts to chit chatter.

For all of the postures your arms can be either by the side of the body palms up or palms placed down on the belly, or wherever else feels most natural and comfortable.

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Wall Supported Butterfly: Lay down on your back and shuffle your bum up close to the base of the wall, bring the soles of the feet together and let the knees open out to either side.
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Wall Supported Caterpillar (AKA Legs-Up-The-Wall): Keeping the bum shuffled close to the wall bring the legs & feet up the wall to rest roughly above the hips.

 

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Wall Supported Squat: Bring the soles of the feet to the wall, knees bent. Find what works for you, you may be more comfortable with the feet wider or closer to the hips or the bum further way from the wall.
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Wall Supported Straddle: Legs wide supported against the wall, bum up close to wall still.

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Wall Supported Eye of The Needle (AKA Figure 4): Do both sides. One sole of the foot rests on the wall, knee bent, the other ankle crosses over the opposite thigh just below the knee. You may need to shuffle away from the wall to be comfortable or you may find it best for you without the wall, in which case the foot which would be on the wall can rest on the floor (knee bent still). Feel for sending the knee of the crossed leg away from your body.

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Wall Supported Sphynx: Come onto your belly, elbows beneath shoulders, forearms flat on the floor, chin resting down towards chest. Can either have knees bent by the base of the wall, feet resting up the wall or move away from the wall entirely and just have the legs resting out long on the floor. If this feels in any way painful or pinching in the back then just lie flat on the floor face down, your head can rest on your hands or arms.
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Savasana: This final pose can be done in bed! Lie on the back and relax all the muscles. You can also try rolling over to the left side for 5 mins then rolling over to the right side for 10.

I really hope this sequence helps you to sleep and even if it doesn’t send you straight off to the land of nod then rest assured it will be still be beneficial by tapping into the bodies “rest and digest” mode.

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