Bed yoga is a form of yoga that is traditionally practiced directly on the bed. It was developed by Yogi Chinedu Nwamba and Ashna Gaba who are both experts in the art of yoga and meditation. The idea for bed yoga came about as a response to the busy and fast-paced lives that many of us live today. Bed yoga allows you to enjoy some of the benefits that come from practicing traditional forms of yoga, but with fewer physical exertion and more emotion focus. Bed yoga also helps enhance relaxation which can ultimately lead to better sleep.
The practice of bed yoga combines elements from Hatha Yoga, Raja Yoga, Nidra Yoga and Mantra Meditation using props such as blankets and cushions to help cushion your back against the mattress or bolster your legs during seated postures. By making the experience on your bed even more comfortable, you make it easier to hold poses longer, thus allowing a deeper level of relaxation while simultaneously drawing attention inward. With relaxed postures, held at different lengths depending on what feels best for your body, people can experience an increase in body awareness while inhibiting arousal activities commonly associated with waking states such as thinking or planning. In addition, breathwork practices such as Ujjayi Pranayama help to further relax and focus the mind ultimately leading to improved quality of sleep for those seeking restorative restful nights.
Benefits of Bed Yoga for Sleep
Bed yoga for sleep can be incredibly helpful in reducing physical and mental stress levels. This type of yoga is much gentler than traditional yoga, so it makes it easier for people to relax and let go of their worries. Bed yoga can also improve blood circulation, helping your body to absorb more oxygen which can assist with energy levels during the day. Additionally, bed yoga poses can help release tension from tight areas such as your neck and shoulders, allowing you to drift off into a deep and restful sleep. Finally, bed yoga can include breathing exercises which activate the relaxation response thereby reducing cortisol production which plays an important role in releasing stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol enabling you to get better restful sleep.
How Bed Yoga Can Help With Insomnia
Bed yoga consists of simple yoga postures you can practice in bed to help improve sleep. This practice is approachable for all levels, allowing yogis and non-yogis alike to reap the benefits. Specific benefits of Bed Yoga include:
1. Reduced stress and anxiety – The mindful breathwork and gentle stretching associated with bed yoga have been scientifically proven to reduce stress and anxiety. Reducing psychological tension can enable more restful sleep, making bed yoga a useful tool for people with insomnia.
2. Improved quality of sleep – Bed yoga also helps bring balance back to the body by calming an elevated nervous system, which helps increase optimal rest. Once balance is restored within your bodily systems, you’ll be able to experience deeper, sounder sleep by relaxing your body into poses like Child’s Pose or Viparita Karani (Legs Up The Wall).
3. Deep relaxation – Calming postures such as Forward Fold or Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose) can help relax tight muscles in the hips. Opening up this energy hub in the lower body helps cultivate deep relaxation which is vital for a good night’s sleep.
4. Pain relief – Tightness and soreness in the body due to sitting at a computer during the day affects us all. Practicing certain poses before going to bed can help ease any chronic pain in your neck, back and shoulders so that you can fully relax when it’s time for slumber
Types of Bed Yoga Exercises
When practicing bed yoga for improved sleep, there are a variety of gentle-but-effective stretches you can do:
1. Neck Release ” Start by standing up in your bed, and then lower your chin towards your chest until you feel a gentle stretch in the back of the neck. Hold this stretch for five to 10 seconds before slowly raising your head back to its starting point.
2. Basic Forward Bend ” Place one leg up against the bed frame at an angle, feet flat on the mattress and other knee bent so that it is pulled towards your chest. With hands reaching the floor, take three deep breaths as you gently pull into the stretch before switching legs. This can also be done while laying down on the bed in “hero pose” with both legs bent behind you and feet tucked on either side.
3. Child’s Pose ” Starting from a kneeling position on the edge of the bed with forehead resting near or touching the mattress, slowly reach arms forward and allow yourself to sink down into child’s pose, feeling a gentle but effective stretch through chest and hips. Not only therapeutic for physical tightness but also beneficial for calming mental stress.
4. Supported Bound Angle Pose – Laying nearest to headboard with arms perpendicular out from body in T-shape on either side palms facing up, slightly scoot away from headboard about 6″12 inches until feet are touching each other and knees are wide enough to rest either arm or pillow between them if desired. Most often performed in between slanted mattress wedge or meditation cushion for support but can easily be substituted with assembly of pillows instead” focus all attention onto feminine energy here as breath slows down before letting go into sleep cycle ahead following practice session.
How to Do Bed Yoga On Your Bed
1. Leg Stretch: Stretch your legs out, keeping your toes pointed, and lift your left leg in the air towards the ceiling. Keep your knee straight and hold for 10-20 seconds. Release and repeat on the other side.
2. Hip Stretch: Start by lying on your back with both knees bent at 90 degree angles to the floor. Slowly cross the right leg over the left so that it is resting across the left hip joint. Hold this position for 30-60 seconds before switching sides.
3. Chest Expansion: Use two pillows or two foam rollers to support each side of your chest while lying flat on your back in bed. You can also use books on their flat edges instead of pillows/rollers if they are available! Once you’re settled in a comfortable position, focus on taking slow deep breaths into you chest cavity until the timer rings at 20 seconds or so
4. Lying Twist: Lie down on the bed and rest one foot onto the mattress above you then use both arms to twist away from that foot (i.e., twisting away from where that ankle is resting). Make sure not to pull too hard as you don’t want any stitches! Hold for 10-15 deep breaths before returning to center and repeating on other side
5. Abdominal Contraction: Lying face up with knees bent at 45 degrees, put both hands behind head with elbows wide open and palms together – kind of like a relaxed back press exercise form yoga mat class! Now push abdominal muscles inward towards spine (not so much upward) and hold for 10 counts before releasing then repeat 2 more times
When Should You Do Bed Yoga for Sleep?
The best time to practice bed yoga for sleep is just before going to bed. This is because the goal of bed yoga is to relax your body and quiet your mind with gentle stretching, breathing, and relaxation techniques. By practicing right before bed you give yourself a chance to clear your thoughts, release any tension that might be lingering in your body, and create a tranquil setting for sleep to come easily. It’s important not to overextend yourself; if you find that you are getting too energized while doing poses then it may be better to move on to relaxation or breathing exercises instead.
Tips and Strategies for Doing Bed Yoga for Sleep
If you are new to Bed Yoga for Sleep, then it is important to understand that the main goal here is relaxation. The stretching and different postures will help relax your body and mind, resulting in better sleep quality. Therefore, some basic tips and strategies for doing Bed Yoga for Sleep include:
1. Make sure to use comfortable clothing that does not constrict or get in the way of any stretches or postures.
2. Be mindful of your breathing ” take deep breaths in and out to help relax even further.
3. Focus on the areas that cause you tension and work on releasing the muscles with each pose.
4. Avoid straining yourself; become more aware of how far your body can go without causing discomfort.
5. Listen to your body – If a specific yoga pose starts to make you feel uncomfortable then move onto something else instead such as deep breathing exercises or gentle stretching poses only as far as feels comfortable for you in order to ensure safety and avoid injury.
6. Lastly, make sure you go through each posture slowly and concentrate on focusing on your breathing during each one rather than trying to race through them quickly in order to maximize their benefit for sleep-quality improvement!
The most important takeaway from bed yoga is that it can be an effective, natural alternative to treating insomnia and sleep-related issues. It can help improve the quality of your sleep, reduce stress and anxiety, and increase body awareness. Additionally, most bed yoga poses are gentle enough to be done in the comfort of your own home with no special equipment required. Bed yoga can also be combined with other relaxation techniques such as meditation and deep breathing for even greater benefit. With regular practice, you can experience improved physical health and mental wellbeing.
I am passionate about yoga and this is my blog. I have been practicing yoga for over 10 years and teaching for 5. Yoga has transformed my life in so many ways and I love being able to share that with others. My hope is that through this blog, I can help people learn more about yoga, connect with other yogis, and find inspiration to live a healthier, happier life.