Yoga & Fitness

Fall Asleep Faster With This 20-Minute Yin Yoga Practice in Bed

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This 20-minute yin yoga in bed practice is designed for you to try right before you go to sleep. It’s an ideal way to unwind and give yourself a full body stretch and relaxation. It’s also practiced in bed, so at the end of the class, you’ll crawl under the covers for Savasana and fall asleep.

The simple, gentle, and short sequence will soothe your nervous system and get you ready for a great night’s rest. Another advantage of doing yin yoga in bed is the softness of the mattress can make all of the poses a lot more comfortable. All you need is your bed and pillows. The following 20-minute yin yoga practice is suitable for all experience levels.

20-Minute Yin Yoga in Bed

The only props you need are the pillows on your bed.

Practicing on your mattress allows for a lot more cushioning during kneeling poses such as Dragon. (Photo: Yoga With Kassandra)

Dragon

Begin kneeling on your bed and step one foot forward, aligning your knee over your ankle. Let yourself sink in here. Usually in a Low Lunge, people complain that it’s uncomfortable for the knees, but doing it in bed can make the pose a lot more accessible. You can press your palms onto the mattress or you can come onto your forearms. If you’re lowering down onto your forearms, bring your arms to the inside of that forward leg and fold as low as is comfortable for you here. If you have some pillows close by, you can pad yourself so that your forehead is a little bit more supported.

So just take slow, steady breaths. You’re trying to relax your hips and let them sink. If you’ve been sitting a lot, it’s really important to open through your hip flexors and stretch through your upper thighs as this is where we accumulate a lot of tightness and tension. Hopefully the mattress is alleviating a little bit of that intensity and allowing you to relax a little more.

Relax your upper back and our arms, letting gravity do the work for you here and letting go of the day and anything else that might be on your mind. Stay here for about 3 minutes. Every time you exhale, try to let go a little bit more. If you need to come out of the pose earlier, please do so. Really make this practice your own.

If you are folded down, come back onto your palms and come back to hands and knees or you can just sit back on your heels for a few breaths. Repeat the same stretch on the other side.

Yoga with Kassandra practicing yin yoga in bed during Child's Pose.
Try slipping a pillow beneath your forehead as additional cushioning during Child’s Pose. (Photo: Yoga With Kassandra)

Child’s Pose

Bring your big toes together and take your knees as wide as is comfortable. Slowly walk your hands forward as you lower your forehead to the bed or a pillow or you might want to turn one ear to the bed. Let your full body weight sink into your bed and notice how much more comfortable Child’s Pose might be for you on a mattress than a mat. Relax your chest and upper back and just breathe here. Stay here for about 3 minutes. If you have one ear turned to the bed, turn your head to the other side about halfway through. Slowly walk your hands back and lift your chest.

Yoga With Kassandra practicing a yin yoga version of a wide-legged seated forward bend.
You can easily stack your pillows beneath your forehead or forearms as a way to prop yourself in a more supported position. (Photo: Yoga With Kassandra)

Straddle

Come to a sitting position and bring your legs as wide as is comfortable. You’re simply going to fold forward. You may want to use your hands to support yourself or you can stack your bed pillows or let gravity pull you lower toward the mattress. It’s perfectly fine to let your spine naturally round. You’ll feel a stretch along the backs of your legs. Soften your shoulders away from your ears and breathe into the stretch. Just make certain you’re not tensing or engaging any muscles. Don’t forget to relax through your jaw and your facial muscles. Stay here for about 3 minutes.

When you’re ready, use your arms to push into the bed and lift your way back up, inch by inch. You might want to use your hands to help your legs come back together.

Yoga With Kassandra practicing a reclining twist on her bed
Find whatever version of a reclined twist feels comfortable for you. (Photo: Yoga With Kassandra)

Reclined Twist

Lower yourself onto your back. Pull your right knee in toward your belly and cross it over your body toward the left into a twist. You can reach your right arm straight out to the side and try to release that right shoulder toward the mattress if you like. You want to feel a small, not-too-intense stretch in your low back. If you want to go a little farther and intensify the stretch, you can straighten your right leg and reach your left hand more toward your right foot, like a variation on Cat Pulling Its Tail. You’ll feel it a little more in your IT band. You can bend your right knee. I like to face the ceiling and close my eyes. You could instead turn your head and look over your right shoulder. Stay here for 2 to 3 minutes.

If you held your right leg straight, bend your knee before you come back to center. Find the same pose on the other side.

Yoga With Kassandra lying on her back in bed
Savasana can be taken right where you are or after you slip beneath the covers. (Photo: Yoga With Kassandra)

Savasana

Allow yourself a little time to settle into place and crawl under the covers if you like. Take up some space with your arms and your legs as you find a comfortable position with your palms facing up. Let yourself linger here as you integrate the work that you’ve done to relax from head to toe. You can linger here as you fall asleep and stay asleep, knowing that there’s nothing left for you to do today.


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