This Yoga Sequence Is Even Better Than a Before-Bed Massage

Yoga before bed can be some of your best defense against insomnia. By calming down your body and your mind, you’re putting yourself in a better position for sweet and restful slumber. Ready to get to bed? This yoga sequence will save the day.

Additional reporting by Jenny Sugar

Child’s Pose

Start off your bedtime practice by cooling off in Balasana:

  • Kneel on your mat with your knees hips-width distance apart and your big toes touching behind you. Take a deep breath in and, as you exhale, lay your torso over your thighs. Try to lengthen your neck and spine by drawing your ribs away from your tailbone and the crown of your head away from your shoulders.
  • Rest your arms beside your legs, with palms facing up, or try extending your arms out in front of you.
  • Stay here for 10 breaths.

Standing Forward Bend

Standing Forward Bend will feel like all the stress is pouring out of the top of your head:

  • Stand at the top of your mat in Mountain Pose at the front of your mat. Inhale and reach your arms straight above you.
  • As you exhale, engage your abs and fold forward with a straight back. Tuck your chin in toward your chest, relax your shoulders, and extend the crown of the head toward the floor to create a long spine. Shift your weight forward onto your toes, straightening the legs as much as possible. Place your hands on the ground, fingertips lining up with the toes.
  • Hold here for 10 breaths.

Wide-Legged Forward Bend C

Wide-Legged Forward Bend C is another relaxing pose that will loosen up your shoulders and help you destress before bed:

  • From Standing Forward Bend, slowly roll up vertebrae by vertebrae until you’re standing at the top of your mat.
  • Stand with your feet three to four feet apart, placing your heels slightly wider than your toes.
  • Bring your arms behind your back, clasping your fingers and pressing the heels of your palms together in a fist.
  • Fold forward, hinging at your hips, drawing the crown of your head and your hands toward the floor. Relax your toes, and try to shift the weight of your hips forward so they’re in line with your feet.
  • Stay here for 10 deep breaths. Then press into your feet, engage your quads, and inhale as you stand up.