It can feel nearly impossible to wind-down after a long day at work, family responsibilities, and life in general.  Practicing a few yoga postures can help you bring integrity back to your breath, relax your nervous system, and put your mind at ease before bedtime, vastly improving the quality of your sleep.

Balasana | Child’s Pose  

How To: Come to hands and knees (on your mat, a bed, the floor etc.) take your knees wide so that your legs look like a “V” and bring your big toes together to touch.  Walk yourself forward and allow your belly, chest chin and head to release.  Rest your forehead to the ground and your arms down by your sides or stretched out in front of you for a deeper stretch.  While in this posture, focus on the quality of your breath.  Start 3 part breath by breathing deeply into your belly, chest, upper chest then exhaling upper chest, chest, belly becomes soft. Rest in this posture for 1-2 minutes then start to transition into the next posture by making your way onto your back, otherwise press yourself back up to seated.


Supta Baddha Konasana | Reclining Bound Angle 

How To:  Lie down on to your back (your mat, a bed, the floor etc.) draw your knees into your chest, rock from side to side, this helps to release your lower back before going into the posture.  Support your head and neck by placing a thin pillow or blanket directly underneath your head; allow your neck to be free.  Bring the soles of your feet together; keep them pressed together while lowering them to the mat (this looks like a diamond shape with the legs). Lightly place your palms on your stomach and bring your awareness to your breath.  Focus on keeping your face, tongue, and jaw relaxed.  Rest in this posture for 2-3 minutes then gently draw the knees together.  Prepare for the next posture or roll off onto your right side, resting in fetal position before coming back up to a comfortable seat. 


Viparita Karani | Legs-up-the-wall 

How To: For this pose, face sitting a wall.  Lie flat on your back and extend your legs up the wall so that your entire body resembles an “L” shape.  Gentle rest your arms to the side of your body, with your palms facing the ceiling.  You will feel a warming sensation in your legs and for a deeper stretch, move closer to the wall.  Rest in this posture for 2-3 minutes then gently draw your knees into your chest and roll off onto your right side, rest in fetal position for a few breath then slowly press yourself up to a comfortable seat.

Nikki Powers