In an article written by Harvard Health, a study found that over 55% of Americans who did yoga reported that it helped them get better sleep. Even more exciting? Over 85% of them said yoga helped reduce stress.
It’s no secret that exercise is a contributing factor to longer, healthier, and happier lives. It seems everywhere we look, another guru is touting the benefits of moderate activity that will boost our energy and help us stay focused throughout the day. But it is true. Luckily for us lazy types, studies have shown that yoga – even for a few minutes a day – can help promote more productive days and more restful nights. For most people though, the trouble is that our lives are so busy we can hardly carve out the time to drag ourselves to the gym.
The good news is that to get the health benefits of mindful stretching, you don’t need to go to the gym. You don’t even need to leave your house. You can take your yoga practice to the bedroom, and 15 minutes is all you need. An article recently published by LiveStrong got us thinking about the 8 energizing yoga moves you can do in bed, and we decided to take it a step further by meshing it with restorative yoga.
8 Restorative Yoga Poses You Can Do From Bed
Grab a pillow, and begin in a seated position on your bed. Hold each pose for 2-3 minutes and about 20-30 mindful breaths.
- Kneel with knees hip distance apart with big toes touching behind you
- Place your hands on the bed either in front of you of by your side
- To make this pose restorative, place a pillow underneath your body
- Extend your legs straight out and flex your feet
- Reach your feet with your hands and maintain a passive, rounded back
- To promote relaxation, place a pillow between your legs and torso
Supine Spinal Twist
- Lying on your back, bring your right knee into chest and lower it over the left side of your body
- Look over your right shoulder and extend your arm out
- Repeat for the other side
- Lying on your back, bring knees into chest and take hold of your feet
- Make sure your ankles are stacked over your knees and keep a flat back
- Position yourself into a low lunge with your right leg forward
- Square your hips and bend your right leg underneath your torso
- Fold forward over your right leg as far as you can
- Repeat for the other side
- Starting in a seated position, bend both knees and bring your feet together
- Place a pillow behind you, and slowly round your spine until you are resting on the pillow
- Keeping your feet together, allow your knees to drop closer to the bed
Legs Up the Wall (Great for swollen ankles, stiff lower backs and tight legs!)
- Lie on your back, positioned a few inches away from the wall
- Swing your legs up and rest them against the wall so that you are at a 90 degree angle
- If this feels uncomfortable on your lower back, move a few inches away from the wall
Restorative yoga is a slower, more mindful style of yoga that makes use of props, and puts the spotlight on stillness. You can use the resources available at your fingertips – like blankets, pillows or firm body pillows, and your bed – for a practice that supports and aligns your body and calms your mind. These poses can be done either at night to help you doze off, or in the morning to rejuvenate you and promote circulation. Either way, it’s likely the easiest way to add 15 minutes of exercise to your day (and let’s not forget it saves you money on a gym membership).
Want to do a little more reading on the subject? Amazon has plenty of yoga books, including this one on Fifteen Minute Yoga in Bed.
Now get back into bed! Namaste.