Yoga for Sleep
With Kassandra Reinhardt
In this sleep program I will guide you through some of the best ways to use yoga to improve the quality of your sleep. Throughout our 10 days together, you will learn to use movement and stillness, breath and mindfulness, to lull yourself to bed.
About your instructor
Kassandra is an Ottawa-based yoga instructor on a mission to help others feel great with yoga. She started practicing yoga in 2008 as a way to become more flexible and learn to manage stress and anxiety. Little did she know that in a few short years she would have the privilege of becoming a yoga teacher, passionately committed to sharing yoga with others who are sick of feeling less than vibrant.
Gentle Bedtime Stretches
So you have come to that part of your day where it is time to unwind and get ready for bed. You have had a long day, and you need to let it go. To stop thinking about your stresses, your struggles, your to-do list.This first lesson is 20 minutes of stretching, that will help prepare you for a great nights sleep. This practice is all about letting go. Learning to relax, to let go of muscular effort, and to let gravity do the work for you.
Alternate Nostril Breath
Alternate nostril breathing, is a channel-clearing breath. Isolating inhales and exhales to just one nostril, switching back and forth as the name suggests. This technique is wonderful for when youre overstimulated, super stressed, or too wide awake when its time for sleep. It is known to help quiet the mind and relieve anxiety.
Evening Relaxation Yoga
This will be your go-to yoga practice, any time you need to release the kinks from your day. It will help you get calm, and get set for a good nights rest. As you hold and take a few breaths in each of these poses, you have an opportunity to close your eyes and envision letting go of tension and stress with every exhale.
I Am Guided Meditation
The guided meditation in this practice is a very special one. It’s a meditation that can be done by everyone, even if you have never attempted meditation before. It’s very simple and easy to practice on your own once you’ve learned the basic principles (they’re in the video). You can do it while already curled up in bed, in order to ease right in to sleep.
Full Body Flow for Restful Sleep
This yoga flow is much more dynamic than the other practices in this program. That being said, you will want to keep your movements slow and mindful. Think of it almost as if you’re moving through honey as you transition from pose to pose. Taking your time with these more active poses will allow you to unwind and prepare for a good night’s sleep.
Easy Yoga Poses in Bed
Don’t worry if you’ve already made your way to the bedroom, this 10-minute sequence can be done right on the edge of your bed. These are stretches you can do before crawling under the sheets every night to rid your body of tension, and take care of aches and pains in your neck, shoulders, and hips. When you are done, you can tuck yourself in feeling comfortable and ready for some quality shut eye.
4-4-4 Breathing Exercise
This is a simple technique that you can use whenever you experience flare-ups and bouts of insomnia drifting back into your nights. It’s basically as easy as counting to 4.
Evening Yin to Unwind
Yin is a passive practice where you aren’t engaging your muscles at all, it is instead relaxing and restorative while focusing on the joints and the fascia (connective tissue of the body). Each of the poses in this practice is held for two to four minutes. As you settle in to each one, clear your mind and prepare for sleep.
Restorative Yoga in Bed
Have you ever been in a restorative yoga class so good that you end in Savasana and wish you didn’t have to get up and make your way back home, but could drift off to sleep right then and there? Well with this practice you can do just that, as you will already be in bed!
Guided Savasana Relaxation
For our final day together, we are going to do the least amount of movement yet – in a guided Savasana. Get yourself ready for bed, then crawl in under the covers. Surround yourself in pillows, blankets and all the things you find comfortable.