We already know that we should be winding down 30 minutes before visiting dreamland for the night. If you’re not sure how to fill that time, a little yoga session will surely help you out. Not only is stretching before bed beneficial for your health, but no more random charley horses in the middle of the night, too. Use these stretches in combination with your breathing exercises to create the most relaxed night of your life.
1. Knees to Chest
For those days when you’ve been hunched over your desk or anything else that can strain your back, this exercise will help you alleviate further pain.
- Lie flat on your back, knees bent, feet flat on the ground.
- Bring one leg into your chest. You may also choose to pull in both knees at once.
- Wrap your hands around your shin and push down slowly to feel the stretch.
- Hold for 10 seconds before returning knee to its starting position.
- Repeat with opposite leg.
2. Arm Circles
There are a ton of sleeping positions and some involve sleeping on your arms. Let’s stretch those bad boys out so you’re well rested in the morning and don’t lose circulation. Nothing worse than trying to get out of bed and having your body stuck in a pose because it hasn’t been properly stretched or utilized.
- Stand straight up with your feet shoulder-width apart and arms extended out to your sides, parallel to the ground.
- Start circling your arms forward in small motions. Continue to expand your circle until you feel the stretch.
- Keeping your shoulders down, circle your arms 20 times before switching directions.
- Circle your arms backwards for another 20 times.
3. Butterfly Pose
Time to work out those legs for a great stretch. The butterfly pose is a beginners yoga move that you can practice and get better at every day.
- Sit up straight on the floor, legs extended out.
- Bend both knees outwards. Your feet should be pressed together.
- Grab your feet, pulling them as close to your body as you can.
- Start your breathing regimen while you lower your knees becoming as parallel to the floor as you can (do not strain yourself if you cannot touch the ground, this is why you practice). Fly like a butterfly as you raise and lower your knees.
- Fly for 30 seconds and once you feel the stretch until you return to your starting position.
4. Seated Calf and Hamstring Stretch
After a long day of walking or exercising and not stretching afterwards, you might have gotten a dreaded charley horse. A charley horse is a sudden contraction of a muscle in the back of your calf that can cause agonizing pain for seconds or minutes until you stretch it out. Time to be proactive.
- Sit up straight on the floor or firm bed, legs extended out.
- Keeping your back straight, lean forward and reach for your toes (or until you feel the pull).
- Hold for 30 seconds.