Sleepytime Yoga

| How To, Teaching, Yoga

Hi there!

Here is a short yoga circuit that feels great at the end of the day, to stretch out and decompress, and start to slow down the system before bed. This sequence is done all on the right side first, then repeat the sequence on the left.

 

Steps:

1. Start off in a comfortable seated position, sit up tall, and relax the shoulders. Bring your right ear down towards the right shoulder. Hold here for a few breaths. Now bring the left ear to the left shoulder. Hold for a few breaths, keeping shoulders down. Gently roll head from one side to the other, getting out any kinks. Use a hand to massage if you need!

 

neck rolls

neck rolls

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. With both legs straight, cross the right foot to the outside of the left knee. Make sure both sitting bones are equally on the ground, and hug the left arm around the right leg, moving into a gentle twist, turning your head to look behind you. You could also press your left elbow to the right leg to go deeper, if you like. After a few breaths, untwist and come into the centre.

 

arm hugging around top of leg.

arm hugging around top of leg.

 

 

 

 

 

elbow pressing against leg to go deeper (optional)

elbow pressing against leg to go deeper (optional)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Now staying with that same bent leg, we’re coming down onto the back. The left leg bends and the foot will be on the ground, the right ankle will cross just above the left knee. Lift up the bottom foot and interlace the fingers under the thigh, for a hip stretch. If it’s available to you, also try tilting the pelvis forward so the lower back is arched off the ground. Relax the neck and shoulders. Take a few breaths here.

 

figure 4 stretch for the hips

figure 4 stretch for the hips

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Keep the legs in this position, just release the hands. Now let the legs (staying in this figure 4 shape!) go all the way to the left, until the right sole of foot is on the ground. Open the arms out to the sides, with the palms up. Turn your head to look in the opposite direction from your legs.  A few breaths here.

 

collapsed figure 4 twist

collapsed figure 4 twist

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. Come back into the centre, and now extend both legs straight up. Straighten your legs as much as you can so you can feel a gentle hamstring stretch. Circle the ankles a few times. Slow, calm breaths.

 

legs stretch, ankle rolls

legs stretch, ankle rolls

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6. Bend both knees and place the feet onto the ground. Have your feet about hip distance apart or wider, and a comfortable distance away from the hips. Close the eyes and take a few breaths here. And then roll yourself up, and repeat on the other side!! Sweet dreams 🙂

 

relaxed position

relaxed position

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is a sped up video of me doing this sequence on one side. Music is Unluck by James Blake.

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