I’ve had this post written for a while now… and for some reason I’m just now getting around to putting it up on the blog! But, better late than never I guess! So, as promised from my Rise & Shine Morning Yoga Sequence I posted, a few months ago: A relaxing + restorative Evening Yoga Sequence to help you unwind from a long day and promoting a peaceful night's sleep.
Personally, I prefer to practice in the morning. To me, the practice comes much more naturally closer to my waking hours. From 7am-noonish my body seems to crave movement the most, and by the late afternoon I'm usually working (fun fact: I don't just surf and do yoga all day, I tend bar at an awesome spot in Rincon called El Bohio so that I can pay my bills and travel). And, if I'm not working, those rare and special few nights a week I have off, I'm usually chillin' on the couch, enjoying Netflix and dinner with my man. I typically fall asleep on the couch, mid-Netflix, and in a half asleep stupor somehow make it to the bathroom to brush my teeth, wash my face, and then into bed to zonk back out. I'm fortunate that, as of now, I don't have much of an issue falling asleep or staying asleep. And to be totally transparent, I'm not too consistent with an evening yoga practice.
On the other hand, my boyfriend rolls out his mat every single night, right before bed, no matter how late it is or how many happy hour beers he has indulged in earlier. It's his evening ritual that allows him to unwind and sleep better. He also deals with pretty bad sciatica, so stretching before bed allows him to lay down comfortably and sleep pain-free.
There's a lot to be said about waking up and rolling out your mat as a way to check in with yourself and to also greet your day. There is also a lot to be said for taking the time to step (or lay) on your mat to check in with yourself at the end of your day. It’s a gentle yet powerful practice to help let go of the day that you’ve had - the work, the stress,whatever other things that happened - and it also supports the body in releasing tension and prepares your mind and nervous system to soften and settle down into sleep.
Below you will find a restorative, before bed sequence that I put together to help you to unwind from your day and prepare for a peaceful night’s sleep. You can click on each image individually to enlarge or to print a copy. You don't need to set a specific time limit, just spend as long as you need to in each pose. You can even do these in bed so you're ready for sleep when you're done. If you don't have yoga bolsters or props, no worries, regular pillows, blankets, and towels work great. Do all the poses or just your favorites that feel best for you.
Enjoy, sweet dreams, and as always, let me know your thoughts!