9 must-do bedtime yoga stretches to release tension and stress

There’s a huge difference between ending your day with stress and releasing it.

That difference lies in choice.

Ending your day with stress is like signing off on a bad note, carrying all the day’s tension to bed with you.

Releasing stress, however, allows you to choose a better ending for your day.

It suggests that you can let go of all the tension before hitting the sack.

Bedtime yoga stretches are a fantastic way to do this.

And trust me, there are certain stretches that can wash away all your stress without requiring a yoga mat or an hour of your time.

Let’s explore some of these must-do bedtime yoga stretches that can help you release tension and stress.

1) Child’s pose

There’s a reason why the child’s pose is widely embraced in the yoga community.

And that is because of its profound ability to calm the mind and relieve tension.

Often, you’ll find yourself overwhelmed with stress from a long day and in dire need of relaxation.

This is where the child’s pose comes into play.

Child’s pose, or Balasana as it’s known in Sanskrit, is a resting pose that can be practiced anytime.

Consider this.

It’s the pose often recommended by yoga instructors at the end of a strenuous session to help relax the body and mind.

When you’re confronted with mounting stress levels, you will often avoid the mental strain of finding complex solutions by relying on simple yet effective methods like this.

So if you’re looking for an easy way to release tension before bed, it can be beneficial to incorporate child’s pose into your routine.

2) Legs-up-the-wall pose

I can’t speak highly enough about the legs-up-the-wall pose.

And I’ll tell you why – it’s a game-changer for me in terms of stress relief.

There are nights when I find myself unable to unwind, my mind buzzing with the day’s events.

That’s when I turn to the legs-up-the-wall pose, or Viparita Karani as it’s known in Sanskrit.

This is a restorative yoga pose that requires minimal effort and offers maximum benefits.

Personal experience here.

After a tiresome day of meeting deadlines and juggling multiple tasks, this pose has often been my go-to solution.

It’s simple – just lie on your back and extend your legs up against a wall.

The effect is immediate.

It not only helps me relax my mind but also aids in relieving physical symptoms of stress like leg fatigue and lower back pain.

3) Forward bend

On the surface, the forward bend might seem like a pretty straightforward stretch.

And while that’s true to an extent, there’s more to this pose than meets the eye.

Forward bend, or Uttanasana as it’s called in Sanskrit, is a stress-relieving posture that stretches the hamstrings and calms the nervous system.

Here’s the thing.

The ancient yogis believed that stress, anxiety and other negative emotions accumulate in the back of the body.

The forward bend pose is designed to release these pent-up emotions by stretching and relaxing the entire back of your body.

It’s like a cleansing ritual for your physical and emotional self.

When you’re feeling stressed, it can be beneficial to turn to poses like the forward bend.

Just remember to bend from the hips and keep your knees soft if you can’t touch your toes.

This will ensure you reap all its benefits without straining yourself.

4) Corpse pose

Now, don’t let the name scare you away.

While it may sound a bit ominous, the corpse pose is actually one of the most relaxing yoga stretches you can do before bed.

Corpse pose, or Savasana as it’s known in Sanskrit, is typically performed at the end of a yoga session to help the body relax and absorb the benefits of the practice.

Here’s what you do.

You lie flat on your back, arms and legs comfortably apart, palms facing up, eyes closed.

And then, you just breathe.

It sounds simple because it is.

But don’t underestimate its power.

This pose helps calm your mind and reduces symptoms of stress, anxiety, and insomnia.

So if you want to truly let go of all the tension before sleep, incorporate the corpse pose into your bedtime routine.

5) Seated forward bend

Next on the list is the seated forward bend.

This pose, also known as Paschimottanasana in Sanskrit, is an excellent tension and stress reliever.

The beauty of the seated forward bend lies in its simplicity.

You sit down, stretch your legs out in front of you and bend forward, reaching towards your toes.

That’s it.

But this simple act does wonders for your body and mind.

It stretches the spine and the hamstrings while calming the mind and relieving symptoms of anxiety and stress.

And here’s a bonus – it can also help improve digestion, which is an added advantage before bedtime.

6) Reclining bound angle pose

There’s something incredibly soothing about the reclining bound angle pose.

Known as Supta Baddha Konasana in Sanskrit, this pose is a gentle stretch that opens up the hips and heart, promoting a sense of peace and relaxation.

Imagine this.

You’re lying on your back, the soles of your feet touching, knees falling open to either side.

Your arms are relaxed at your sides, palms facing upwards.

You’re breathing in and out slowly, feeling any tension in your body melt away.

Doesn’t that sound beautiful?

Because it feels even more so.

This pose is like a soft lullaby for your body and mind, calming you down, preparing you for a restful sleep.

So if you’re longing for a heartfelt end to your day, incorporate the reclining bound angle pose into your bedtime routine.

7) Wide-legged forward bend

The wide-legged forward bend, or Prasarita Padottanasana in Sanskrit, has a unique place in my life.

There have been times when the weight of the world seemed to be on my shoulders, the stress creeping up and tightening its grip.

That’s when I found solace in this pose.

You stand with your feet wide apart, hinge at the hips and fold forward.

The act of folding forward, head below the heart, gives a sense of surrender, a feeling of letting go.

It’s not just a physical release but an emotional one too.

The world seems a little lighter when you rise back up.

If you too are looking for a way to let go of your day’s stress and worries before bed, give the wide-legged forward bend a try.

Make sure to keep your spine long and fold from your hips.

If touching the ground is too hard, use a block or stack of books for support.

8) Supine spinal twist

Twisting poses are often underrated but they hold immense potential for stress and tension relief.

One such pose is the supine spinal twist, also known as Supta Matsyendrasana in Sanskrit.

Imagine lying on your back, hugging one knee into your chest and then gently guiding it across your body to the other side.

You’re looking over the opposite shoulder, creating a twist in your spine.

It’s like wringing out a wet cloth, but this time it’s your stress and tension.

This pose not only stretches the back muscles and spine but also helps to quiet the mind, preparing you for a peaceful night’s sleep.

9) Happy baby pose

The Happy Baby pose, or Ananda Balasana, is an endearing name for a pose that truly embodies its meaning.

This pose is a gentle hip opener that also stretches the inner groins and the back spine.

It has an innate ability to instill a sense of joy and calm, much like a happy baby.

You lie on your back, bring your knees in towards your chest, grab your feet and gently pull them down.

It’s as simple as that.

But the simplicity of this pose does not undermine its effectiveness.

Happy Baby is an excellent stress-reliever and can help you unwind before bed.

Its playful nature can also remind you to not take life too seriously, to find joy in the little things.

So embrace your inner child, let go of the day’s stress, and drift off to sleep with a happy heart after practicing the Happy Baby pose.

It’s all about balance

The complexities of our daily lives often demand a delicate balancing act, especially when it comes to our wellbeing.

One such balance is achieved through the practice of yoga, particularly bedtime yoga stretches.

These stretches are not just about flexibility or strength, they’re about fostering a sense of peace and tranquility within ourselves.

They provide a gentle way to release the tension and stress that accumulates throughout the day.

Whether it’s embracing the child’s pose, surrendering to the forward bend, or finding joy in the Happy Baby pose, it’s all about creating harmony within ourselves.

This harmony can help us sleep better, improve our overall health, and cultivate a deeper connection with our body and mind.

So as you incorporate these bedtime yoga stretches into your routine, remember it’s not about perfection but the journey towards achieving balance.

Allow yourself to relax into each pose, breathe deeply, and most importantly, enjoy the process.

Lucas Graham

Lucas Graham

Related articles

Most read articles

Get our articles

The latest Move news, articles, and resources, sent straight to your inbox every month.