Yoga is a great relaxation tool for people of all ages and physical ability. Remember to always go to your own body’s ability and never push beyond your comfort zone. Yoga should be comfortable with mild stretching but never reach the area of pain.
Try these poses before, they can even be done in bed! Put on some relaxing music of your choice and maybe spray or diffuse some soothing tension relieving essential oils such as lavender.
The first pose to try is called the pigeon pose. This pose will help to open up the hips and help with restful sleep.
Step by Step:
-Start from all fours, bring your right knee forward and place it more or less behind your right hand. Place your ankle somewhere in front of your left hip. The more your lower leg is parallel with the front of the mat, the more intense the hip opener.
-Slide your left leg back, straighten
-Draw your legs in towards eachother to help keep your hips square.
-Gently lower yourself down and use some support under your right buttock if needed, to keep your hips level.
-On an inhale lift your upper body, come on your fingertips, hands shoulder width apart, draw your navel in, tailbone down and open your chest.
-On an exhale walk your hands forward on the fingertips and lower your upper body to the floor. You can rest your forehead on the ground.
-Stay here for 5-10 slow breaths and on every exhale try to release the tension in your right hip.
-Balance your weight on both legs.
Ankle To Knee Pose
Ankle To Knee or Double Pigeon Pose is an intense hip opener with several benefits:
-Stretches and opens the hips
-Stretches the groins
-Relieves anxiety, tension and stress
Step By Step:
-Lean back in to your hands, releasing your shoulders down your back. Cross your right ankle over your left knee, until you make a figure four shape with your legs. Keep your right foot flexed and draw your right knee away from you until you feel a stretch in your right hip.
-Wiggle or heel-toe your left foot towards the right. Walk your hands slightly forward, so that you have enough room to sit up straight and stack your legs.
-Line up the ankle or side of your right foot over your left knee, and your right knee over your left ankle, or side of the foot. Try to make your shins parallel to each other, with the right stacked directly over the left.
-Breathe here, or walk your hands forwards and recline forwards. Hold for 1 minute or more, and then uncross your legs to come out of the pose. Repeat on the opposite side.