yoga

Restorative Bedtime Yoga Sequence

Most of us spend the majority of our days getting shit done! When we finally lay down for bed, it’s hard to turn off the “doing” mind. We try to numb out by scrolling social media, but what if you spent those precious moments calming your mind with a nourishing yoga practice? Try this 25-minute bedroom restorative yoga sequence to wind down and get a prepare you for a deep sleep. Throw on some soothing music as you follow along :)

BED TIME YOGA

FIVE BENEFITS OF A RESTORATIVE PRACTICE

1. Improves your immune system and makes you less of a victim in the face of all those cold and flu viruses flying around.

2. These postures create optimal conditions for us to cultivate the skill of conscious relaxation and most importantly to release unnecessary habitual tension in the body and mind.

3. Discovering where and how we hold tension helps us find room for change, so that tension won’t limit our physical, emotional, and mental wellness and our comfort in our body.

4. The slower pace and deep breathing that you get in a restorative yoga class triggers the parasympathetic nervous system. The system that governs our state of relaxation. We reduce the stress-provoking flight-or-flight response that is the state of being for most of us all day.

5. Plus this practice draws attention inward and away from external events and situations of the world. With your awareness directed within, the practice becomes a sanctuary for the mind and spirit from which you can take a deeper look at who you are, what you want, and how you can serve the world.

Bedtime Meditation

Dr. Wayne Dyer is one of my favorite authors and all around human being. Excuses Begone is a FANTASTIC read, if you want to learn more about about his studies and mindfulness practices. Here is a quick meditation to accompany your bedtime routine.

Exercises to Burn Excess Kapha

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Another way to shake off the kapha blues is to rise out of bed before kapha time (6-10AM), and do an aerobic exercise. This schedule will also help you fend off seasonal weight gain. If you’re feeling overextended, favor vata-pacifying types of exercise like walking, tai chi, or restorative/ slow flow yoga. If you’re feeling sluggish and heavy, give kapha prana boost with a more vigorous workout—potentially a bike ride, a challenging hike, vinyasa yoga, or ski.

Here are a few yoga postures that will burn off excess kapha:

  1. Sun Salutations invite heat and mobility to counteract the cold and stable qualities of kapha. They’re a great way to get the circulation and lymph moving first thing in the morning.
  2. Urdhva Mukha Svanasana (Upward facing dog) is a great heat-building challenge for the arms, back and legs, and also opens the chest.
  3. Parivrtta Utkatasana (Twisting Chair) builds heat in the legs while simultaneously pushing out the stagnation that can build up in the chest and lungs from excess kapha.
  4. Ardha Chandrasana (Half Moon B) awakens the digestive organs and stretches the entire abdomen. The side-to-side motion also offers spaciousness to the lungs, where excess mucus can build up from excess kapha.
  5. Virabhadrasana II (Warrior II) is the perfect asana to build heat. Keep your arms wide open to encourage space in the heart chakra where the kapha dosha lives.
  6. Utthita Trikonasana (Triangle) encourages lateral flexion which aids in sluggish digestion and heightens respiratory function.
  7. Urdhva Dhanurasana (Wheel) or Dhanurasana increases circulation throughout your entire body and opens your heart chakra.
  8. Adho Mukha Vrksasana (Handstand) reverses blood flow in the body, accumulated fluid in the ankles and legs (which can be caused by too much kapha) gets the chance to move and drain. Headstand also shifts the tendency of kapha to get stuck in the same old routines, by offering a whole new perspective on the world.