Hopefully, since my last post you’ve been checking in with yourself and moving your body to burn off those stress hormones.
Now I’m going to look at ways of relaxing, preparing yourself for a great night’s sleep with some restorative Dru Yoga practices.
Before bed is not the time to be practicing dynamic sun sequences! This is the time for the more gentle flowing moon sequence (chandra namaskara) to enhance feelings of calm, tranquility and serenity. A firm favourite in my classes, Dru’s moon sequence includes gentle twists to release low back tension, lovely heart opening movements, a peaceful forward bend to help still a busy mind and the crocodile posture (makarasana) to help us let go of anxiety and tension.
You might want to follow moon sequence with some gentle asana (posture) work, checking out any contra-indications first. Try to include a forward bend such as the standing forward bend (padahastasana) or seated forward bend (paschimottanasana). To get the most from the forward bending poses you have to really relax, letting go into the stretch – take it from one who’s tried, you’ll never ever force a forward bend! And when you do surrender to the movement…wow…it’s just bliss, allowing all the tension, anxiety and busy-ness to flow out of you. Remember to have a good stretch out afterwards, you might even need a backward bend such as bridge (setubandhasana) or one of my favourites, fish (matsyasana) to really let go of any remaining busy thoughts, whilst calming any anxious thoughts.
Now you’re down on the floor move into some gentle laying twists, holding as you breathe into your hips and low back. Complete this short session with some breath work from laying down, deep yogic breath or try co-ordinating your breath as you move your right arm up and over head in an arc on the inhalation, returning it to your side on the exhalation, repeating with the left arm and then with both arms together. Just perfect! Now you should be ready to lay still in relaxation pose (see previous blogs for more info) for at least 5 minutes letting any final pockets of tension drain away.
Slowly come out of relaxation and roll into bed! What a lovely way to end your day.
I hope these ideas help. Next time I’ll be looking at ways to help you drop back off to sleep when you’re wide awake in the middle of the night. Ix