There are many reasons to practice yoga in the evening. For starters, restorative postures can help the body and mind to relax before bed. With this in mind, evening practice can benefit those with insomnia or restless sleeping. Additionally, many yogis find it easier to practice in the evening as they’re not so pushed for time. While morning practice can boost your energy levels, it’s sometimes not feasible, particularly during the week. In the evening, however, putting on your yoga top and taking ten minutes of ‘me-time’ is more justifiable. In this article, we explore the best postures to use in your evening yoga routine.
Downward Dog is a great way to start your evening routine. Stretching the entire body, this pose is particularly good if you’ve spent the day sitting at a desk or in a car. To practice the asana, stand tall with your feet shoulder-width apart. Bending at the waist, slowly lower your upper body forward until your body forms a triangle. Your hands and feet should now be securely on the ground. If your shoulders or hamstrings feel too tight for the pose, try bending your knees slightly to make the posture easier. Spreading your fingers for additional balance, move your head forward until it is in-between your upper arms. You are in Downward Dog. Hold the asana for around 30 seconds whilst breathing deeply.
After Downward Dog, come straight into triangle pose to remove tension from the legs. From the Downward Dog position, bring your right foot to the inside of your right hand. Place your left foot parallel to the back of your mat and straighten both legs. If the pose feels uncomfortable, try placing a block under your right hand. This will raise it off the floor and make the stretch slightly easier. Next, place your left hand on your left hip before raising it up towards the ceiling. Finally, turn your torso to the left to increase the stretch and open the chest. You are in Triangle Pose. Hold the asana for 5-10 breaths before repeating on the opposite side.
After using Triangle Pose, step back into Downward Dog to prepare for the next asana. To practice Wide-Legged Forward Fold, sit down on the mat with your legs apart. Keeping your knees straight and toes pointing towards the ceiling, place your hands out in front of you. Next, slowly lower your torso towards the mat. If necessary, rest your hands on the floor for support. Finally, ensure that your back is straight. You are now in Wide-Legged Forward Fold. Hold the asana for around 30 seconds before releasing the stretch. For best results, repeat the stretch 3-5 times before moving onto the next asana.
To practice Garland Pose, stand straight with your feet aligned with your hips. Keeping your spine as straight as possible, push your hips back and down as if you’re sitting in a chair. You are in Garland Pose. For best results, bring your hips as low as you can without bending the spine. If you’re finding the pose uncomfortable, try placing a rolled-up towel beneath your heels; this will stop them from lifting off the ground and make the asana easier. To increase the stretch, bring your palms together in front of your chest and push your elbows into your inner knees.
From Garland Pose, gently lower your bottom until you’re sitting on the mat. Bend your right knee and place your right foot flat on the mat. Next, bend your left knee and bring your foot under your right leg. If possible, place your left heel against your right buttock. Secure your right hand on the mat just behind your right buttock. Finally, place your left elbow on the outside of your right knee. You are in Seated Spinal Twist. Hold the asana for around 30 seconds, twisting your torso a little further with each breath. When the stretch is complete, repeat the process on the opposite side.
From Seated Spinal Twist, lay back to prepare for Happy Baby Pose. When you’re laying flat on the mat, bring your knees into your chest and grab hold of your feet. To increase the stretch, draw your knees towards your armpits until your shins are perpendicular to the mat. You are in Happy Baby Pose. To massage your back, gently rock from side to side. As well as releasing tension, the rocking moving is great for relaxing the mind before bed.
The final posture in your evening routine should be Corpse Pose. Also known as Resting Pose, this asana is designed to relax the body and mind. Better still, it’s super easy to practice! From Happy Baby Pose, straighten your legs and lower them back down to the mat. Finally, relax your arms by your sides and close your eyes. You are in Corpse Pose. Stay in this restorative pose for as long as you feel comfortable. If you’re practicing before bed, you may want to set an alarm for 10 minutes, just in case you fall asleep! From here, crawl into bed for a restful night’s sleep.
Whether you suffer from insomnia or just find it hard to wind down, practice the evening yoga routine above to help you drift off. In the evening, most yogis prefer to practice at home. To do this, it’s important to have the right yoga gear before you get started. To keep you snug, pick up some leggings and a cozy yoga hoodie.