I LOVE TO SLEEP! And I am the heavy sleeper sort, that even if someone breaks in, or there's a bull running through, I would not wake up. Not unlike Mr T who wakes up at the slightest sound of my footsteps. To be fair, the floor does squeak, and I can’t see very well in the dark. I think the only time I can remember waking up is if its too cold or too hot or its time to wake up.
Anyways before there was yoga, there was the snooze button. I'm not a saint; there are times when I am good and there are days when I am lazy (which is many a days). Truth is snuggling under the covers, sounds more enticing, than getting up in the cold air-conditioned room, to change into my yoga attire, and then doing the deed.
Then I had a thought - What if I could do yoga in bed? Now that's the magic of YIN YOGA! So here's my #yogainmyjammies practice coming at you.
Your "Namastay In Bed" session will take 24 mins but I would suggest setting your alarm 30 mins earlier to allow for a very high possibility of sleepy transitions. There are 6 exercises; at 3 mins each, with an optional BONUS off-the-bed pose!
AND you need a TIMER, which is on your phone, which I am sure is by your bed. So there. So there. No more excuses; HERE WE GO!!
What is Yin yoga
To me, Yin Yoga is a balancing practice to your Yang Yoga (Hot Flow, Vinyasa, Hatha etc) Where Yang creates heat through dynamic movement of the body and your muscles are engaged through contraction and length; Yin is a much cooler practice which focuses on relaxing the connective tissues that surrounds the muscles & joints, especially in the hips, pelvis and lower spine. It is a longer hold of 3-5 minutes.
Namastay in Bed Sequence
No of Exercises: 6
Time Taken: 24 -30mins approx.
Pose 1: Twisted Roots x 3 mins per side = 6 mins
Pose 2: Reclining Butterfly x 3 mins
Pose 3: Knees to Chest x 3 mins
Pose 4: Saddle x 3 mins or 1-legged Saddle x 2.5 mins
Pose 5: Deer x 3 mins per side = 6 mins
Pose 6: DragonFly x 3 mins
PLUS BONUS OFF-THE-BED POSE: Dangling 10 breath
Always consult your health care provider and obtain full medical clearance before practicing yoga or any other exercise program. Note that not all yoga poses are suitable for all persons. Modify when you need and if unsure, practicing under the direct supervision and guidance of a qualified instructor, in addition to the direction of your healthcare provider, can also help determine what poses are suitable for your body.
It's ok if you fall asleep in between poses. It happens. Make sure you set another alarm so that you are not late for work!!!!!
The work happens when you remain in stillness for the duration of the time, and slowly and naturally, without using force, ease into a deeper stretch as time passes.
Most importantly ---------------- Don't forget to breathe and be mindful about how your body feels. Try Easy! ♥♥♥
Pose 1: Twisted Roots
The very FIRST thing I do when I wake up is Twisted Roots! I love the feeling of my spine being rinsed out of the kinks of the night before. The cracks I hear is also very satisfying. But eversince I’ve started my chiropractor treatment, Dr Tina FORBIDS me to give in to the urge to “crack” as it will bring my spine out of my alignment. So I am a good patient - I don’t “purposely” crack it. 😃
The trick is not to force the pose, and focus on the gentle release of tension in the spinal vertebra and the back of the pelvis.
Start by bending the knees, feet flat on bed. Then bring right leg over left i.e. “Garuda” your legs or as if you are sitting elegantly with your legs crossed. Move the hips to the right before dropping both knees to the left. Arms are overhead or in a goal-post position, looking over opposite shoulder.
After 3 mins, release and switch over to the side.
Try to keep both shoulders on the bed. If it lifts, place a bolster under the bent knee to balance the body.
Bringing knees higher will stretch upper back, lower wil be the lower bacl/sacrum.
If tingling occurs in the arms or hands, move them lower until the blood flows again or release and modify by bringing one knee to chest and dropping it to the opposite side.
Remember that one side will feel different to the other.
Don’t push into the twist – relax. Let gravity do the work.
Pose 2: Reclining Butterfly
Love this pose especially under the covers! There is a feeling of openness and freedom but at the same your heart fully protected by the warmth of the duvet. Nice way to stretch inner thigh and gentle lower back.
Feet flat on bed with the knees bent. Bring the soles of the feet together and open up the knee like a book. Option to bring arms over head to “release" the heart.
If feet is closer to the groin, the adductor muscles get stretched more.
But if back starts to arch, bring feet further away
If knees are high off the bed, support with pillows under Knees
Pose 3: Knees to Chest
Hug it tight like you really mean it.
Great counterpose to release SI (Sacro-Illiac) Joint and back of the hips. If you can, grab hold of opposite elbows and squeeze your knees in. Also releases the back of the hips. Option to bring head and shoulders off, but I like to just relax and maybe move side to side, or circle the knees.
Pose 4: Saddle
This stretches the hip flexors and opens up the front of the pelvis. This could be an intense sensation for those with tight lower back or have knee issues. So choose to have a bolster under your back to bring the stretch back a notch. (or a pillow in this case). The focus is just to be comfortable and relax to allow gravity to deepen the stretch.
Sit on your heels and place bolster/pillow behind your back and the slowly come down to the elbows. You can stay here, or if you want more, go down all the way. Option to bring arms over head
Your knees can be further apart
You can pad up the pillows up to your head, to support the neck
If you are feeling it in the knee joint, either stay on the elbows or support your shoulders on a pile of pillows or headboard.
Or you can choose to bend 1 knee at a time.
Pose 5: Deer
This is the Yin version of the Pigeon Pose, and really works both hips -the front glutes and the back hips.
From Saddle, bring your body up, sit on Left side and bring your Right leg forward. Bend the Right Knee and walk your hands forward to fold over the front right shin. Keep the both knees bent and go as long as you can go.
After 3 mins, release and swivel the body to the Back to switch to the Left side.
You can also add a twist, by walking your hands over to the opposite of the back knee.
You can hug a pillow to support your upper body.
Pose 6: DragonFly
This is a wide straddle stretch. This early in the morning - I definitely can't go down so low, and neither do I want to. Just be where you are, don't force the stretch, and let gravity lead the way. Just feel the vertebras lengthening away from each other.
Easy open legs. Bend knees if needed. Pillow or bolster to support the head, if needed.
BONUS POSE: Dangling 10 breath
OFF-THE-BED POSE - We have to get up right, eventually. I like to end with a mild inversion; this gives a nice stretch to my spine, makes me feel taller. I used a wall here to support my back.
INSTRUCTIONS: Roll off the bed and keep the body low. OR you can start from standing and roll the spine down one vertebrae at a time.
Keep the back of the knees soft.
You can hold on the bed frame to support your arms, or hold on to opposite elbows or just allow the arms to dangle.
Your body may go as long as you think it can. Just let go of the need to go lower, and just hang easy.
Imagine that each vertebrae is juicily stretching away from each other