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7 calming yoga stretches you can do in bed

“Namaste in bed” is a saying you will find on many T-shirts and sweatshirts. It turns out, it’s more than just a play on words of the yogi greeting, “Namaste” (pronounced ˈnäməˌstā), and the desire to chill all day. You can do yoga without leaving your bed, and it can help you get better sleep.

Research and experts have linked yoga to reduced stress and improved sleep. Yoga is not only a form of gentle movement, but it also helps with mindfulness. A 2017 study found that partaking in mindfulness exercises, such as yoga, reduced sleep disturbances in breast cancer patients. Another study from 2015 indicated that mindfulness-based activities could improve rest, reduce sleep-related daytime impairment, and boost the quality of life.

If you’re looking to sleep better without putting your feet on the ground, try these seven calming yoga stretches you can do in bed.

a woman doing forward fold from bed
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Seated Forward Fold

This seated posture is mediative and improves flexibility in your back, shoulders, and hamstrings.

  • Sit straight with legs stretched out in front of you.
  • Inhale as you lean forward from your hips. If your body allows, place your thumbs on the top of your feet and wrap your remaining four fingers around the soles of the feet. Otherwise, put your hands where you can. You should feel a stretch in the hamstrings but not pain.
  • Exhale. If you are able, go further. If not, stay right where you are and hold for several more breaths.

Pro tip: Sit on a rolled-up blanket for additional support. If you have trouble touching your toes, you might consider using a strap or towel.

Happy Baby Pose

Happy Baby Pose is beginner-friendly and is known for its relaxation benefits.

  • Lie on your back.
  • Inhale as you bend your knees towards your chest, forming a right angle. The bottom of your feet should be facing upwards towards the ceiling.
  • Exhale. Put your hands around the outside of your feet. Keep shoulders grounded.
  • Pivot your legs so they are in line with your armpits. Gently rock back and forth as you take several breaths.

Spinal Twist Pose

Breathe deeply as you stretch out your back, helping to reduce any mental stress and physical stiffness.

  • Lie on your back.
  • Inhale, and pull your right knee into your chest. Stretch your right arm out so your hand and shoulder are in one line.
  • Move your right knee across your midsection and place it next to your left thigh, keeping your right shoulder on the bed. Exhale.
  • Hold for several breaths.
  • Repeat on the opposite side.

Belly Breathing

Breathing is the foundation of any yoga practice, and it can improve focus and reduce stress.

  • Kneel, resting palms gently on your thighs.
  • Inhale deeply, focusing on how the air is filling your lungs.
  • Exhale as if you are blowing out candles on a birthday cake.
  • Repeat several times.

Pigeon Pose

This hip-opening pose also stretches glute muscles. Pigeon Pose is one you can hold for long periods as you focus on your breathing.

  • Get on all fours.
  • Bend your right knee into your chest as you inhale.
  • Exhale. Place your right knee on the bed on the inside of your right hand. Your right shin may be parallel with the edge of your bed, or it may angle towards the left side of your body. Both positions are fine — it all depends on your mobility.
  • If your body allows, deepen the pose by bending forward at the hip. Hold for several breaths.
  • Repeat on the opposite side.
woman doing butterfly pose in bed
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Butterfly Pose

Butterfly Pose is a seated posture that opens the hips and stretches the groin area. Deep belly breaths during the posture can enhance its soothing benefits.

  • Sit straight. Elongate the spine by pulling the crown of your head up towards the ceiling and rolling shoulders back and down.
  • Bring the soles of your feet together.
  • Inhale as you draw your knees upwards towards your elbows.
  • Exhale as you use your elbows to gently press your inner thighs down towards the bed, as far as you can go.
  • Hold for several breaths.

Figure Four Pose

This pose is a slightly more intense, reclining version of Pigeon Pose. Expect to stretch the glutes while opening the hips.

  • Lie on your back.
  • Inhale. Raise your left knee so it forms a right angle.
  • Place your right ankle on your left thigh just above the knee. Your right knee should face the wall to your right.
  • Exhale. Wrap your hands around your left thigh as you gently pull your left leg towards your chest.
  • Hold for several breaths. Switch sides and repeat.

Yoga can improve sleep quality, reduce stress, and help you feel better overall. Perhaps the best news? You don’t even have to roll out of bed to do some poses. There are several calming yoga stretches you can do in bed. Though your mattress is different than a yoga studio, you still want to set the scene. Create a calming space by drawing the curtains, closing the door, and dimming the lights. Soothing music may also help. These poses should help you feel better. They may feel challenging, but they should not hurt. If they do, it’s a sign you need to check your form, not go as deep into the pose, or stop doing it.

BlissMark provides information regarding health, wellness, and beauty. The information within this article is not intended to be medical advice. Before starting any diet or exercise routine, consult your physician. If you don’t have a primary care physician, the United States Health & Human Services department has a free online tool that can help you locate a clinic in your area. We are not medical professionals, have not verified or vetted any programs, and in no way intend our content to be anything more than informative and inspiring.

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BethAnn Mayer
Beth Ann's work has appeared on and In her spare time, you can find her running (either marathons…
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