You may think you need to an overpriced exercise mat and a class full of people to sufficiently practice yoga. But in reality, your bedroom is just as good as any lavender-scented studio. In fact, doing yoga in bed (yes, right on those cozy, comfy sheets) both in the morning and at night can lead to better focus, reduced anxiety and more restful sleep. “Doing yoga and focusing on your breath for just a few minutes at the beginning and end of your day acts as a reset button to help clear your mind and set you up for success,” Anthony Chavez, master trainer and the director of mindful leadership at Corepower Yoga tells us. It’s a simple way to tweak your routine and add value without completely disrupting your day-to-day life. Plus, it’s impossible to stay grumpy while posing in happy baby.
To help you get started, we partnered with Chavez to create a sun salutation and a nighttime flow, both individualized with specific poses to help you rise and shine or drift off to dreamland. Each move is doable from the comfort of your own bed, plus, like a stability ball, the slight give of your mattress will help fire up those small stabilizing muscles (just steer clear of anything super soft, like memory foam). Repeat each sequence as often or as little as you’d like, focusing on your mind-body connection in addition to your breath.
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1. Mountain Pose
*Grounds your body, mind and spirit and gives you a chance to set an intention for your day.
Step 1: Begin in a standing position with your feet hip-width apart.
Step 2: Keeping your spine long, reach your arms up above your head. Face your palms in towards each other and relax your shoulders, neck and head. Hold three deep breaths and release.
4. Halfway Lift
*Lengthens out the spine and relieves tension in the hamstrings.
Step 1: From the forward fold position, lift your top half up to rest your palms on your shins.
Step 2: Actively reach the crown of your head forward as you pull your tailbone back, lengthening out your spine. Shift your weight into your toes to intensify this stretch. Hold for three deep breaths and release.
5. High to Low Plank
*Fires up the arms, core, shoulders and wrists.
Step 1: Begin on all fours in a plank position with your hands stacked directly below your shoulders. This is your high plank
Step 2: Shift your entire body forward by pressing up onto your toes. Your shoulders will now be in front of your wrists.
Step 3: On your exhale, engage your core and lower down halfway, squeezing your triceps in towards your center to maintain good form. This is your low plank. Hold for a beat and return to high plank on your inhale.
Step 4: Flow through these movement three to five times, focusing on your form and breathwork.
6. Upward-Facing Dog
*Stretches out the spine while firing up the quads.
Step 1: Begin on all fours in a high plank position with your hands stacked directly below your shoulders. Lower down into your low plank and hold for a beat.
Step 2: On your exhale, flip onto the tops of your feet while sweeping your chest forward and up to arch your back while your hips remain down towards the ground.
Step 3: Press into the tops of your feet to lift your quads off the ground and hold.
7. Downward-Facing Dog
*Inversion and final grounding as you awaken the whole body.
Step 1: From your upward-facing dog, flip back onto your toes. On your inhale, use your core to send your hips up and back, lifting your tailbone and lengthening out your spine as you press down into your feet and hands.
Step 2: Press back, feeling a stretch in your calves and hamstrings as well as your back. Hold for three deep breaths and release.
8. Child’s Pose
*Relaxes the mind, reduces anxiety and releases tension in the neck and lower back.
Step 1: Begin on your shins with your knees hip-width apart, feet together behind you. On your exhale fold forward, hinging at the hips, lengthening the spine, drawing the ribs away from the tailbone and stretching the crown of the head away from the shoulders.
Step 2: Rest your forehead on the ground, with your arms either comfortably at your side or extended out in front of you. Hold here for five to ten deep breaths and release.
9. Seated Forward Fold
*Releases tension in the hamstrings and calves.
Step 1: In a seated position, extend both legs straight out in front of you.
Step 2: Inhale and reach both arms up, lengthening the spine. Exhale and fold forward, hinging at the hips as your arms reach towards your toes. Hold for five to ten deep breaths and release.
11. Supine Twist
*Opens tight shoulders and releases tension in the lower back.
Step 1: Lie flat on your back and hug your knees into your chest. Lower both knees to your left side. Keeping the shoulders on the ground, extend both arms out as your torso twists.
Step 2: Take five to ten deep breaths, making sure your hips are aligned, and then slowly bring the knees back to the center.
Step 3: Let your knees fall to your right side and repeat.
12. Legs Up the Wall
*Restores the body and releases tension in the back, shoulders and neck.
Step 1: Find a wall and lie flat on your back with your hips a few inches from the base of the wall. Extend your legs up until your calves and hamstrings are touching the wall.
Step 2: Choose the distance that feels most comfortable and adjust as needed. You can also place a cushion under your hips for support.
Step 3: Rest your arms at your sides, hold for five to ten deep breaths and release.
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