Time to Unwind: A Bedtime Yin Yoga Sequence

Yin yoga is a deeply relaxing and restorative practice that works with the “yin” tissues of the body rather than the “yang” tissues targeted in a typical active yoga practice. Yin works with connective tissues like fascia, ligaments, tendons, and bones.

Although it’s a gentler and slower form of practice, it can sometimes be quite intense. But not this gentle bedtime yoga practice! This yin yoga sequence is exactly what you need to relax and unwind before hopping into bed.

Practice Bedtime Yoga With This Relaxing Yin Yoga Sequence

You will need a bolster or firm pillow, a thick blanket, and two yoga blocks or thick books for this practice.

Dragonfly Pose (Upavista Konasana)

The Dragonfly forward bend with a prop for support is a wonderful and calming forward bend for before bed yoga.

Perfect for bedtime yoga, this wide-legged seated forward fold will help put you into a sleepy mood as you focus on your breath, clear your mind, and unwind from your day.

  1. Start seated, facing the long edge of your mat. You may wish to elevate your hips by sitting on a folded blanket.
  2. Reach your legs forward and open them wide into a “V” shape. Option to bend your knees as little or as much as you’d like. You may wish to place props underneath your knees for added support.
  3. Place one block at its medium height in front of you and the second block on its highest height in front of that. And then rest your bolster over the blocks so that it slopes up and away from you.
  4. Place your hands behind your hips and lean your weight back into your arms as you gently round your spine.
  5. Option to stay as you are or walk your hands forward in front of you and fold your torso over your legs. Option to rest your torso and head over the props in front of you so that you can soften over and hug the bolster. Feel free to readjust the height of your blocks to find the most comfortable position.
  6. Soften your gaze or close your eyes and surrender your weight downward. Tune in to your breath and relax into this shape for about five to eight minutes.
  7. When you’re ready, slowly and mindfully unwind the pose and move your body in any way that it’s craving for about a minute or two.

Reclining Shoelace Pose (Supta Gomukhasana): Great Pose for Yin Yoga Sequence

Image depicts Reclining Shoelace Pose as part of a short bedtime Yin Yoga sequence.

No yin yoga sequence is complete without shoelace. And this reclining variation of the classic yin yoga posture will help to relieve tension from your hips.

  1. After you’ve moved organically, find your way down onto your back. Bend your knees and plant your feet on the floor.
  2. Lift your right leg and cross it over your left as if you’re sitting cross-legged in a chair.
  3. Option to stay as you are or lift your left leg off the floor and draw both knees in toward your chest.
  4. Option to stay as you are again or reach toward your feet to catch hold of their outer edges.
  5. If you decide to hold onto your feet, gently draw them down toward your torso as you simultaneously release the weight of your pelvis toward the floor.
  6. Wherever you choose to be, relax your eyes and connect to the slow rhythm of your breath. Hold for about 2 to 3 minutes before releasing and switching sides.

Yin Yoga SEquence: Include Reclining Butterfly Pose (Supta Baddhakonasana)

Image depicts Reclining Butterfly also known as Supta Baddha Konasana which is a restful Yin bedtime yoga pose.

Another classic posture for any yin yoga sequence, continue to unwind your tense hips with this relaxing reclining butterfly shape.

  1. Again, find your way to a reclined position with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor.
  2. Release the weight of your knees open toward the outer edges of your mat as you draw the soles of your feet together.
  3. Slide your blocks to rest underneath your knees or thighs to support the weight of your legs.
  4. Release your arms into any comfortable position and soften your gaze.
  5. Slow the rhythm of your breath and surrender to its pace in this simple shape for about 5 to 7 minutes.


Bananasana pictured here is a great stretching pose to practice right before Savasana.

Continue to enjoy your bedtime yoga as you unwind from head to toe across your whole side body with this gentle and relaxing shape.

  1. When you’re ready, slowly release the blocks from underneath your legs and gently draw your knees back up to face the sky, and release your feet to the floor.
  2. Lift your hips away and scoot them over toward the right side of your mat before softly releasing them back down.
  3. Stretch your legs forward in front of you and reach your arms up above your head.
  4. Keep your hips as they are, and slowly walk your feet toward the left side of your mat. You can keep your legs staggered or cross one ankle over the other, whichever feels more comfortable for you.
  5. Keep your hips and your legs as they are, and slide your upper body toward the left side of your mat as well. You may wish to hold onto your right wrist with your left hand or hold onto opposite elbows overhead or open your arms out into a “T” shape or release your arms by your sides.
  6. Wherever you choose to be, surrender into the gentle banana shape that your body is creating.
  7. Soften your gaze, close your eyes, and melt into the stretch as you soften your breath. Hold for about 2 to 4 minutes before slowly unwinding and switching sides.

Relaxation Pose (Savasana)

Savasana is a perfect restful bedtime yin yoga pose to prepare your body for restful sleep.

Round off your yin yoga sequence with the ultimate posture of rest and relaxation and the ultimate in bedtime yoga, your final Relaxation Pose.

  1. Gently unwind your shape and draw your knees in toward your chest to hug yourself. If it feels nice, rock your hips from side to side and massage your lower back against the floor.
  2. When you feel ready, release your legs out forward in front of you and surrender your arms by your sides. Option to slide your bolster or a rolled-up blanket underneath your thighs or knees for some extra support.
  3. Let your eyes soften and tap into your breath. Follow its rhythm as you surrender into this final resting pose for about seven to 10 minutes, or perhaps until you drift off into a deep, restful sleep.

Unwind With Bedtime Yoga and This Relaxing Yin Yoga Sequence

Few practices have the potential to be as soothing and relaxing as yin yoga. This simple bedtime yin yoga sequence will allow you to relax and unwind to fully prepare you for a night of deep and restful sleep.

Use this just before bed (or, better yet, even in bed!) to help you shake off your day so that your evening can be calming and rejuvenating.

Leah Sugerman, E-RYT 500, YACEP, yoga writer

Leah Sugerman is a yoga teacher, writer, and passionate world traveler. An eternally grateful student, she has trained in countless schools and traditions of the practice. She teaches a fusion of the styles she has studied with a strong emphasis on breath, alignment, and anatomical integrity. Leah teaches workshops, retreats, and trainings, both internationally and online. For more information, visit www.leahsugerman.com.

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