A Yin Yoga Sequence for better Sleep and lower Stress levels

Yin-yoga has gained worldwide popularity in recent years. Not without good reason: The practice of yin sequences is said to have a restorative, calming and healing effect on your body and on your mind. Yin poses like Butterfly, Savasana and Child’s Pose are said to have a positive impact on your nervous system and your hormones, and therefore help improve relaxation and sleep.

We put together a yoga-sequence for you so you can develop a yoga-routine that will lower your stress levels and lets you drift into a rejuvenating sleep again. The sequence consists of following elements:

  • yin yoga poses
  • restorative yoga

Yin Yoga and Restorative Yoga – What’s the difference to other Yoga Styles?

What makes the difference for your health between yin-yoga and other styles of yoga such as vinyasa or ashtanga-yoga? Whereas vinyasa and ashtanga create a stronger flow of poses, yin-yoga is a slow form where yogas-poses are held for a longer amount of time, usually between 3 – 5 minutes. This creates a space for the body to relax and to ease into the pose without any effort. At first glance, this might sound uninteresting for many of us – we are archivers and we’re tuned to train hard, build muscles, and to moving fast. This is great, but as with everything in life, we need balance. Is there a lack of balance, we get overly active, easily stressed and find it hard to calm down, relax and have a healthier sleep.

Why Yin Yoga Sequence helps with restoring Energy levels and releasing Stress?

Yin-yoga helps with releasing tension and stress and improve our sleep. Practicing yin, our autonomic nervous system switches back into parasympathetic mode, which is responsible for our bodies’ ’rest and digest’ functions. It also allows us to rest and relax after a stressful moment. Thus, yin-yoga is a perfect way to prepare our body to slow down. This is why many people like practicing a yin-yoga-sequence either in the afternoon or evening.

Let’s start with a relaxing yin-yoga-sequence that is super easy to integrate into your yoga-routine or just into your daily evening routine. It will help you to reduce stress and get a better sleep.

Find out more about Yin Yoga Benefits here 

A Yin Yoga Sequence for Relaxation and better Sleep

1. Yin Butterfly (Baddha Konasana)

Butterfly Pose Yin Yoga Sequence

How to do Butterfly-Pose

Sit upright with a straight spine putting the soles of your feet together. Then, grab both of your feet and bring them closer to your pelvic floor so that you feel a nice and gentle stretch in your adductors. Slowly and gently roll down your spine and fold forward. Use a block and / or a bolster to support your knees and your upper body. Hold the pose from 3 to 5 minutes. Get out of the pose by slowly rolling up your spine and straightening your legs.

Benefits of Butterfly-Pose

Physically, butterfly-pose is a grounding posture that mainly releases the tension in your whole back from the spine up to your neck. You will also get a nice stretch in your inner thighs. Emotionally, this pose soothes the mind and helps turning your focus inwards away from your daily thoughts. This pose can also be used as a transition into meditation.

2. Supported Child’s Pose (Balasana)

Yin Yoga Sequence

How to do Child’s Pose

Slowly transition into child’s pose. Come onto your hands and knees. Sink your hips onto your heels while gently lowering your chest between your thighs. Use a bolster or pillow in between your thighs to give yourself some support. Rest your forehead on the ground or on a pillow. Your palms can be placed in front of you to create a stretch in your arms and an opening in your shoulders and chest. Relax your jaw and your belly. Stay here for 3 – 5 minutes.

Benefits of Child’s Pose

Child’s pose is said to have beneficial effects on your digestive system and nervous system. It lowers stress hormones by activating the parasympathetic nervous system, thus being an ideal pose for rest and relaxation. Doing this pose will give you a feeling of being grounded and stable as it connects you to the earth. If you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed from the day and have too many thoughts running through your head, child’s pose will help you letting go the day’s solicitudes.

3 Reclining Bound Angle (Supta Baddha Konasana)

Reclining Bound Angle Pose Yin Yoga

How to do Reclining Bound Angle-Pose

Reclining bound angle-pose is similar to bound angle-pose, but this time come to lying on your back. The soles of your feet are touching each other, and your knees are bent. Slightly draw your heels closer to you, so that you feel a nice stretch in your inner thighs. Your palms can rest on the floor next to you, while gently relaxing your spine and your neck. Hold this pose for 3 minutes or longer.

Benefits of Reclining Bound Angle-Pose

Reclining Bound-Angle-Pose will help releasing tension in your hip and thighs. During the day, we often suppress negative feelings and emotions that naturally occur when being in a difficult work environment or dealing with difficult situations in daily life. Those emotions often get stuck and can built up as tension, especially around our hips. Giving it some space to relax is a perfect way to relieve light anxiety, depressive feelings and stress.

4 Supine Spinal Twist (Supta Jaṭhara Parivartānāsana)

Supine Spinal Twist Yin Yoga Sequence

How to do Supine Spinal Twist

From lying on your back, enter supine spinal twist pose by bending one knee and cross It over your other leg, which is kept straight. Help with your hand to gently push the bent knee down. Your torso is rotating to the opposite side. Your gaze will follow while extending your arm to the same side. To take it one step further, use a belt and start straightening your bent leg. Also use a bolster or block to help support your leg.

Benefits of Supine Spinal Twist

If you struggle with insomnia, this supine spinal twist is amazing to help you releasing stress. The rotation of your torso has a great benefit on your abdominal organs. The gentle squeeze allows fresh blood to flush your inner organs, helps with digestion and to detox your body. Your spine, which is often out of alignment from bad posture and movement habits during the day, gets a gentle reset and more flexibility through this pose.

5 Corpse-Pose (Shavasana)

Yin Yoga Sequence Savasana

How to do Shavasana

Finally, make your way into corpse-pose which will be your final pose in this yin-sequence. To do so, lie down onto your back, with your legs extended and your arms resting relaxed to the side of your body. Your palms are facing upward. Be mindful that your neck and head are relaxed, then close your eyes. Shavasana can be done from 3 – 10 minutes or even longer.

Benefits of Shavasana

Shavasana is widely known as the final pose in a yoga-class and is an ideal opportunity to transition into meditation: it is one of the king poses when it comes to relaxation and tuning into a meditative state. By releasing stress hormones and slowing down the nervous system, this pose calms the body and mind. If you find it hard to fall asleep, you will highly benefit from this pose.

Read more about why Shavasana really matters in today’s world

5 easy Ways to make your Yin Yoga Sequence a Routine

  • Yin-yoga-sequence: Choose the poses that we suggested, or look up a yin-yoga-sequence online that you feel good with.
  • Your private yoga space: Have a place in your room where you regularly practice yoga and meditation. Make it simple for you to roll out your mat and start with your yin-sequence.
  • Relaxing atmosphere: Create a relaxing atmosphere in your room or at the place where you’re usually practicing: Light candles, have some slow music playing, use lavender spray and drink some some warming tea.
  • Yoga-playlist: Have your own unique yoga-playlist on Spotify or Youtube so you can always play your favorite songs along with your practice.
  • Yoga-routine: Practice yin at set times. Some people prefer practicing in the morning, others in the evening. Usually yin-yoga works very well in the evening as it slows down the nervous system and is an ideal

Read on: A Journey into Yin Yoga by Travis Eliot