It’s 10:00 p.m. (or 11:00 p.m., or midnight) and you just got home from another late night roller derby practice. You have a snack, shower, lie down in bed, and…nothing. Your mind is racing, and sleep isn’t happening. You need something to help you unwind after practice, and you have no idea what that would be.
Exercise later in the day–especially when it’s a high-impact sport like derby–triggers our bodies to produce more of our stress hormones, adrenaline and cortisol. If these are bumped up right before bed, chances are, you’ll have a harder time falling asleep. Enter: restorative yoga.
A restorative yoga practice is generally slow, gentle, supported stretches; you’re not trying to go deep into poses. It’s designed to help calm your nervous system! Basically, it’s a lot more about being comfortable and letting your breath get slower and steadier, which can help chill out your stress response. (Think about it: when you get really anxious and hyped up, it can be harder to breathe. Calming your breath can make a big difference.)
This video is a yoga practice that you can do in bed! It’s targeted for the parts of your body that you use at practice–just in case you didn’t stretch–and, even more importantly, it’s slow and steady with some breath focus to help you settle down for bed. Take a hot shower, get cozy, and give it a try.
Need some more ideas to help calm your brain and get focused? Check out Flat Mat Mental Game, You get:
- The Meditation for People Who (Think They) Hate Meditating e-book
- 6 audio meditations (plus 2 additional ones coming in 2016)
- Improved focus
- Steadier breath
- Tools and techniques to calm yourself down before a scrimmage or bout