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Day 21: Beginner

Yoga for Restful Sleep with Jason Crandell

Congratulations on making it to the end of the Challenge! You should feel incredibly proud of this accomplishment, and the commitment you've made to yourself. How do you feel? Has your practice changed?

In this last Challenge video, we present a gentle, relaxing sequence by Jason Crandell to help you sleep. It features shoulder and hip openers to release tension accumulated during the day and forward bends to soothe your nervous system and quiet your mind. If you always give 110 percent, give yourself permission to take it easy. "Practicing with a receptive, nonstriving tone is essential for relaxation and moving into a state of sleep," Crandell emphasizes. In Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend), for example, bend the knees even if you can do the pose with straight legs. "At other times of the day, for other reasons, we might work the legs much more vigorously," he says. But before bed, "we want to slow down. We want to unwind. We want to let go of systemic tension. So keep the knees soft."

If you can't rest your forehead on the floor or your forearms in Pigeon Pose, a pillow, block, or bolster will come in handy.

Watch Today's Video »

Challenge Tip

Sometimes, even 20 minutes of gentle movement can seem like work. On those nights, you can unwind your body and calm your mind in half the time by practicing Viparita Karani (Legs-Up-the-Wall Pose). Sit on the floor with one side of your body against a wall, and then swing your legs onto the wall as you lie back on the floor, creating the letter "L" with your body. The pose is said to alleviate everything from anxiety to insomnia to varicose veins.

Today's Recipe: Zucchini-Goat
Cheese Pizza

Cheese pizza is a perennial veg favorite, but it often comes with a hefty calorie count. Here, goat cheese and thinly sliced veggies offer lighter alternatives to shredded mozzarella.

Get Today's Recipe »


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