Last night, I managed to make time to soak in an epsom salt bath, do a bedtime yoga video on YouTube, and meditate before bed. If asked to describe my ideal day, this is exactly how it would end.
Daily Yoga Makes a Difference
Several years ago, I slowly developed the routine of daily yoga at home. I do videos on YouTube that are almost never longer than 20 minutes. I can totally tell the difference between the version of me that has had even just five minutes of yoga versus the version who skipped yoga that day.
I am far from perfect, and I still miss my yoga here and there. But the difference in how I feel the rest of the day is now so obvious to me that I rarely miss more than a day or a few days in a row. It means too much to me.
Since it took me probably about a year or longer to develop the habit of daily morning yoga, I don’t have unrealistic expectations of suddenly deciding to do yoga every night before bed. As absolutely wonderful as bedtime yoga is, I know it’s going to take some time for me to transform into a person who does 10 minutes of yoga every night before bed. And I’m okay with that.
Bedtime Yoga Videos
Last night I did a 15 minute bedtime yoga video by Sarah Beth Yoga. I really like her videos. This one is a bit older, but still a very relaxing bedtime routine.
Over the past few weeks, I have managed to do a longer video by Sarah Beth and an even longer video by Yoga with Adriene. These were also incredibly relaxing, but I tend to gravitate more towards the shorter videos because I know I’m more likely to talk myself into squeezing in 10 minutes of yoga versus 20 or 30 at the end of the day.
In her book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, Marie Kondo mentions that one of her clients told her that she wanted to get tidy because she wanted to create the space and time in her life to end each day taking a bath, sipping tea, and doing yoga:
“What do you mean by a ‘feminine lifestyle’?” I asked. She thought for a long moment before finally responding.
“Well, when I come home from work, the floor would be clear of clutter … and my room, as tidy as a hotel suite with nothing obstructing the line of sight. I’d have a pink bedspread and a white antique-style lamp. Before going to bed, I would have a bath, burn aromatherapy oils, and listen to classical piano or violin while doing yoga and drinking herbal tea. I would fall asleep with a feeling of unhurried spaciousness.”
The Space & Time for Yoga & Peacefulness
When I read this, I realized that is what I want too. And I don’t think I even knew it. The idea of taking time for myself at the end of the night has been so foreign to me for so long. I can remember all the nights that I worked until 11:30 or later, finally giving in to sleep when I couldn’t take it anymore. Or staying up late out of the obligation to entertain and be social.
I am so happy to say that I am now more than good with keeping work during the earlier daylight hours where it belongs, and socializing on less than the majority of the days of the week. I accept that I will likely never do yoga every single night before sleeping. For now, I’m focusing on developing this habit very slowly.
I almost talked myself out of it last night. I spent about three minutes mentally debating whether I should just get into bed and get the extra 10 minutes of sleep. Then I realized how ridiculous I was being, and how that 10 minutes spent in yoga preparing for sleep would go so much farther than 10 more minutes of lying in bed ever would.
I woke up this morning remembering that I had really good dreams. Who doesn’t like that feeling? I can’t for sure say that the good dreams were caused by the bedtime yoga, but I am willing to bet it had something to do with it.