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Yoga For Sleep: 6 Bedtime Yoga Poses Promote Weight Loss 2023


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Medically reviewed by Melissa Mitri, MS, RD


If you’ve ever given yoga a try, you can probably attest to the positive impact that it’s had on you overall[1] – pain relief, improved balance and agility, a more mindful disposition, and a better quality of life. Yoga has also been shown to be extremely helpful when a person is trying to lose weight.

What’s the big secret of yoga? There really isn’t one; yoga before sleep for weight loss is a winning equation that improves both your appearance and your habits. With this nighttime practice, a  slimmer figure naturally follows.

6 Poses Help With Weight Loss

  1. Upward-To Downward-Facing Dog
  2. Boat Pose
  3. Side Plank
  4. Low Lunge
  5. Chair Pose
  6. A Guided Yoga Meditation Practice

Benefits of a Yoga Bedtime Routine

There are so many reasons to do yoga before bed. What else can nightly yoga help you do aside from falling asleep faster?

It Helps With Weight Loss

Yoga is one of the best holistic solutions for weight loss. Alongside restful sleep and a healthy diet, even very gentle yoga poses can be used to promote a faster metabolism and a healthier weight.

You’ll Enjoy Better Quality Sleep

Yoga practice and mind-body therapy in general[2] have been shown to improve sleep and relaxation. Yoga, tai chi, and meditation can all be used to earn a better night’s sleep, night after night.

It Can Help You Reduce Stress

When it comes to improving your quality of life with yoga, better sleep is far from the extent of it. If you or your child struggles with nightly anxiety, yoga is one solution[3] that you can both take part in.

Young or old, bedtime yoga promotes emotional well-being and better mental health during our waking hours. Our blood pressure is lower[4], our energy levels improve[5], and we’re able to relax more easily at the end of the day. Yoga might even be able to help you relieve yourself of a headache[6].

The Best Asanas for Weight Loss

Not all yoga moves are alike. Here are some of our top picks for beginners who would like to practice yoga before sleep for weight loss. 

Upward-to Downward-Facing Dog (Urdhva Mukha Svanasana to Adho Mukha Svanasana)

Upward- To Downward-Facing Dog

This progression is a staple in your standard sun salutation vinyasa. It’s meant to activate the entire body from head to toe. 

Mastering this simple move is a great way to get started, especially if you’ve never tried yoga before[7]. You’ll even get a brief plank in for your time.

  1. With your wrists underneath your shoulders and your feet behind you, get down on your hands and knees.
  2. Using your toes to root into the ground, push your torso back with your palms flat on the ground. Straighten your legs so that your body forms an upside-down V shape.
  3. While doing this, try to rotate your arms outward, opening up your chest in anticipation of the next part of this move.
  4. Lengthen the spine as much as you can. Try to shift your weight back, rooting instead through your legs. Try to rotate your legs inward so that the hips widen. 
  5. Drop your heels down to the floor, stretching your legs. If you’re holding here, you can bicycle your legs, bending them one at a time, to involve yourself more deeply in this part of the stretch. 
  6. Shift yourself forward so that you’re in a plank position. 
  7. Bend your arms, like you’re sinking into a push-up. Your hands should be flat on the ground, on either side of your chest.
  8. Now, do the worm – lift your chest off of the ground with your hands while drawing your shoulder blades together.
  9. Breathe deeply and push yourself up so that your palms and your feet are the only things touching the floor. Again, try to lengthen the spine as much as possible.
  10. You can push yourself back into a downward-facing dog or even a cobra pose from here or continue with a different yoga flow.

Boat Pose (Naukasana)

Boat Pose

Boat pose is sort of like a Russian twist – but without the twist. It’ll have you balancing on your glutes, improving your core strength and stability all the while. If you want abs, this is one move to remember.

  1. Lie on your back with your legs straight.
  2. Without bending at the knee or pulling them away from one another, lift both your torso and your legs so that your body forms a V shape. Keep your arms out straight in front of you.
  3. Hold this pose for as long as you can. 
  4. Relax, and repeat if desired.

Side Plank (Vasisthasana)

Side Plank

This is one move that might be familiar to you. If your balance isn’t quite up to scratch, you can assist yourself into the position with yoga gear. Place blocks on either side of you, just in case you need to grab ahold of something.

  1. Start in an ordinary plank position.
  2. Rotate your body, pushing yourself up on one arm and balancing the lower half of your body with the side of one of your feet. Your free arm should be outstretched high above you.
  3. Hold for as long as possible.
  4. Release, and repeat on the other side. 
  5. Continue to alternate, or transition into another vinyasa.

Low Lunge (Anjaneyasana)

Low Lunge

If you struggle with muscle tension, performing low lunges every night before bedtime might be able to help you[8] relieve stress, relax, promote weight loss, and improve your sleep quality.

  1. Start in a downward-facing dog pose or a plank pose.
  2. Exhale and step one foot up so that it’s pressing into the ground between your hands. Your bent knee should be in alignment with your heel.
  3. Push into the stretch, sweeping your arms above you so that they end up straight above your head.
  4. Lengthen the spine, continuing to breathe.
  5. With one final extension of the arms and upper body, sweep your hands back down to the ground, on either side of the foot that you put in front of you.
  6. Draw your front leg back, tucking both sets of toes underneath.
  7. Push back into a downward-facing dog pose.
  8. Repeat on the other side. 

Chair Pose (Utkatasana)

Chair Pose

This move packs all of the benefits of a classic squat. It’s also great for those who spend a lot of time sitting – all of those muscles in the trunk and quadriceps will get a well-deserved stretch as you work your core out and improve your abdominal strength.

  1. Stand up straight.
  2. Draw your arms up and in front of you, above your head, and outstretched.
  3. Bend your knees to somewhere around ninety degrees like you’re pretending to sit down on a chair. Pull your pelvis down to the floor.
  4. Try to lengthen the spine and keep your upper body in alignment as you squat back. 
  5. Release and return to your original standing position with your hands in anjali mudra, or prayer pose.

A Guided Yoga Meditation Practice

A Guided Yoga Meditation Practice

If better sleep quality, stress, and weight loss are your most important fitness goals, spending some time on spiritual practice before bedtime every day will certainly help put you in the right state of mind for success.

Committing yourself to a guided meditation routine or even something more personal will help you develop a sense of gratitude and mindfulness that will carry over to your dinner plate. Mindfulness-based interventions, or MBIs for short, can help you improve your patterns of eating[9], solving the problem at its source.

Bedtime Just Got a Whole Lot More Interesting

When it comes to yoga for weight loss, there is no right way to start. It might be intimidating at first, but all of the moves that we’ve listed here are perfect for beginners. e recommend that you take the plunge so you can see for yourself.

Once you’ve got your waistline in order, you might be interested in pursuing the hobby further. Who knows? You might end up being a bedtime yogi for life.

+ 9 sources

Health Canal avoids using tertiary references. We have strict sourcing guidelines and rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic researches from medical associations and institutions. To ensure the accuracy of articles in Health Canal, you can read more about the editorial process here

  1. NCCIH. (2020). Yoga: What You Need To Know. [online] Available at: https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/yoga-what-you-need-to-know [Accessed 21 Nov. 2021].
  2. ‌Wang, X., Li, P., Pan, C., Dai, L., Wu, Y. and Deng, Y. (2019). The Effect of Mind-Body Therapies on Insomnia: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, [online] 2019, pp.1–17. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6393899/ [Accessed 21 Nov. 2021].
  3. ‌Mind-Body Therapies in Children and Youth. (2016). PEDIATRICS, [online] 138(3), pp.e20161896–e20161896. Available at: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27550982/ [Accessed 21 Nov. 2021].
  4. ‌Hagins, M., States, R., Selfe, T. and Innes, K. (2013). Effectiveness of Yoga for Hypertension: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, [online] 2013, pp.1–13. Available at: https://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2013/649836/ [Accessed 21 Nov. 2021].
  5. ‌Lindahl, E., Tilton, K., Eickholt, N. and Ferguson-Stegall, L. (2016). Yoga reduces perceived stress and exhaustion levels in healthy elderly individuals. Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice, [online] 24, pp.50–56. Available at: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S174438811630038X [Accessed 21 Nov. 2021].
  6. ‌Anheyer, D., Klose, P., Lauche, R., Saha, F.J. and Cramer, H. (2019). Yoga for Treating Headaches: a Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Journal of General Internal Medicine, [online] 35(3), pp.846–854. Available at: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31667736/ [Accessed 21 Nov. 2021].
  7. ‌Braun, T.D., Park, C.L., Gorin, A.A., Garivaltis, H., Noggle, J.J. and Conboy, L.A. (2016). Group-Based Yogic Weight Loss with Ayurveda-Inspired Components: A Pilot Investigation of Female Yoga Practitioners and Novices. International Journal of Yoga Therapy, [online] 26(1), pp.55–72. Available at: https://meridian.allenpress.com/ijyt/article-abstract/26/1/55/137889/Group-Based-Yogic-Weight-Loss-with-Ayurveda [Accessed 21 Nov. 2021].
  8. ‌Polsgrove, Mj., Eggleston, B. and Lockyer, R. (2016). Impact of 10-weeks of yoga practice on flexibility and balance of college athletes. International Journal of Yoga, [online] 9(1), p.27. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4728955/ [Accessed 21 Nov. 2021].
  9. Carrière, K., Khoury, B., Günak, M.M. and Knäuper, B. (2017). Mindfulness-based interventions for weight loss: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Obesity Reviews, [online] 19(2), pp.164–177. Available at: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/obr.12623 [Accessed 21 Nov. 2021].

Medically reviewed by:

Melissa Mitri

Emma Garofalo is a writer based in Pittsburgh, PA. A lover of science, art, and all things culinary, few things excite her more than the opportunity to learn about something new." It is now in the sheet in the onboarding paperwork, apologies!!

Medically reviewed by:

Melissa Mitri

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