yoga Evening Routine

In the same way that a solid morning routine sets us up for success all day, a good evening routine can set us up for a successful night’s sleep. After a long, highly stimulated day, getting into deep, relaxing, soul-quenching rest can actually be a struggle.

The mindful makers of the Yoga Wake Up app just launched bedtime meditations, yoga nidra, and sleep monitoring programs to help users craft the ultimate restorative (and totally sustainable) evening routine. The app also offers convenient, audio-guided yoga or meditation sequences for the morning and they literally begin in bed (genius). 

Tantric meditation teacher Hilary Jackendoff leads the app’s evening yoga nidra programs. Her Ayurveda-inspired, calming rituals might be just what you need for a blissful night’s sleep…

As someone who has struggled with insomnia off and on since childhood, I need a bedtime routine. Over the years, I’ve experimented with a variety of nighttime rituals, but lately, I’ve been feeling pretty good about my current combination. Everyone can benefit from a good nighttime ritual. It is a great opportunity for self-care and can really help you let go of the tensions and activities of the day.


After a hot shower, spend about five minutes or so doing some self-massage with warm sesame or avocado oil. This is the ancient ayurvedic practice of abhyanga and is a key component of holistic health. You can use a variety of oils, depending on what is recommended for your dosha (ayurvedic mind-body type). Not only is abhyanga great for circulation and stimulating the lymphatic system (which helps to detoxify the body), but it also really soothes the nervous system.

Restorative or Yin Yoga

Because you will definitely have to wait a few minutes for the oil to be fully absorbed (unless you want to get your sheets a little greasy), take about ten minutes to practice a couple of restorative or yin yoga poses. Nothing wild, just try a seated forward bend, a supported child’s pose or supta baddha konasana. If you’re looking for inspiration, you will find hundreds of ten-minute restorative audio-guided sequences on Yoga Wake Up.

Tea, Lists + Yoga Nidra

After relaxing your body, it’s important to take some time to relax your mind. Try making a cup of tea with sleep-inducing herbs like chamomile or ashwagandha. While you drink your tea, make a list of everything that’s on your mind and could conceivably keep you awake during the night. Write it down with a pen and paper – not on your phone!

Then get cozy in your bed and settle in for the night! If you often have difficulty sleeping, continue winding down with a body-scan meditation or a yoga nidra (yogic sleep meditation). You can wind down with three different offerings of yoga nidra on the app, including a brief 15-minute sequence or an extended 40-minute one for ultimate relaxation.

Sweet dreams.

TCM Special Offer:

Yoga Wake Up is giving Chalkboard readers 25% off a subscription! To subscribe, simply download the app here and enter “TCM” for special pricing. The download itself is free.

Want to win a free three-month subscription? Tell us your favorite morning ritual in the comments below. We will select a winner at random by Friday June 29th.

What’s your best hack for better sleep? Discover a few of our faves here.


Find Out Your Personal Sleep Type, and Learn More

Suffering From Insomnia? Learn More About the Connection Between Gut Health and Sleep!

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  1. Thanks for sharing to this article. good post

    Rahul | 06.01.2018 | Reply
  2. I always have sleepy time tea and then put my phone across the room to charge overnight so I can’t check it right before bed. That way, I tend to be less anxious or wired!

    Chelsea Blumenthal | 06.04.2018 | Reply
  3. I’m trying “amish hour”, so no electronics an hour before bed. I’ll be honest, this is hard! I’m also trying to cut back on wine during the week, as it seems to disrupt my sleep the older I get. This may be even harder!

    Kate G. | 06.04.2018 | Reply
  4. Drinking herbal tea and then washing my face and teeth are the signals that alert me that it’s time to sleep and rest.

    Día a | 06.04.2018 | Reply
  5. I also take a warm shower and lather myself in lotion or oils afterward. My husband gives me a gentle foot massage most nights which does wonders to calm and de-stress my mind. Lastly, I read every night before bed until I almost fall asleep with the book in my hand. For my nighttime reading I usually choose a lighthearted novel. I sleep like a baby!

    Kristen Barr | 06.04.2018 | Reply
  6. I have herbal tea before bed, shut off all devices, journal about the day & spritz some lavender pillow spray on my pillow before sleeping.

    Laura | 06.04.2018 | Reply
  7. Put on my aroma diffuser by bed with spa spirit oil, say gratefuls with husband and read for 15 minutes to relax with low lighting. Also try to avoid phone for at least 30 min before bed and def put in night mode to dim screen(-:

    Melanie | 06.04.2018 | Reply
  8. My humidifier is the perfect white noise for me to zone out and wind down. I love to read but I don’t read any exciting books before bed as they keep me up. I have a “sleep inducing” boring book at the ready. It never fails to get me sleepy!

    Hayzel | 06.04.2018 | Reply
  9. I make what my boyfriend calls my “witchy elixir” which includes garlic, raw ginger, turmeric, collagen powder, ACV and honey steeped in hot water. It *sounds* intense but I find it so calming to sip on about an hour before bed.

    caprice | 06.05.2018 | Reply
  10. Warm shower, night serum to face, eye cream,
    brush and floss
    coconut oil to feet, hands legs, kneel on garden mat to pray and thank God for life, praise Him, count a few blessings, lay down on super soft sheets, ceiling fan on, very dark room. peace out

    Shelli | 06.05.2018 | Reply
    • That’s about the best routine I have ever come across. Thank you for sharing.

      Judy Muellner | 07.20.2018 | Reply
  11. I have also suffered from insomnia. My favorite rituals to prevent bad sleep are 1) exercise gently every day (yoga, pilates, cycling or walking 10,000 steps). 2) Drinking something warm 30 minutes before going to sleep. 3) Reading a book or practicing pranayama. 4) Talking with my spouse in bed.

    Mirka | 06.06.2018 | Reply
  12. Magnesium oil massaged into the soles of my feet and lavender essential oil in the diffuser are relaxing and help me go to sleep quickly.

    Sharon | 06.10.2018 | Reply
  13. Hot shower, cool, crisp bed. Chug water & check my alarm is on.

    Diana | 06.10.2018 | Reply

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