Wake Up With Gentle Morning Yoga (Before Leaving Your Bed!)
Ready to start your day off right with some gentle morning yoga? One of the best things you can do for yourself is to begin your day with a little movement (instead of hitting the snooze button for the 3rd time).
It’s easiest to make good choices in the morning. Our willpower is at it’s strongest and our serotonin is at it’s natural high. And if you begin your day with good choices, you are much more likely to make good choices the rest of the day. You’ll want to keep the healthy momentum going.
The thing is, sometimes it seems like the most tedious task in the world to to drag yourself out of bed, pull your leggings on, and complete a full sweaty workout at the crack of dawn.
No problem! These nine yoga poses can be done right from bed.
And then, after stretching and getting your heart pumping a bit, maybe you’ll be motivated to take a jog or trek to the gym. Or maybe not, and that’s okay, too. Maybe you don’t have time, or maybe you’re truly exhausted. Your body is intuitive; listen to it carefully.
1. Knees-to-Chest Pose
Start by lying on your back.
Draw both knees up to your chest (wrapping yourself up into a ball). Clasp your arms around your knees, and give yourself a big hug. Squeeze everything in really tight.
Stay for 10 deep breaths.
2. Happy Baby
From knees-to-chest pose, take a hold of the outside of each foot. Open your knees wide and then pull them into your armpits.
Your ankles should be right above your knees. Flex your feet. Create resistance by pushing the soles of your feet into your hands as you press your hands down.
Melt your shoulders towards the bed. Rock gently side to side.
Stay for 10 breaths.
3. Supine Twist
From happy baby, extend out your left foot out straight on the bed. Keep the right leg drawn in close to you. Use your left hand to cross your right knee over to the left side of your body.
Extend your right hand out and let your gaze follow your right fingertips.
Allow gravity to do it’s thing and let your knee lower even further down to the bed.
Stay for 10 breaths and then repeat on the other side.
4. Cat/Cow Stretch
Gently flip over on your stomach. Come up to your hands and knees in table-top position, with your wrists directly under your shoulders and your knees directly under your hips.
Inhale, open your chest, and let your belly drop down towards the bed into “cow pose”. Lift your chin and gaze up to the ceiling.
Exhale and arch your back like a cat. Bring your belly to your spine. Drop your head.
Coordinate your breath with the continuous movement. Repeat 3-4 times.
Cat and Cow are excellent poses for warming up your spine first thing in the morning.
5. Child’s Pose
Sink your hips back to your heels, with your knees wide and your toes touching.
Bring your belly to rest between your thighs on the bed. Stretch your arms forward in front of you with the palms facing down.
Stay for 10 deep breaths.
My boyfriend (moonlighting as my personal photographer) thought it would be funny to put Harold (the bear he won me at Cedar Point last year) in child’s pose, too. Enjoy.
6. Eagle Arms
Gently sit up on your heels (or come to whatever seated position is most comfortable for you.)
Wrap your right arm under your left into Eagle Arm pose (Garudasana). Your palms face together with your fingers pointing up.
Soften your shoulders. Keep your spine long and straight.
Stay for 5 breaths. Unwrap your arms and then repeat on the other side.
7. Side Stretch
From Eagle, release your arms. Rest your left palm on the bed, and stretch the right arm out and over your head into a deep side stretch. Feel the stretch all along the entire right side of your body, from your fingertips to your hips.
Stay for 5 breaths.
Lower the right arm down to your side, and repeat on the left side.
8. Shoulder Rolls
Inhale as you raise your shoulders up to your ears. Exhale as you slowly roll your shoulders around and back, away from your ears.
Repeat several times. Focus on coordinating your breath with the shoulder rolls. Try switching directions.
These shoulder rolls are great for relieving tension in your shoulders and upper back.
9. Final Seated Pose
Finally, end in a seated pose with hands in Anjali Mudra (pressed together at the heart).
Close your eyes. Feel your breath move through your body. Stay here for a moment.
Consider letting your mind drift to gratitude. Who or what are you grateful for today? Send that something or that someone a little love.
Gently open your eyes. Hey, look! It’s a new day, full of potential and possibility! Time to jump out of bed and make some wonderful things happen.
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