Yoga, often touted as a way to have a healthy lifestyle, takes on an entirely new meaning when you start doing it on a daily basis. It’s not about the stretches, poses, and positions, but instead about the benefits of a good morning stretch. Not only does a good morning stretch make you feel better, but it’s also a great way to get a refreshing start to your day.
You don’t need to be a yoga expert to enjoy the benefits of a good yoga practice. Yoga is an exercise that helps you relax, improves muscle tone, boosts energy, helps with sleep, and more. It’s a great way to start the day and get focused. If you’re looking to get more in touch with your body and stretch your muscles, here are some extra reasons to incorporate yoga into your morning routine.
Stretching in the morning is a great start to the rest of the day!
Get your body moving, wake up your joints and muscles, and your mind will surely follow. This all sounds nice and all, but in reality, my morning starts with bedtime. The soft comfort and lush scent of the pillows keep me in bed most of the time, maybe longer than I should.
So how do you overcome the reluctance to get out of bed in the morning? It’s very simple: Don’t hit the snooze button and stay in bed! Pull back the covers (or not!) and enjoy these seven morning yoga poses without getting out of bed. Do you share a bed with your partner? You guys can enjoy these moves together!
1. Knee riser
Pull your knees to your chest and squeeze gently. Gently rock from side to side or in small circles while gently kneading your hips and lower back.
Bring your knees above your hips, your shins parallel to the bed, reach forward and slowly lower your knees to one side while looking over your other shoulder. Rest your shoulders on the bed and breathe, so your hips and lower back are even more awake during this exercise.
As you exhale, bring your feet to the center and lower yourself to the other side, keeping your gaze on the other shoulder.
3. Belt on one leg (resting position)
Stretching is especially good for runners! Lie on your back, bring one knee to your chest and squeeze them tightly. Bend the foot of the extended leg as you inhale, and point with the toes of the extended leg as you exhale. This will wake up your glutes, but also your ankles and other leg muscles!
Hold this position for three deep breaths and switch legs.
4. Seat twist
Start in a seated position by pressing the left side of your ribs against your left thigh, slowly roll your chest forward on your crossed legs, then transfer the right side of your ribs to your right thigh and make a circular motion with your torso.
As you go around the back to complete the circle, hold onto your knees or shins for support and release your upper back. Make a few circles with your breath and then change direction.
6. Cat’s cow
Get down on all fours. On a soft bed, this position can be more comfortable if you fold your wrists over your knuckles instead of using your open palm. This protects your wrist and prevents damage to your joints when lying on the bed.
Stand with your back on a table and inhale deeply; as you exhale, arch your back and rest your chin on your chest, pushing your shoulders down and tightening your tailbone.
As you inhale, press your belly button against the bed, look up, lower your shoulders slightly away from your ears, press your shoulders down and open your chest. Take at least three full breaths.
7. Back crawl
Return to table position on hands and knees after the Cat’s Cow.
As you inhale, extend your left leg back, foot bent, heel pulled back. Here you extend the spine, so keep the foot in line with the body and keep the neck straight, the eyes parallel to the bed, the shoulders away from the ears.
As you exhale, pull your chin up and lift your leg, as if you were trying to touch your forehead with your knee. Do this a few times, repeat with the other leg.
Tips for relaxing and staying awake
Concentrate on listening to your body. Use this time to get to know yourself better. Take a break when you feel tension in any area and let it subside. Take a breath to keep your mind aware and prevent it from moving to your to-do list for the day.
Think of morning stretches as a warm-up for the day. These exercises are meant to relax your body slightly as you move, and when you’re done, you’ll feel more alert and ready to move on with your day.
Stretching in the morning relieves stiffness, sore muscles and helps reduce chronic body aches and pains. Take time for yourself in the morning with these yoga poses and exercises, then you can enjoy the rest of the day!
Frequently Asked Questions
What stretches should I do every morning?
The best way to stretch is to do a series of movements that target the major muscle groups. This will help you wake up and feel more energized throughout the day. Here are some stretches that will help you wake up and feel more energized throughout the day:
- Hamstring stretch: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Bend your left knee and place your left foot on the ground. Keep your right leg straight, then bend forward at the waist until you feel a stretch in the back of your left thigh. Hold for 10 seconds, then switch legs. Repeat 3 times on each side.
- Quadriceps stretch: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Keep your right leg straight, then bend forward at the waist until you feel a stretch in the front of your left thigh.
- Hip flexor stretch: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and knees slightly bent. Place both hands on one hip and lean forward until you feel a stretch in the back of your left thigh. How often should I stretch? Stretching is a great way to wake up and feel more energized throughout the day, so it’s important to do it every morning.