Do you ever wake up in the morning sore and maybe a little stiff? That can make it hard to get up and out of bed and will certainly impact your mood for the day. Practicing yoga in the morning (shortly after waking up) can help motivate you to get going and loosen those sore and stiff muscles.
Starting your day off with yoga, is a gentle way to wake up your body and mind, giving you more energy for the day ahead and putting you in a good mood. When you're aching and sore, your body can't work towards it full potential and your mind won't be focused. Here is a simple sequence to do first thing in the morning (possibly while still even in bed) to get you energized and mentally ready to take on the day.
Total Body Stretching
To begin to regain life and vitality, stretch your arms over your head if possible (up towards the ceiling if not) and at the same tie stretch your legs outward. Create a continuous line of stretching from your toes to the tips of your hands and release back to a relaxes position. Do this stretch a couple times!
Knees to Chest
Still lying down, bring both legs to your chest, hug them and rock your body gently left and right. This should feel like a gentle back massage. Just don't roll out of bed!
Position of the 4
Still on your back, bring your feet to the ground (or mattress) with your legs bent and knees in the air. Bring your right ankle to your left thigh, just above the knee). Pass your right arm through your legs (in the gap you just created) and take your left arm outside your left leg to interlace your fingers behind your thigh or shine. Stay in this position for a few breaths then switch sides.
Bring your knees back to your chest, open your arms wide (resting on the surface), drop your knees and legs to the left while turning your head to the right. This can feel a little intense so be sure to listen to your body and never push too hard. After a 3-5 breaths, switch sides.
Happy Baby Pose
Bring your knees to your chest, again, but this time straightening your legs a little moving your feet towards the ceiling. Take your arms between your knees and grab the inside edge of your feet. Alternate between slowly extending your feet closer toward the ceiling and widening pull down to push your knees closer towards your armpits.
Time to roll over. For this one, you need to start on your stomach. Bring your knees under your body and extend your arms outward. You might also know this as child's pose.
Bring yourself to a tabletop position on your hands and knees. With an inhale, raise your head and drop your belly. When you exhale, drop your head and arch your belly. Follow this movement for a few breaths and take your time! Also, known as cat/cow, which we covered a couple months back in this newsletter.
Returning to a table top from the prior position, slide your hands forward, slowly lowering your chest towards the ground and your thighs. Your hips should remain inline with your knees and your legs bent at a 90° angle. If you feel like your stretching like a dog, you're probably doing it right, as this is also known as puppy pose.
This whole sequence can be completed in under 10 minutes, preparing your body and mind to take on the day. Try it for a couple days. No long term commitment but you will notice a difference immediately!
Until next week!