Easing into the day doesn’t always fit in the schedule. You have a commute to make and a hectic life to organize. You might remember to get a good breakfast and fuel up on some coffee or tea. But by taking the time to do some easy and relaxing morning yoga stretches, you can jump-start your day in an energizing way you never imagined.
You can do a few of these moves from the comfort of your own bed, and the others while still in your pajamas. By starting your day with some invigorating stretches, deep breaths and mindful moves, you can warm up your body and mind for the day ahead. Check out the list below for some easy and relaxing morning yoga stretches.
1. Cat/Cow Pose
Mind Body Green suggests starting out your morning in this relaxing, back-stretching pose. Start with knees and palms on the ground and your back in a tabletop position. Inhale, look forward and push your tailbone up toward the ceiling. Exhale, tuck your chin into your chest and then push your tailbone back toward the floor. Repeat five times.
2. Downward Dog
This classic move is highlighted by Everyday Health for its ability to open up the back and energize the body. Begin on your hands below your shoulders and knees beneath your hips. Then press backward, lifting your knees off the ground, pushing your tailbone up and keeping your arms straight. Push your heels back toward the floors to stretch your hamstrings. Hold for 30 seconds.
3. Triangle Pose
Prevention says this pose will slowly awaken your body. Stand straight up with your arms at your side and your legs spread wider than shoulder width. Your left foot should be flat and facing forward and your right leg turned outward. Lean over and place your right hand on your right shin and tilt to the right — opening your torso and placing your left arm on your ribs. If you feel comfortable, lift your left arm up over your body so it lines up with your right shoulder. Hold, switch sides and repeat.
4. Seated Twists
You can easily do this move from the comfort of your own bed, which might be more comfortable anyway, since you sit on your bum for this pose. Prevention says you start cross-legged, pushing your bum into the ground (or bed) and lengthening your spine. Placing your left hand on your right knee, take a big breath in, stretch your spine up, exhale and twist to the right. Take another deep breath, return to the starting position and switch sides.
5. Child’s Pose
Instead of curling back up into a ball when you’re tired, curl up into Child’s Pose to energize your body and stretch your muscles. Mind Body Greenexplains that you start out by kneeling, bringing your chest down to your thighs and your forehead to the floor. Stretch your arms out in front of you, take a slow but deep breath and feel the air move into your chest. As you exhale, sink your bum back into your heels and feel your spine stretch and curve.
6. One-Legged Hugs
This is another move you don’t have to get out of bed for, featured by Do You Yoga. Lie on your back and pull one knee toward your chest, hugging it with your arms. Inhale and flex your other leg by extending it out and pointing your toes. Hold for three long breaths, lower your hugged leg back down and switch sides.
7. Extended Side Angle
Improve your posture and get flexible by warming up with this pose by Everyday Health. Get into Warrior Two, but twist your core to one side with one arm up toward the ceiling while your head’s looking up. After your knees are bent, put your other arm down on the ground outside the knee and keep a nice line with your other arm up above your body. Hold for about a minute, and then switch to the other side.