Every day when I wake up, I like to take a few minutes to do a few quick stretches in bed. After laying down all night my body craves some twists and bends. Here are a few of my favorite poses to practice in the morning.
How To: Start in a kneeling position. Bring your fists to your low back and roll your shoulders back and down. Slowly start to arch your back as you reach your hips forward. Bring your hands to your heels as you arch further (if it feels good for you). Option to modify with blocks.
Benefits: This is an energizing pose which opens the chest and awakens the spine.
How To: Start on your hands and knees. Inhale, arch your back and send your gaze up as you come into cow pose. Exhale, round your spine and tuck your pelvis as you come into cat pose. Repeat x5.
Benefits: Cat/Cow stretches the spine and opens the chest and shoulders.
Seated Side Stretch
How To: Start in a comfortable seated position. Inhale, reach up to the sky bringing your palms to touch. Exhale, reach over to the right as you stretch the left side of the body. Keep your chest open and root down through your left sit-bone. Hold for 5 breaths, stretching deeper with every exhale. Repeat on the left side.
Benefits: Stretches the side body and massages internal organs.
How To: Start in a comfortable seated position. Inhale, reach up to the sky. Exhale, twist to the right as you bring your left hand to your right knee and your right behind you. Inhale, sit up even taller. Exhale twist deeper. Continue for 3-5 breaths. Repeat on the left side.
Benefits: Stretches the spine and improves digestion.
How To: Start in a comfortable seated position. Extend your legs out in front of you as you sit up tall. Inhale, reach up as you find length through the spine. Exhale, fold forward reaching for your shins or ankles. Every inhale, try to find more length, every exhale fold a little deeper.
Benefits: This pose stretches the backside of the body including the hamstrings and calves.
Cobra (Foot to Head Variation)
How To: Start laying on your stomach with your hands by your sides. Inhale, lift your chest as you pull your shoulders back (option to hover the hands). If you are feeling bendy then try a deeper variation such as bending your knees and reaching your feet to your head.
Benefits: Stretches the spine and the front side of the body.
How To: Start laying on your stomach and prop yourself up onto your forearms. Bend your knees and reach your hands back to grab a hold of your feet or ankles. Inhale, lift your chest as you kick your feet into your hands. Hold for 3-5 breaths.
Benefits: Stretches the shoulders, spine, and front side of the body while massaging the internal organs.
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