The way that you wake up makes all the difference. Practicing some gentle yoga postures in bed can benefit you before you even place your feet on the floor. These movements activate blood flow, detoxify the body, and set the tone for healthy, mindful habits throughout the day.
Begin by allowing some extra time for yourself before you have to face the agendas of the day. Then, once the alarm wakes you, move onto your back and immerse your waking organs with nourishing oxygen.
As you move into yoga postures, know that the full position may not be reached as well as when on the solid support of the floor. But this practice is still heavenly for waking. Don’t push. Just move gently and spend a few moments breathing in each pose, letting the body unfold and twist with softness.
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Move to your back and stretch your arms overhead as you stretch your legs away. Then reach your right arm and left leg away from each other and then left arm and right leg. Notice how great this feels.
This pose calms as it stretches out the muscles in the hips, legs and back.
Lie down flat and roll your shoulders back. Slowly bend your knees, bring your heels together and towards the buttocks. Inhale, drawing your knees open and down. Rest your arms next to your body, palms up. Use a pillow for support under your knees, if needed.
This is a great time to set an intention for the day. Take at least three slow deep breaths. Imagine inhaling freshness, beauty and light. Exhale stagnant energy and toxins. Taking this mindful moment to breathe and connect with the body is key for establishing peace in mind, body, and spirit.
Turn onto your right side. Bend your left knee behind you and hold your
left ankle with your left hand. Flex your foot and press your left hip forward as you push your left foot back into your hand. Hold and breathe as long as desired. Switch sides.
Lie flat, extend your right leg straight up to the ceiling. Place your hands behind the knee or higher. Keep the leg straight and slowly draw it closer to your head on each exhale. Stay gentle with these stretches. Flex and point the foot. Repeat on the other side.
While on your back, exhale as you bring your right knee in to the chest with the left leg straight. Hug your right knee and guide it to the left, lifting the right hip up as you twist. Hold the right knee down or extend your arms out in T position, and turn your head to the left. You may want to straighten the extended leg (optional). Spinal twists feel amazing. Hold the twist for several deep breaths and enjoy how it feels. Repeat on the other side. Then hug both knees into your chest.
This energizing backbend is perfect for waking the body. While lying flat, bring your hands palms down, under your hips. Come up onto your elbows. Slide your body back, keeping your forearms in place, lift your chest and heart above your shoulders and stretch your head back.
Lying on your back, bend your knees and draw your feet in, close to the buttocks. Inhale, press down with your feet and your arms to raise your hips upward. Squeeze your shoulder blades together gently, and clasp hands underneath the body or simply leave them palms down at your sides and breathe in this posture for 10-15 slow breaths, then slowly release your back onto the floor.
This is a soothing restorative pose. From all fours, separate your knees as wide as is comfortable, and bring the big toes together. Sit hack on the heels, lifting the spine upward. Then, drape forward and down between your thighs. Extend the arms forward to further lengthen the spine. Linger here and release.
Sitting in easy pose, gently bring one elbow down. Lean over and stretch your other arm straight out over your ear. Either hold this pose, with deep breathing and repeat on the other side… or you may want to flow right and left, exhaling to center and inhaling with each side stretch.
Place your feet on the floor and sit at the edge of the bed. Clasp hands behind the back and bring them low, pressing the chest forward, shoulder blades together, slightly arching the back. Raise the clasped hands away from the body. With knees slightly bent, exhale and hinge forward from the hips bringing the head below the heart. Breathe and hold pose for several breaths. Symbolically bow to the spirit within and to the new day. Release and come to standing, ready to start the day.
Yoga mudra is considered to be a ‘sealing’ posture. While you move into the pose, imagine your sealing in the energy from this morning practice as well as your inner light and goodness.