Do these stretches when you wake up in the morning while still in bed (before the hectic begins):
Knees to Chest Circles: While lying on your back, draw your knees in toward your chest and rock gently side to side. Massage your sacrum with small circles in each direction. Continue for 4-6 times.
Knee Hugs: Place your left foot back down to the bed, while keeping the right leg in toward your chest. On your next inhale, release the right leg and as you exhale hug the left leg in. Continue alternating sides 4 more times. Then, as you inhale and release one leg, stretch the arms overhead, exhale to hug the opposite leg towards you with your hands. Continue stretching the arms overhead and hugging alternating knees for 4-6 more times.
Flowing Bridge: Lying on your back with your feet hip-width apart and right underneath your knees, bring your arms down to your sides. As you inhale, gently press your arms to the bed and lift your hips up toward the ceiling. Exhale to release back to the bed. Continue moving with your breath for 6 times. Be sure to keep your gaze on the ceiling and shoulders down. Rest in Knees to Chest.
Cat & Cow: Gently roll to one side and come up on hands and knees on your bed. Be sure that your joints are stacked: hips over knees and shoulders over wrists. As you inhale, allow the belly to draw toward the bed and lift your chest and eyes forward. As you exhale, reverse the motion, draw your belly up, round the back (lifting the middle back to the ceiling) and tuck your chin towards the chest. Continue moving each way for 6-8 times. When you finish, rest your hips back toward your heels in Child’s Pose.
Shoulder Stretch: In Child’s Pose, stretch your arms forward and gently walk your hands to the right side until you feel a nice shoulder stretch. Breathe through the stretch for 4 breaths, walk the hands back to center and reverse the stretch to the left side. When you’re finished, take a couple of breaths in Child’s Pose.
1 Knee Twists: Return to lying on your back and draw your right knee toward your chest and using your left arm, gently draw the right knee to your left side for a gentle twist. The left leg can remain bent if your back is sensitive or it can lengthen out straight. Draw the shoulders down and sink into the bed. Hold for 4 breaths and switch sides.
Breathing: While lying on your back, take a full breath that builds from your belly, ribcage and chest and exhale to release fully. After a few deep breaths, try this counting breath:
Breathe in 4 counts, hold the inhale for 2 counts and breath out 4 counts. Repeat 4 times, roll to one side and press up and into your day.
Looking for a little more guidance with your home yoga practice? Our YogaXoga Demystified Yoga DVD Volume 2 offers three 20-minute yoga classes perfect to start your day.