5 Stretches to Start Your Day
Whether you’re a morning person or not, we’ve all hit snooze on the alarm a time or two (or five...) Something I’ve been making a habit of lately is starting each day with a few simple stretches. Not only does this help persuade me to get up, but it gets my body moving and automatically leaves me in a better mood for the day. Next time you find yourself wanting to stay in your warm cozy sheets, try out the poses below (you can even do them in bed if you want):
Starting on your hands and knees, bring your toes together to touch and take your knees out wide. Sit your hips back over your heels and stretch your arms forward. Relax your forehead down to the ground (or to a block), close your eyes, and begin to take full deep breathes in and out. As you inhale, feel your back body expand and as you exhale, sink down a bit deeper into your hips.
Cow / Cat
Combine these two postures with your inhales (Cow) and exhales (Cat) to make a gentle flow that will warm up your hips, shoulders, and spine.
For Cow pose: drop your belly towards the ground, reach your chest forward, and lift your tailbone up high.
For Cat pose: press down into your palms and the tops of your toes, round your upper back, reach your tailbone down, and lift your navel up away from the ground to engage your core.
Continue to move forward and back with your breath; you can also invite movement into your side body by taking your hips in circles/to the left/to the right.
Option to stay in bed and take this as a seated forward fold. Option to stand with feet hip distance apart (maybe even wider) and fold forward from your hips. Keep a generous bend in your knees to slowly start waking up your hamstrings and backside of your legs. You can grab opposite elbows, let the arms hang down towards the ground, or reach for the backside of your calves for a more active stretch. Spend a few breaths here, allowing your head, neck and spine to melt down towards the ground.
Seated with Hands at Heart
Find a comfortable seated position, press your hands together in front of your heart, close your eyes and tuck your chin in towards your chest. Focus on taking a few deep breathes in and out here, allowing yourself to turn inward.
Maybe invite a word, a quality, a mantra in to your day here. Repeating it a few times over with your breath. If nothing comes to mind immediately, I encourage you to invite gratitude into your day. Practicing gratitude for something/anything/everything in my life always helps set me off on a positive note.
Spend as many breaths as you like in this seated position, feel the corners of your mouth curl up towards your eyes, and have a beautiful rest of the day. Sending love, light and peace to you all!