Stretching in the morning is a great practice to help wake you up, and make you feel better for the rest of the day.
Performing these 6 stretches before getting out of bed in the morning will help increase the blood flow to your muscles, which means better energy levels for you. They will ease muscle tension, loosen up stiff joints, and quiet your mind before your day begins.
Stretching also increases blood flow to your brain, which sharpens your concentration in the morning. So if you’re feeling a little groggy and slow in the mornings, these stretches can help mitigate that.
If you experience a lot of aches and pains in the morning, then you should perform these stretches. They were developed by Randi Ragan, a yoga teacher and author of A Year of Living Mindfully: Seasonal Practices to Nourish Body, Mind and Spirit.
If you don’t have time for a full yoga session, do these few stretches before you get up!
1. Full-Body Stretch
Right as you wake up, inhale and reach your arms overhead. Clasp your fingers together and flip the palms outward toward the wall behind your head. Lengthen your legs and point your toes. Keep elbows and knees straight and hold for 5 seconds long. Exhale. Repeat 3 times to release tightness in the body.
2. Figure-Four Stretch
To do this stretch, make the number 4 by crossing your right foot over your left knee. Bend your left knee up toward the ceiling slowly, either keeping the left foot on your mattress or hugging it in toward your chest. Hold for 5 deep breaths and repeat on the other side. This will help loosen hip joints, hight and glutes.
3. Bed-to-Floor Stretch
Swing your legs over the side of your bed so that your feet are flat on the floor. Bend your knees and bend at the hip to bring your chest towards your thighs. Let your head and arms dangle to the floor and hold for 5 deep breaths to help stretch the back and allow fresh oxygen to reach the brain and wake you up.
4. Knees-to-Chest Stretch
Lay flat on your back on your bed after stretch number 3. Bend your knees so that your feet touch the bed. Wrap your arms around your legs and bring them towards your chest. Hold for 10 long breaths while keeping your head and shoulders flat on the bed. This will help stretch your lower back.
5. Supine Twist
Keeping your knees together from the previous position, twist your pelvis and bring your right knee to the bed. Hold your left knee with your right hand and turn your neck to the left. Hold for 10 deep breaths and switch sides to ease spinal tension.
6. Seated Forward Bend
Lengthen your legs and bring your torso up. Lengthen your spine as you inhale, and exhale while slowly bringing your torso towards your legs as you reach for your heels. If you can’t reach your heels, just place your hands on your shins. Let your neck hang down and hold for 10 deep breaths to stretch your hamstrings, pelvis and spine.