by: Jennifer Carter Avgerinos
Kick off your day the right way with a morning yoga session. Not only can yoga help get your body and mind moving, it can also bring you into present moment awareness.
All it takes is waking up just 5 to 10 minutes earlier each morning, a small sacrifice for big benefits. You can use that extra quiet time to set your intentions and focus your mind as you nourish your body with simple and gentle stretches. These extra 10 minutes can help you set a positive tone for the day.
You don’t need any special clothing or equipment needed. The first two stretches can even be done while sitting up in bed.
5 Morning Stretches
While sitting up in bed or standing next to the bed, straighten your arms out in front of you with palms facing each other. Take a deep inhale and then open the arms out to a “T.” Hold the pose for a second and then exhale the arms back to the starting point. Repeat this process 3 to 5 times.
Sitting up in bed or standing next to the bed, extend your arms out in front of you once more. Clasp your hands. Take a deep inhale and then sweep your arms over head, next to your ears. As your arms extend upward, the palms should rotate upward. Exhale and lower your arms back to the starting point and then unclasp your hands. Reverse the clasp so that whichever index finger was on the top is now on the bottom. Repeat 3 to5 times.
Standing, with your feet hip-width apart, place your hands on your hips. Inhale, lifting your chest and tucking your chin, and then exhale folding at the waist and bending forward. Inhale back to the starting position and repeat 3 to 5 times.
Standing with your feet together, inhale the your right arm up next to your ear and then bend to the left, stretching the right side of the body. Exhale and reverse sides. Repeat 3 to 5 times on both sides of the body.
Knee to Chest
Standing, shift your weight into your left leg. As you inhale, bend your right leg, flexing your foot and clasping both hands around the leg just under the knee. Balance and squeeze your knee into the chest. On the exhale, release your leg and reverse sides. Repeat on both sides 3 to 5 times.