Some mornings ‘limber’ is not exactly the word we would use to describe our bodies; ‘stiff’ and ‘achey’ is more like it. Here are a few yoga poses to practice when you wake up to help elongate your body, get some of those kinks out, and start your day off with an intention of well-being. You don’t need a lot of time or any props. You don’t even need to roll out a yoga mat or get down on the floor!
Before you climb out of bed, reach your arms overhead and stretch, stretch, stretch from your fingers to your feet.
Once you’re up, place your hands against a wall (or you can even use the side of your bed) and walk your feet back until you’re in a right angle. This is a supported version of downward facing dog pose and is great for opening the whole back of the body, from the shoulders to the calves. Press the wall away from you, reach your hips back, breathe. Stay for 5 breaths or as long as it feels ok for your body.
From a standing position, bend to each side. I like my feet wide in this pose first thing in the morning, as it helps me feel more stable, grounded, and spacious. Reach your fingers away from your hip and think of creating space between your ribs.
Stand upright, feet hips distance apart and interlace your hands behind your lower back. Draw your knuckles down and away. Stay for a few breaths.
Eagle wrap your arms (twist them in front of you with elbows bent) and lift the elbows up and away from you. Breathe slowly and smoothly. Notice if the tops of your shoulders want to creep up by your ears and encourage them to relax down. Be sure to do both sides (right under left and left under right). If this is too intense for your shoulders or chest, try pressing forearm into forearm instead of twisting them up.
Kelly Brennan, RYT is a NYC- based yoga and meditation teacher. She teaches yoga to all ages from babies to grown-ups and everyone in between. Many adult students comment on her gentle, compassionate energy as she encourages mindfulness both on and off the yoga mat. In her kid’s classes, children love Kelly’s incorporation of silly games, songs, and adventures. For more information about Kelly, visit www.inwardfacing.com.