Good morning, fellow sleepyheads and snooze-button enthusiasts! If you are anything like us, getting out of bed in the morning is a struggle that can take several rounds of hitting snooze, and even the strongest cup of coffee is not enough to overcome the deep desire to crawl back under a warm duvet. ?
But what if we told you there is a way to start your day right without leaving the comfort of your cozy bed? That is right, friends, we are talking about yoga in bed.
Now, I know what you might be thinking: “Yoga? In bed? Isn’t that just an excuse to stay in bed even longer?” Well, yes and no. Yoga in bed can be a great way to ease into your morning routine and set a positive tone for the day ahead. Plus, who doesn’t love staying in the horizontal realm for a few extra moments while still reaping the benefits of a yoga practice?
So, without further ado, here are three quick and easy morning yoga practices you can do in the comfort of your own bed:
1. Reclining Side Stretch: Research has shown that we are actually the tallest in the morning. Crazy, right? This is because gravity is slowly working its magic throughout the day to compress the discs between our vertebrae. Morning side bends are a great way to feel into the extra space and mobilize our spine for the long day ahead.
How to: First, we suggest laying on your back on top of your covers. There is no extra benefit to being above your covers; we simply do not want you to fall back asleep. Inhale your arms overhead and grab your elbows. Place your legs slightly wider than your hips and take a few deep belly breaths here, paying attention to the rise and fall of your ribcage. Next, with your legs straight, cross your right ankle over your left ankle. On an exhalation, lean toward the left, opening the right side body. Stay here for 10-15 long breaths, again feeling the stretch in your ribcage and spine. To come out, separate your legs back to slightly wider than hips distance, switch the clasp of your elbows, and repeat on the other side.
2. Reclining Tree Pose: Our hips are another important body part for us to warm up so we can rise and stand tall at the beginning of our day. This gentle movement releases our hips and increases the mobility of our legs.
How to: Begin by lying flat on your back, feet at hips distance with your toes pointed upwards and your arms resting by your side. Welcome to supine Tadasana (Mountain Pose) – who knew you could do yoga by lying on your back?! Next, gently bend your right knee and place your right foot in the interior of your left thigh. If that stretch feels uncomfortable this early in the morning, feel free to place your right foot on or just below the knee. With your right foot firmly against your left leg, gently lower your right knee to the bed. From here, place your palms face down on your lower abdomen and take 10-15 deep breaths. Bring your awareness to the rise and fall of your belly, and with each inhale, see if you can sink deeper into this mild inner thigh release. When you are ready, switch sides.
3. Seated Cat Cow: Our final posture requires us to enter the vertical realm, but at this point, we should be warmed up and ready to rise! Seated Cat-Cow is a slow and energizing movement and is the perfect time to set an intention for our day ahead.
How to: To begin, sit at the edge of your bed and place your feet at hip distance. Next, rest your palms face down on your knees for grounding. Take a deep inhale and begin arching your spine by lifting your chest and gazing up toward the ceiling. On your exhale, push your palms firmly into your knees, begin to round your spine, drop your chin to your chest, and gently pull your sit bones towards your navel. Repeat this movement 10-15 times, paying close attention to your breath.
You may not always have an extra 15 minutes in the morning, but these three simple yoga practices are a great way to wake the body and mind and start your day off on the right foot (or, should we say, the right side of the bed?). So, next time you are feeling the temptation to hit snooze for the umpteenth time, give these a try instead! Your body (and morning routine) will thank you!