Easy Bed Yoga Stretches to Start Your Day
Not everyone is a morning person. And for those of us who don’t rise with the sun (guilty), the struggle of waking up is all too real.
As creatures of habit and comfort, it’s easy to hit snooze and stay in your bed’s cozy cocoon until the very last second. The problem is, that leaves little time for yourself before diving into your daily to-dos. Luckily, we have a solution: An AM stretching routine you can do without ever stepping foot out of bed.
Wake Up + Flow
Awaken from your slumber with movement on your mind. Stretching is super supportive of your overall well-being. If your first thought is you don’t have enough for an hour-long morning sesh — no worries. Even a few minutes dedicated to moving around can greatly increase mobility and have a positive impact on your mood.
“Stretching first thing in the morning can relieve any tension or pain from sleeping or any lingering muscle tightness from the day before. It also helps to increase blood flow and prepare your body for the day ahead,” says Terri Herick, a certified personal trainer and fitness specialist. “[It also] has so many health benefits such as injury prevention, improving posture, manages stress, improves range of motion, and can help with anxiety, just to name a few.”
Namaste In Bed
So, light a candle, turn on a soothing Spotify playlist, and keep your PJs on — here are a few easy stretches to help you establish a go-to routine.
Ankle Circles: Flex your feet and gently roll your foot in a circular motion. Do this a few times in a clockwise direction, then switch and move your ankle counterclockwise.
Shoulder Rolls: Start by taking a deep breath. Round your shoulders up, then circle up to your ears, and then back, dropping your shoulders and shoulder blades down. Repeat this several times then reverse your circle by lifting your shoulders up, forward, and then down.
Cat/Cow: For a gentle warm-up and spinal stretch, practice these two poses together. Begin on all fours with a flat back, then inhale as you drop your belly towards the mat and lift your chest and gaze up toward the ceiling. This is cow pose. To transition to cat pose, exhale, draw your belly to your spine, and round your back as you release the crown of your head toward the floor.
Seated Torso Twist: These easy twists get your spine moving and can help release any back tension. Sit on the edge of the bed and rotate your upper body and arms to the left, breathing in as you turn. Hold for three breaths. Repeat up to 10 times alternating turning to the left and right.
Forward Fold: Sit on your bed with your legs outstretched in front of you. Raise your arms above your head while taking a deep breath. Slowly exhale as you bend forward at your waist. Reach your upper body and arms down and over toward your feet. Hold for 5-10 seconds. Repeat as needed.
“Stretching keeps the muscles flexible, strong, and healthy, and we need that flexibility to maintain a range of motion in the joints,” says Robbyn Castles, a Certified Massage Therapist.
Make It A Habit
There are an endless number of yoga stretches you can do in bed. And if you need some extra support during deep breathing exercises or extended stretches, yoga bolsters and pillows are key. Once you’ve gotten the hang of these basics, branch out and try out some new stretches — there are plenty of resources available to help you find what fits your individual needs.
“A great resource online that I use to find the right stretches for me is Yoga With Adriene on YouTube. My other favorite resource is FitOn, an exercise app that contains a variety of yoga or barre stretches, ” says Castles. Another great yogi to follow is Amelia Jayne Yoga. She shares grounding stretches and asanas on her stories and reels that are easy to follow and super informational. “The important thing is to find the stretches that are best for you.”