The 6 Yoga Morning Stretches To Kick Start Your Day
Nothing beats a good night sleep wherein you wake up definitely refreshed. According to studies, you will need at least 6 hours of sleep to declare that you had enough sleep. Anything more or less of that number has a great effect on your disposition for the rest of the day.
Sleep gives the body time to rest and recuperate. Blood circulation improves and the injuries on nerves and muscles slowly heal. That is why when you wake up in the morning, you feel refreshed and rejuvenated. However, with the body coming from a relaxed state, you tend to be sludgy as you stand from the bed.
The best way to jumpstart your body is to do some yoga stretching exercises. Yoga is the best exercise to use first thing in the morning because it slowly increases the circulation of blood to the entire body. The stretching exercises are not strenuous and will not be a shock to your body once you start doing them.
Unlike jogging or running when you have to exert effort for the activity making your heart suddenly pump faster. With the gradual increase of the heart’s pumping, your body will be better adjusted to the sudden change in blood circulation giving you better health results.
Below is the list of top 6 yoga morning stretches that will kick start your day. These exercises are the same ones they use in Yoga retreats in goa.
1. Low Lunge (Anjaneyasana)
On the yoga mat, step one foot backward and release the knee on the ground. Make sure the front knee if aligned right over the ankle. Place the hands on your hips. Lift the chest and shoulders to align over the hips. Take 3 to 5 deep breaths. To get a better stretch, extend your arms upward and over your head. You can do that as an option. This will stretch the quads and hip flexors.
2. Seated Circles
Start with a seated position on your yoga mat. Then start pressing the left side ribs out over your left hip. Gently roll your chest forward over the crossed legs. Bring your ribs on the right side over your right hip by moving in a circular motion with the upper body.
As you move your back to complete the circle, you must hold your knees or shins for support. Allow the upper back to feel release. Breathe slowly while making 2 rounds. Switch directions and repeat the procedure twice.
3. Chair Pose (Utktasana)
You will have to stand up with the feet placed together on the floor. Make sure the big toes are touching each other and your heels are slight apart with a hip to width distance for stability. Slowly bend the knees and then sit your hips down and then back.
Take around 3 to 5 deep breaths. Then stretch the arms straight out to the front with your elbows bent. This is called the “cactus arms”. Or you can also stretch your biceps by stretching your arms over the ears. The pose enhances the strength of your legs.
4. Lying Double Leg Twist
While lying down on the mat, bring your knees up over the hips. Your shins should be parallel to the ground. Stretch your arms out to your sides and slowly drop the knees to one side as you look at the other shoulder. Keep the shoulders flat on the ground and do some breathing while you let your hips and lower back to release during the stretch.
While you exhale, bring the legs back to the center and then drop to the opposite side while moving your head to look over the other shoulder.
5. Forward Fold (Uttanasana)
Stand up with your feet together on the yoga mat. The big toes should be touching and your heels should be slightly apart with a hip to width distance for sure stability. The next step is to hinge your body at the hips and fold it forward so the top of your head is like pouring towards the earth.
Take 3 to 5 deep breaths. This sequence flexes the spine and stretched the whole back line of the body. It also allows the cerebral spinal fluid to clear the brain.
6. Standing Half Moon
Stand straight with the feet together and your big toes touching each other. Your heels must be slightly apart for more stability. It should have a distance of hip-to-width ratio. Interlace the fingers together with the pointer fingers released.
You should stretch out your arms upwards and over your head then take a side body stretch going to the right. Inhale 3 to 5 times then repeat the procedures on the left side. If you feel your shoulders are still tight, you must bend the elbows and catch your upper arm bones or your wrists.