I’ve been making a real effort sticking to my morning meditation and stretching ritual. My meditation is usually just 5 minutes long and I use Insight Timer. Sometimes I try different guided meditations from Gabby Bernstein or Bexlife, but most of the time I do silent meditation focusing on inhaling and exhaling. Here’s a few stretches I do after meditation to wake up my body without even leaving the comfort of our bed. As soon as I sit up my two fur babies get excited and come sit on my lap. So we meditate together, sometimes peacefully, and sometimes, there’s a wrestling match on my lap. If Moses is hungry, he will also give me little love bites. Those hurt, so I do have to get out of my zone and force him to lie down and leave me alone. But that’s the good life of a crazy cat lady.
I start with rolling my head and shoulders around alternating directions because my neck is usually very stiff. Then stretching my arms up to elongate my spine, then stretching to the sides, left and right, reaching as far as I can, as pictured above. Always remembering to take long, deep breaths. If you have any issues, please check with your doctor or yoga instructor before proceeding. Stretch only as far as you feel comfortable without pushing or forcing. Whatever you do, do it with ease.
I continue with a twisting pose. Sit on the bed, bend your knees, then slide your left foot under your right leg to the outside of your right hip. Step the right foot over the left leg and stand it on the bed outside your left hip. Exhale and twist toward the inside of the right thigh. Press the right hand against the bed just behind your right buttock, and set your left upper arm on the outside of your right thigh near the knee. With every inhalation lift a little more through the sternum. Twist a little more with every exhalation. Repeat to the left for the same length of time.
Some benefits of this pose: relieves menstrual discomfort, fatigue, backache, stimulates the liver and kidneys as well as the digestive fire in the belly, energizes the spine, stretches the shoulders, hips and neck.
From laying in bed, exhale and bend from the hip joints to slowly lower your toes to the bed above your head. With your toes on the floor, lift your top thighs and tailbone toward the ceiling and draw your inner groins deep into the pelvis.
Benefits of this pose are: reduces stress and fatigue, stretches shoulders and spine, calms the brain and stimulates abdominal organs and thyroid gland.
Bend your knees and set your feet on the bed, heels as close to the sitting bones as possible. Exhale and, pressing your feet and arms actively into the bed, push your tailbone upward, firming the buttocks, and lifting them off. Clasp the hands below your pelvis and extend through the arms to help you stay on the tops of your shoulders. Lift your buttocks until the thighs are about parallel to the ground. If you like to be fancy-schmancy and challenge yourself, lift your legs straight up one leg at a time. Release with an exhalation, rolling the spine slowly down onto the floor.
Benefits of this pose are: reduces anxiety, fatigue, headache, backache, insomnia, improves digestion, rejuvenates tired legs, calms the brain, stretches the chest, neck and spine and stimulates abdominal organs, lungs and thyroid.
Start in Downward-Facing Dog. Bring your weight into your right hand and roll onto the outer edge of your right foot like Side Plank Pose. On an inhalation, lift your hips. On an exhalations, step your left foot back and place your toes on the floor with your knee partially bent. Curl back through your upper back to create a sweeping action of the shoulder blades into the back of the rib cage. On an inhalation lift your hips higher until you curl more into a backbend with your right foot solid on the ground. Keep breathing and curl your head back, extending your left arm from your heart. Return to Down Dog and repeat on the other side.
Benefits of this pose: opens up chest, lung, and shoulder areas Opens the front of the legs and hip flexors Builds strength in shoulders and upper back
Always end with gratitude.