By Jennifer Carter Avgerinos
Yoga first thing in the morning is so idea. It gets the brain going and the blood flowing. Deepening the breath integrates the mind and body, bringing us to present moment awareness. Getting up just 5-10 minutes earlier might mean that you won’t have any distractions, and you can get your day started peacefully and quietly. You can use that extra quiet time to set your intentions and focus your mind as you nourish your body with simple and gentle stretches. Taking a few extra minutes for yourself may help set a positive tone for the day. No special clothing or equipment needed. The first two stretches can even be done while sitting up in bed. The next three can be done while standing next to the bed while still wearing your PJ’s.
This might be the only alone time you have all day
Sitting up in bed or standing next to the bed, straighten your arms out in front of you with palms facing each other. Take a deep inhale and then open the arms out to a “T”. Hold the pose for a second and then exhale the arms back to the starting point. Repeat this process 3-5 times.
Sitting up in bed or standing next to the bed, extend the arms out in front of you once more. Clasp the hands. Take a deep inhale and then sweep the arms over head, next to the ears. As the arms extend upward, the palms should rotate upward. Exhale the arms back to the starting point and unclasp the hands. Reverse the clasp so that whichever index finger was on the top is now on the bottom. Repeat 3-5 times.
Standing, with feet to hips width or slightly wider, place the hands on the hips. Inhale, lifting the chest and tucking the chin and then exhale folding at the waist and bending forward. Inhale back to the starting position and repeat 3-5 times.
Standing with feet together, inhale the right are up next to the ear and then bend to the left, stretching the right side of the body. Exhale, and reverse sides. Repeat 3-5 times on both sides of the body.
Knee to Chest
Standing, shift the weight into the left leg. On an inhale, bend the right leg, flexing the foot and clasping both hands around the leg just under the knee. Balance and squeeze the knee into the chest. On the exhale, release the leg and reverse sides. Repeat on both sides 3-5 times.