Starting your day off with some simple stretches can really help energise your body and prepare for the day. Stretching is a great way to get your body’s circulation going and get some flexibility in your joints and muscles, especially after a good few hours of lying in bed.
Here are 4 simple stretches to get your day started.
Childs pose is a beginner’s yoga pose that gently stretches out your hips, pelvis, thighs, and spine all which can be tight in a morning.
- Begin on all fours on the mat, with your knees directly under your hips but your big toes touching. You can widen your toes if having them touching puts any pressure on your knees.
- Inhale and feel your spine grow longer.
- As you exhale, take your butt back to your heels and tuck your chin to your chest.
- Rest here, with your forehead on the ground and your arms outstretched. You can also put your arms next to your body, palms resting up if you prefer.
- Hold this for 5 deep, even breaths.
This stretch increases the circulation of your spinal fluid, helping stretch out your back and torso.
- Push up from Child’s Pose onto all fours, the top of your feet flat, shoulders directly over your wrists, and hips directly over your knees.
- As you inhale, drop your belly, letting your back arch but keeping your shoulders rolled back and down (this is Cow). Look slightly upward toward the ceiling.
- As you exhale, press into your hands into the ground and round your upper back (this is Cat).
- Continue moving, arching on your inhales and rounding on your exhales, repeating this for 5 breaths.
Downward Facing Dog
This is a great stretch for the shoulders, hamstrings, calves, arches and hands, and will also help to strengthen your arms and legs. This one really opens your chest and shoulders.
- Come onto the floor on your hands and knees. Set your knees directly below your hips and your hands slightly forward of you shoulders. Spread your palms, index fingers parallel and slightly turned out, and turn your toes under.
- Exhale, and lift your knees away from the ground. Your knees will be slightly bent and your heels off the ground. Lengthen your tailbone away and from the back of your pelvis and press it lightly towards the pubis. Against the resistance, lift the sitting bone towards the ceiling, and from your inner ankle draw the inner legs into the groin.
- With your next exhale, push your top thighs back and stretch your heel in the ground. Straighten your knees but do not lock them.
- Firm the outer arms and press the index finger into the ground. Firm your shoulder blades against your back, widen them and draw the towards the tailbone. Keep your head between the upper arms, don’t just let it hang.
- Stay in this pose for 1 -3 minutes, then bend your knees to the floor and exhale back into a child’s pose.
This pose is also known as the power pose as it can increase confidence, flexibility in the hips and energises the whole body.
- Beginning in Downward Dog, lift your right foot and bend your knee in toward your nose.
- Plant your right foot between your hands or, if needed, behind your right hand. (If you can’t get your foot as close to your hand as you’d like, simply set it down, grab your ankle with one hand, and help move it forward. Or you can rise to standing and inch it forward.)
- Once your right foot is planted, rise to standing as you inhale deeply. Right now, both feet should still be toes pointing toward the top of your mat.
- If your foot didn’t go as far forward as you’d like for this pose, inch it forward now. When your stance feels stable, pivot your heel all the way to the ground, so your back foot is flat on the ground and at about a 45-degree angle. Your heels should align if you were to draw a line from one to the other.
- Your back leg is straight, and your front leg bent, knee over ankle. As you sink your hips a little bit more, deepen the stretch, inhale and lift your arms over your head, palms facing each other but still parallel, at shoulder width. Take 3 deep breaths.
- When you’re ready, you can go back into Downward-Facing Dog to switch legs. Or you can lift your left heel up, making your feet parallel again, then step forward with your left, take a deep breath and as you exhale, step your right foot back to be the back foot.
By introducing these simple stretches and poses into your daily morning routine you will start to stimulate the body and the mind, giving you 5 minutes “me time” to prepare yourself for the start of the day.
Are you wanting to learn more about Yoga and its benefits?
At Transcend Health we have Yoga classes available, these are perfect for all levels of fitness, and because the class sizes are kept to no more than 4 people per instructor, you really get a comfortable exercising environment to achieve your own personal goals.
Benefits of coming to small group classes at Transcend Health
- Capped at 4 people for a personalised experience
- Regular re-testing to track and measure your progress towards goals that are meaningful to you
- University Qualified Instructors – Physiotherapists and Accredited Exercise Physiologists with expert knowledge of human movement and physiology
- Multidisciplinary – Cover a broad range of movement and exercise disciplines, from weight training and aerobic exercise to gymnastics, martial arts and dance to yoga and Pilates
- Friendship and Accountability – Our instructors and members value our community feel
- All levels of fitness welcome – from beginners to athletes, we’re able to cater to all levels and truly target your program to suit where you are at
- Shower access