It’s pretty safe to say that the majority of us don’t wake up without a few creaks and aches. It’s a natural part of aging, but there are five simple ways to escape the daily discomforts and all it takes is a little effort first thing in the morning. Try out these five yoga moves upon waking up and you’ll soon have less pain and an added bonus is that you will build strength in the meantime.
There is no better way to wake up your spine than to get on your hands and knees and execute the cat/cow, which is designed to loosen up the hips, back and core. Start out in tabletop position with your wrists directly below the shoulders. Look forward and if you can, look up, while you reach your tailbone to the sky. Exhale as you move into a classic cat pose, tucking your chin into your test and pulling your tailbone to the floor. Continue this movement for at least five rounds, and more if it feels good.
Standing forward bend pose
Sometimes it feels good to let your body simply hang forward, and it does wonders for your hamstrings and spine. With slightly bent knees, bend at the waist and allow for your spine to extend. If all feels good, you may want to try and straighten your legs for an added stretch.
Downward Dog pose
There is probably no other yoga pose that is quite as well-known as downward dog, and for good reason. This miracle move gives you a full body stretch while building core and shoulder strength…something we could all use more of. Start in a tabletop position on the floor and press your legs back so you are in an upside-down V. Your shoulders will be responsible for holding your body weight up while your hamstrings and back get a nice stretch. Make sure to roll the shoulders away from the ears so you’re not crunched up.
Our hips don’t get enough respect when it comes to stretching, but if there is one stretch that elongates the hip muscles, it’s triangle pose. Widen your stance and position one right foot out to the side, making sure that your heel is in line with the center arch of your other foot. Reach your arms out so they are parallel to the ground and then lean toward the direction of the foot that is angled outward, extend as far as you can, and bend your body over the angled foot. Your hands will naturally follow.
Child’s pose is considered a resting pose in yoga, however; you still get major benefits with hip opening and a lower back stretch. From a kneeling position, rest your chest over your thighs and allow your forehead to drop to the floor. You can rest your arms forward or by your side.