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What's Up Magazine

Wake-Me-Up Morning Yoga Poses

Apr 01, 2018 07:00AM
By Kelsey Casselbury

Get your stretch on before you even get out of bed to jumpstart your energy for the day

If you’ve ever watched a cat rise from its slumber, you’ll notice that he pushes back on his paws, arches his back, and gets a good stretch in before going on with the day. You might not have noticed, though, that you do a form of this, too—it’s that full-body stretch that has you twisting and turning just the slightest bit after you wake up while you’re still in bed. 

It’s called pandiculating, and it’s the natural way that your body gets your muscles going after an inert night of sleeping. While loosening and realigning the muscles, pandiculating gets your blood flowing, aiding circulation. It also reignites the connection between your motor and sensory nervous system and prepares your body for movement. It’s not just cats and humans that pandiculate—all animals with a spine do it, too. 

Take your pandiculation a step further by engaging in a little wake-up yoga session. Before you groan about getting out of your warm, comfy bed, don’t fret—these are all poses that you can do before ever setting foot on the ground. 

Supta Matsyendrasana (Spinal Twist)
Open your shoulders and manipulate the muscles that support your spine to relax your lower back. This is an easy one—all you need to do is lie on your back and drop your legs to one side (keeping your shoulders flat on the bed). Gently pull the top leg down toward the mattress and feel the stretch. Switch to the other side after 30 seconds. 

Ananda Balasana (Happy Baby)
Next, loosen up those hips and stretch the spine. Return to lying flat on the bed, and bring your knees into your belly. Take a deep breath and then grasp the outside of your feet with your hands. If that’s all you can manage—that’s great, so stay there. If you want a little more, open your knees a little wider and draw them back toward your shoulders. 

Balasana (Child’s Pose) 
Time to flip over for this classic asana that stretches your hips, thighs, and ankles and soothes the brain, preparing it for a busy day ahead. Get into a kneeling position, with the knees spread out a bit, then bend forward for your chest to lie down between them. Sink your hips into your heels and place your forehead on the mattress in front of you. Stretch your arms out in front of you, or allow them to rest at your side, with your hands facing back to your feet. Just take a moment here to center your mind. 

Uttasana (Forward Bend)
Okay, it wasn’t entirely truthful that all the poses kept you in bed. It’s time now to swing your legs to the side of the mattress and slowly stand up. Take a deep breath in and bend forward from the hips. If you can touch your toes, that’s great; if not, stay in a half-forward bend position. Come back up—it’s time to start your day.