Do ever find yourself waking up on the wrong side of the bed? Groggy days are dreadfully unproductive and slow your body down. Want to function at full force? Start your day on the right foot. Wake up and stretch your body for a mindful, meaningful morning.

Standing Side Stretches/Half Moon Yoga Pose

Target your upper core after a night of sleeping to release your body’s stiffness. This is a standing pose where you stretch your arms above your head and lock your hands together. Leaning to the left side and holding for 30-60 seconds depending on your experience level, and then repeating the post on the right side.

This is an easy stretch that wakes your body up and benefits your upper core. You can find this pose being called the “Standing Side Stretches” or the “Half Moon Yoga Pose”. No matter what you call it, do this stretch first thing after getting out of bed every day.


Reclined Twist

This stretch is also known as the “Reclined Spinal Twist” and it’s a great way to reduce your anxiety and detoxify your intestines. Not only will your spine benefit from this, but it massages your back muscles, hips, and organs, while also strengthening your abdominal muscles and blood flow.

If you find yourself coming home after a rough day of work and watch to release stress and anxiety, this is a great pose to repeat at the end of the day.


Knees to Chest

Although this video shows this stretch as a standing stretch, you can also do the knees to chest stretch while lying down on your back as portrayed in the link. The knees to chest stretch is great for your lower back, but also your glutes, hips, and hamstrings.

Stretching these muscles on a daily basis will benefit your body in many ways. This is a standard stretch used in physical therapy for lower back injuries, and stretches the muscles used to sit all day long which can develop joint pain. Doing this stretch every morning can reduce the likelihood of joint pain in the hips and take pressure off of your lower back.


Forward Bend

In the world of yoga, this pose is called the “Uttanasana” from the Sanskrit language, or the Standing Forward Bend. This is a calming posture that can help you have a moment of peace before you go throughout your crazy, busy, or stressful day. This is one of the best full body stretches that also relaxes the mind at the same time.

As your head drops forward towards your knees, your heart begins to calm your brain. If you are stressed, suffering from a head or depression and anxiety, or you aren’t sleeping well, try this pose in the morning and at night.


Cat Cow to Downward Dog

The cat cow pose is a pose used to gain more energy. Flowing from the cat cow pose to the downward dog, you will not only stretch your back, hips, shoulders, and legs, but you will gain a sense of energy. It’s important to use your lower body instead of your upper body when doing these poses.

The cat and cow poses are used together to create a flow between each one. This is a great pose to do right before you’re ready to start your day.

William Doonan is by no means an expert, but enjoys the topics of health and fitness. Exercise and stretching are an important part to William’s daily routine, and should be a part of yours too! Stay tuned for more lifestyle blogs from William.