18 Jan Start Your Day with Bed Yoga (Yes, It’s a Thing)
I often hear people who don’t practice yoga say “I can’t do yoga, I’m not flexible.” That’s like saying “I’m dirty, so I shouldn’t take a shower.” It just doesn’t make any sense. Another false truth I hear often is “I don’t have time for yoga.” My response to that is always, “Yoga doesn’t take time, it gives time.” Yoga is about finding greater longevity, it’s actually considered a fountain of youth as it is the most primal and instinctual thing you can do to open up your body. The simple fact is, if you don’t move it, you are going to lose it. You can gain flexibility within a week, but you can lose it just as quickly.
What if practicing yoga was as simple as taking a shower? It can be! Pssst…you don’t even need a yoga mat to do yoga…in fact, you don’t even need to get out of bed. Try setting yourself a yoga alarm clock on Yoga Wake Up. It’s an amazing way to find your home practice while still being guided.
Here is a simple 6-poses sequence you can do right in the comfort of your bed to kick-start your morning. I’d recommend holding these postures for 1-2 minutes, so that’s really only about 10 minutes to add to your morning routine.
Reclined Butterfly – Supta Baddha Konasana
Lay on your back and place the soles of the feet together, knees wide apart. If the hips are really tight, place pillows underneath your knees for support. Your hands can either be along side your body or you can take one hand to your belly and one hand to your heart. This is a gesture of receiving so it is a great pose to set a positive intention for your day.
Bridge Pose – Setu Bandha Sarvangasana
Still laying on your back, bend your knees and release the soles of the feet onto the bed. Bring your arms along side your body and lift the hips up into the air. If you want a little more, interlace your fingers underneath your body and roll the tips of your shoulder blades together. This will help to broaden across your upper chest. Lift your frontal hip bones up a little higher and try not to clench your gluts too much. If you prefer to take this supported, place a few firm pillows underneath your sacrum and feel a more relaxed yin variation.
Universal Twist – Shava Udarakarshanasana
From a reclined position, draw your right knee into your chest. Take your left hand to the outside of your right knee and gently guide it over to the left, stacking your hips. Allow your right arm to open up to the right and turn your gaze opposite the knee. If your knee or shoulder are lifted, you can use your pillows to support you. If you want to go deeper, you can snuggle your bottom left knee underneath the twisted right leg to help guide it down. Repeat this on the opposite side. Twist are very detoxifying, they are kind of like a wringing out of your internal organs. They also help to realign your spine and boost digestion.
Legs-Up-The Wall – Viparita Karani
Plain and simple, find some wall space at the head of the bed, and run your feet up the wall keeping your hips and upper body on the bed. If you would like to lift your hip higher add pillows. If you want to intensify this, let your chest, head, neck and arms, hang off the side of the bed and allow your legs float in air. This is essentially the same pose, just adding more of a supported back bend which will help to energize your day.
Child’s Pose – Balasana
From all 4s, extend your hips toward your heals. Your knees can either be together (stretches your low back) or apart (opens your hips) and your arms can either be alongside your body or extended out in front of you. When ever the head is bellow the heart is very calming to the central nervous system, so your heart rate will start to go down. This is a great way to ground your energy and an opportunity to find mental clarity.
Thread eye of Needle (Shoulder Stretch) – Sucirandhrasana
Make your way into all 4s (hands and knees) and thread your right arm underneath your left arm. Allow you right cheek to come onto the bed, or possibly be supported by a pillow if it doesn’t quite reach. Soften the sides of your neck. If you want to go deeper take your top left arm and lift it up in the air, internally rotated it, bending at the elbow and place your had in the pocket that is created between your low back and right hip. (Repeat on the left side.) Open shoulders are associated with joy, so the more open they are, the more liberated you will feel in your life.
If you are lucky enough to wake up next to someone you love, maybe they will be inspired to practice with you. Who knows, it might even lead into other poses…yes, you know what I mean, and yes, that counts.
Don’t forget to continue to fuel your body post-workout. Check out our recommendation for a smoothie that will make you feel Stellar over on the Yoga Wake Up blog.