Good morning! Been feeling lethargic and finding it increasingly different to get your day started early? If you have been struggling to become a morning person, the good news is that anyone can be a morning person with some planning, discipline, and determination. Greatist provided a comprehensive list of things that you can do in order to set up an earlier morning routine, and having that extra few hours every day in the morning will allow you to be more productive than ever.
Aside from setting a new routine, going through a couple of simple moves on the bed, every morning, will go a long way in preparing your body to get out of that snooze mode. Here are five poses that you can try every morning to get your day started:
1. Skull Shining Breathing (Kapalabhati Breathing)
‘Kapala’ refers to skull, and ‘bhati’ refers to shining. It helps to purify and invigorate your body and mind as you wake up first thing in the morning. Kapalabhati breathing is said to help you wake up the body, release the toxins in the system built up from a night’s sleep, and provides your body with an internal fire that will get you started both physically and mentally for the day. It improves your digestion and mental focus.
Coming into a nice seated position, set the tops of your palms on the top of your knees, fingers curled up naturally. Think about pumping your breaths, forcefully exhaling and allowing your inhalation to come naturally. The movement of breath should be initiated from the lower belly, while keeping your chest and your back stable. Start off with 20 pumps as a beginner, and slowly increased to 50 pumps as you get more comfortable with this exercise.
Avoid this pranayama if you are on your moon cycle, pregnant, or if you have hypertension.
2. Supine Twist
Lying back down on the bed, hug both knees into the chest, squeezing them as tightly as you can. On your exhalation, release the knees on to your right, extending your left arm towards the left and gazing to the left. As you exhale, deepen the twist by grounding the shoulders more firmly towards the bed and reaching the left knee closer towards the ground. Stay for 5 – 10 breaths, and then change sides.
3. Seated Side Stretch
Come into a seated position with your spine lengthening all the way to the ceiling. On an exhalation, drop your right elbow closer towards your side as you extend your left arm over head, giving yourself a nice stretch on the left side of your body. Continue to open up the chest towards the ceiling to deepen the stretch. Feel free to use a pillow to prop your right elbow up if the sides of your body feels tight. Stay for 5 – 10 breaths, and then change sides.
4. Cat & Cow Pose (Marjaryasana / Bitilasana)
Come into a table top position, with your hips over your knees, and shoulders over your wrists. As you exhale, drop your belly down towards the mat, send your chest forward, and look up towards the ceiling. As you inhale, arch your back, pull your navel into the spine, and push your palms more firmly against your bed. Take it slow and easy, as you flow with your breaths. Continue for about 5 rounds, and slowly come back to neutral spine in to table top position.
5. Seated Forward Fold (Paschimottanasana)
Sitting down on the bed, extend your legs out in front of you. Feel free to microbend your knees if your hamstrings feel tight in the morning. On an exhalation, pivot from your hips and lower yourself down, draping your torso over your legs. Point the toes up high towards the ceiling. Think about relaxing the hamstrings as much as you can when you exhale. Stay there for about 10 breaths, and then slowly release on an inhalation.
Do these five simple moves on the bed, or in your yoga mat, to get your day started and wake your body for a great day ahead. Let me know how you feel and I hope that this guide will become a great tool for you to become a morning person. Have a great day!