You don’t need to be in a studio with the temp pumped up to 40 degrees or be surrounded by people saying “ohm” to benefit from yoga. The ability of yoga to stretch and centre you can be the perfect way to greet the day – and you can do it just after you’ve hopped out of bed. Try these moves before you hit the rat race. The first one you can do while still lying in bed!
Aim: stretch your hips
The move: happy baby
Lie on your back, bend your knees, and hold onto the outside edges of your feet with your hands. Gently use your upper body strength to pull your knees towards the bed. Stay like this for five deep breaths, then release.
Aim: stretch your spine
The move: spinal stretch
Sitting cross-legged, press your sitting bones into the floor and lengthen your spine, reaching up with the crown of your head. Place your left hand on your right knee, inhale, and lengthen your spine. Then exhale and twist to the right. Breathe, return to centre, switch sides, and repeat.
Aim: loosen your spine
The move: cat tilt
Rest onto all fours, with your wrists under your shoulders and your knees under your hips. Lengthen your spine, reaching the crown of your head toward the wall in front of you and your tailbone towards the wall behind you. Inhale deeply, then exhale and round your back up toward the ceiling like an angry cat, drawing your chin toward your navel. On the next inhale, arch your back, dropping your belly towards the floor, lifting your sitting bones and collarbones, and gazing up towards the ceiling. Repeat three times.
Aim: Balance and strengthen
The move: tree pose
Stand straight and then shift your weight to the right foot, bringing the sole of your left foot up to your right inner thigh. If you can’t balance with the foot on the thigh, try placing your foot on the calf instead. Hold your hands together in a prayer position over the chest. Hold this pose for a minute or two and then switch to the other leg.
Aim: Release energy in the throat
The move: camel pose
Start in the kneeling position. Bend you upper torso gradually backward with your hands placed in front of you, and extend your head backwards. Hold for 30 seconds to one minute.