Getting out of bed in the morning to take on the challenges of a new day isn’t always the highlight of our daily routine. Couple that with the idea of fitting in an early workout, and… well, that can be enough to send anyone into a self-induced winter hibernation. Luckily, you can fit in your daily exercise routine without leaving the comfort of your pillow-laden sanctuary thanks to this yoga routine, demonstrated here by Jen DeKok, one of the fitness pros from SF’s CorePower Yoga. No need to hit the snooze button for these moves: Just roll over and follow these simple poses to begin your day with a sense of “Om” instead of “Ugh!”
1. Wind Removing Pose
Also known as the one-legged knee-to-chest pose, this movement helps to relieve tension that occurs in the area of the belly and lower back. Lay on your back, inhale deeply and bring one knee to your chest. Wrap your arms around your knee and clasp your fingers together. While exhaling, lift your head and bring your chin toward your chest. Hold this position for four to eight breaths. On an exhale, slowly return your head back to the bed and straighten your legs. Repeat with the other leg.
2. Eye-of-the-Needle Pose
Lie on the bed with your knees bent. Place the right ankle on the left knee and flex the right foot. Clasp your hands behind your left hamstring and hug it in toward your torso, with your head still on the bed. Hold for one to two minutes, and repeat on the other side.
3. Reclined Spinal Twist
Just like wringing out a sponge, yoga twists are a great way to decompress and squeeze out the anxiety of starting a new day. Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the bed. Exhale and draw both knees to your chest and clasp your hands around them. With your right knee drawn into your chest, extend your left leg. Extend your right arm out along the bed with your palm facing down. Then place your left hand on the outside of your right knee. Exhaling, drop your right knee over the left side of your body and turn your head to the right. Hold the pose for 10-25 breaths. Slowly come back to center, bringing both knees to your chest. Breathe out, extend your right leg and repeat steps three to six on the opposite side.
4. Legs-up-the-Wall Pose
If you ask any modern yogi, they’ll say that this pose may be the cure for whatever ails you — even those morning cobwebs. Exhale and, with one smooth movement, swing your legs up onto the wall and your shoulders and head lightly on the bed. Keep your legs relatively firm, just enough to hold them vertically in place. Stay in this pose anywhere from five to 15 minutes.
5. Plow Pose
Lie on your back. Lift your legs and slowly move them behind your head, keeping your legs straight. Press your hands against your back and move your arms behind your back. Return to the initial position, very softly rolling down on your back.
6. Reclining Bound Ankle Pose
Exhale and lower your back torso down onto the bed. With your hands, grip your upper thighs and press your outer thighs away from the sides of your torso. Next, slide your hands along your outer thighs from the hips toward the knees and widen your outer knees away from your hips. Imagine that your inner groin area is sinking into your pelvis.
What is the morning ritual that gears you up for the day? Tell us about it by tweeting us @BritandCo!
(photos via Kurt Andre, Styling: Angela Velez, Model: Jen DeKok)