Five Morning Stretches to Improve Your Mood
Get out on the right side of the bed every morning with these five stretches that will invigorate your mind and wake up your muscles.
For many people, your mood in the morning can have a considerable impact on the rest of your day. Waking up feeling foggy, tired, or achy can set the tone for a cranky, moody morning.
Stretching in the morning releases feel-good hormones, releases tension in the muscles, prevents headaches, and vastly improves your mood. All of these things lead to a more productive and fulfilling day.
Research shows it takes thirty days to make or break a habit, so try these five simple stretches for thirty days and let us know what happens. You can even do these before putting a foot out of bed.
Cat / Cow Stretch
This simple movement frees up the hips, back, and neck. These are all places you may have tension if you slept awkwardly. The stretch also promotes blood flow and feels fantastic.
Get onto your hands and knees. Place your hands about shoulder-width apart and knees hip-width apart with a flat back. From this position tuck your tailbone under and arch your back, dropping your head to gaze between your thighs; think ally cat. Breathing out, lift your head to gaze forward, drop your belly button, and lift your tailbone to the Cow Position. Breathing gently, do this four to five times.
Seated Spinal Twist
Sit on the bed with a straight back and both legs out straight in front of you. Raise your right leg, and then cross it over your left leg at the thigh. Hold the right knee with your left arm, pulling it towards your chest until you feel a slight stretch in your thigh. Twist your body so that you are gazing over your right shoulder and hold for one breath. Do this on both sides, rotating four times.
Cobblers Pose - Butterfly Seat
In a seated position, draw the soles of your feet together and rest your knees out so your legs are like butterfly wings. Keeping your back straight, rest your hands forward and stretch through the inner thigh, groin, back, and arms. Stay for four breaths, then return to an upright position. Repeat four times, stretching a little further each time.
Keep the legs butterflied like the previous position, or cross your legs in a seated position if this is more comfortable. Take your left arm and lift it to shoulder height. Looking at your fingertips, reach that arm behind you so that you twist your torso. Put the arms down to touch the ground and repeat on the other side. Do this at least four times in a slow and controlled manner.
This stretch massages the internal organs and warms up the neck and upper back to release muscle tension and awaken the mind.
Lay on your back and slide your feet up, knees hip-width apart. Pressing your shoulders into the surface of the bed or the ground, lift your hips off the bed, forming a straight line from your chest to your knees. Slide your hands under your body and clasp your fingers. Hold and take two slow breaths. Release your hands and lower your hips. Do this four times.
When you finish this routine each morning, both your mind and your body should feel awake, you should feel alert but rested, and any tension in your shoulders, neck, or back will be stretched out and released. Now you can wake up on the right side of the bed every morning!
Have you tried this? Reach out and share how this practice changed your morning routine and mood.