Good Morning everyone! Today I wanted to share with you a very important part of my morning routine. I love to stretch in the morning and get my body loose and ready for the day. Even if I don’t have time (or motivation) for a full work out, stretching is a quick and easy way to wake up and get going. Plus, when you add a little meditation in with it, it’s a great way to get your morning started on a calm and productive note. These stretches are basically just easy yoga poses.
Before we get started with the poses, the key for my morning stretching is the breathing. If you’re a yogi or already have a great handle on breathing, this part will probably come naturally to you. But if you’re like me and can’t keep a rhythm to save your life, there’s an app for that.
It’s called Calm. It’s honestly one of my top 3 apps right now. I use it almost every day to meditate. There are a lot of features on it (many must be bought through a subscription) but I mostly just use the breathing exercise, and that’s what we’ll be using for this morning meditation.
Once you’ve downloaded the app, go to the “Breathe” section. From there, we’ll need to adjust the settings. There are different patterns and speeds, so you can adjust to your comfort level. I’ve tried pretty much every one and the one I’m going to show you works best for these stretches.
You want to select the first pattern on the middle speed (6 per minute.)
I’d recommend taking a few minutes and getting used to the breathing pattern. The app tells you exactly when to breathe in, out and hold. There are also sounds so you can close your eyes and still follow the pattern.
First, I start with a standing side bend (1 minute, 3 reps per side.) This opens up your core and stretches your back, sides and shoulders. If you follow the Calm breathing guide, this will take exactly 1 minute.
Inhale, arms up. Hold. Exhale, arms to the side. Hold. Inhale, arms back to center. Repeat with left side. Repeat for 3 reps.
The next pose is the cat cow pose (1 minute, 3 reps.) This is a really easy pose that stretches everything and is great for a stiff back in the morning. If you follow the Calm breathing guide, this will take exactly 1 minute.
Get on all fours with a straight back. Inhale, dip back and raise head. Hold. Exhale, arch back and tuck head. Hold. Repeat for 3 reps.
The last pose is the reclining twist (1 minute, 3 reps per side.) This pose releases stress and stretches the legs. If you follow the Calm breathing guide, this will take exactly 1 minute.
Lay on your back. Inhale, legs up to center. Hold. Exhale, legs down to right side. Hold. Inhale, legs up. Exhale, legs down to left side. Repeat for 3 reps.
That’s it for the poses. If you’ve done all three poses for one minute each, that leaves us with two minutes left in the morning meditation. For this part, I like to lay still and quietly breathe with the Calm app. Some mornings I like to sit cross-legged, other mornings I lie flat on my back. Whatever position is most comfortable for you (and you won’t be tempted to go back to sleep!)
And that completes the easy 5-minute morning stretching and meditation! I always feel relaxed and ready for the day after completing this quick routine. The best part is, these poses can be done in your PJs, while you’re waiting for your coffee to brew.
Let me know in the comments if you try this routine or if you have any other morning stretches that you love! Thanks for reading!