Start your day energized with gentle movements to improve circulation and release tension from the comfort of your bed.
I consider my morning routine sacred — a chance to set my intention for the day, enjoy a warm beverage and move my body. But there are some days when I would rather hit snooze and stay underneath the covers. On those days, I’ve found that gentle yoga in bed helps me wake up with ease and release tension and stiffness from the night before. Plus, the softness of the mattress and pillows offer cushion and support for my joints.
I recommend clearing some space around you and wearing comfortable clothing — pajamas should do the trick. Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths. You can start with a body scan meditation to bring your awareness to different sensations in each area (sometimes the position you slept in can leave unexpected aches and pains). Notice any areas that feel tight and focus on breathing deep into that area before moving onto the next.
Then start to integrate gentle movements into your body. Just a few minutes of yoga in bed will help you wake up and get your blood flowing. I filmed this 10-minute video with some of my favorite rejuvenating yoga poses in bed.
You can also choose any of the poses from the video and make your own morning yoga routine in bed.
Neck stretches: Gently move your head side to side and forward and back. You can make half or full circles with your neck. Pause when your head is to one side and place your arm around the head, guiding your ear closer to your shoulder to increase the stretch along the side of your neck. Hold the stretch for 3-5 breaths. Then repeat on the other side
Side stretch: Place your right hand down on the mattress and reach your left arm up and over. Stay in the stretch for 3-5 breaths. Then return to center and repeat on the other side
Seated twist: Sit up with a tall spine. Place your right hand on your left knee. As you exhale, twist to the left, initiating the twist from the mid part of your spine (where your ribs attach to the vertebrae). Stay in the twist for 3-5 breaths. Then return to center and repeat on the other side
Seated butterfly (baddha konasana): Place the soles of your feet together and let your knees open to the sides. Inhale to lengthen your spine. As you exhale, you can fold forward any amount to increase the stretch in your hips. Stay in the pose for 3-5 breaths
Cat/cow (marjariasana/bitilasana): Come into a table top position (bharmanasana) on all fours. As you inhale, drop your belly, open up through your chest and reach the crown of your head up to extend your spine for cow pose (bitilasana). As you exhale, round your spine and gently let your chin come toward your chest for cat pose (marjariasana). Repeat a few more times
Thread the needle (parsva balasana): From a table top position (bharmanasana), inhale and reach your right arm up, twisting open from the rib area. As you exhale, thread the right arm through the space between your left hand and leg, resting your right ear and cheek on the bed. Stay in the twist for 3-5 breaths. Then return to table and repeat on the other side
Supported child’s pose (balasana): Touch your big toes together. Sit your hips back toward your heels. Reach your arms forward. Rest your forehead on the bed. You can place a pillow in between your legs for support, resting one ear and cheek on the pillow. Stay in the pose for 3-5 breaths and then rest the other ear and cheek on the pillow
Boat Pose (navasana): Take a seat with your legs in front and knees bent. Place your hands on the back of your thighs. Lift up through your chest and begin to lean your weight back. You can pick your feet up and either keep your knees bent or straighten your legs for more of a challenge
Bridge pose (setu bandha sarvangasana): Lay on your back. Bend your knees and plant your feet on the bed hip distance apart. Reach your arms toward your feet. Lift your hips up, opening your chest and lengthening your hip flexors. Stay in the pose for 3-5 breaths
Happy baby (ananda balasana): Lay on your back and hug your knees into your chest. Grab hold of the outsides of your feet and open your hips. Hold the pose for 3-5 breaths
Stretch your arms overhead: Lay on your back, reach your arms overhead and stretch from your fingertips all the way to your toes, lengthening your whole body
I find this routine particularly helpful after a restless night’s sleep, on chilly mornings or after a long day of travel. The best part is you don’t need a yoga mat, props or a change of clothing.
Now that you’ve moved your body, how do you feel? You can do these stretches in bed each morning to feel energized and refreshed. Stay tuned for part two of yoga in bed to wind down in the evening.