Your alarm clock sirens go off, your eyes open, and the day has officially begun. If you are like me, jumping out of bed and getting the day moving forward is top priority. Those first few moments of your day may be the most vital to how the rest goes, and yoga in bed can offer a smooth transition into the activities of the day. Now there are some mattress-friendly, alternative poses you can practice so you don’t have to leave the comfort of your bed.
Yoga, whether it is in bed or on a mat, boasts a number of exceptional health benefits. Studies have found yoga to be beneficial for heart disease, obesity, diabetes, hypertension, bronchial asthma, high cholesterol, and arthritis, among other benefits. A study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine (2010) concluded, “The studies comparing the effects of yoga and exercise seem to indicate that, in both healthy and diseased populations, yoga may be as effective as or better than exercise at improving a variety of health-related outcome measures.” Yoga also increases your strength, flexibility and mind-body awareness.
Yoga sets you up for a wonderful, healthy and focused day. However, you don’t need to roll out your yoga mat to get in a few morning poses. There are multiple yoga poses you can easily do in the comfort of your own bed. You may not get the full stretch, but it is better than skipping your morning yoga altogether. From Reclined Goddess Pose to Fish Pose, these seven poses will get your morning off to an exceptional start.
Savasana or Corpse Pose: Lying on your back with your arms and legs stretched out and the palms facing up, close your eyes. Focus on your breathing and feel your stomach rise and fall with each inhalation and exhalation. This relaxing morning pose will clear your mind, melt stress away, and settle your nervous system and entire body. A wonderful pose to begin your day and bed yoga routine!
Reclined Goddess Pose: This yoga pose will stretch you out while relieving stress. From Savasana, remain on your back, bring the soles of your feet together and let your knees open to the side. Your bent knees will slowly stretch down toward the mattress, forming a diamond shape from your groin to your feet. This pose is also wonderful to do before bed, relaxing your mind after a long day.
Full Body Stretch: This is an easy one, and is excellent for stretching your entire body. Lying on your back, stretch your arms above your head with your upper arms near your ears. Simultaneously, bring your legs together and stretch from fingertips to toes. Focus on your breathing as you tilt your pelvis forward and arch your lower back slightly. This yoga pose increases your body’s oxygen flow and stretches the area of your vital organs.
Hip Rock Pose: This pose will stretch your hips and lower back, massaging your organs and increasing the flexibility in your hips and lower back, as well. Lying on your back, bend your knees upward and place your feet flat on the bed. Your feet will be positioned slightly wider than the width of your hips. Slowly rock your legs from left to right, allowing your knees to fall toward the mattress. This feels wonderful in the morning!
Modified Wheel Pose: From Hip Rock Pose, you can comfortably move into this exceptional yoga pose that increases your energy and strengthens your back, abdomen, hips, arms, legs and buttocks. Keeping your feet flat on the bed about hip-width apart, place your arms down at your sides with the palms facing down. Lift your hips off the mattress to form a straight line from knees to head. Concentrate on your breathing and notice your belly rise and fall.
Wind Removing Pose: This yoga pose boosts digestive function, increases hip flexibility, and stretches the arms, legs and abdomen. While lying flat on your back, keep the right leg straight and bend your left leg to bring the knee toward your chest. Wrap both hands around the left shin. Repeat the pose with your right leg. Once both legs have been individually stretched, bring both legs up and hug them in as you concentrate on your breathing.
Legs up the Wall Pose: This is a meditative posture that also stretches your hamstrings. Lying on your back, slide your body towards the wall. Lift your legs upward as you inch closer to the wall. Find a comfortable position where your legs are elevated and your heels are resting against the wall — your back rests flat on the bed. Closing your eyes and focusing on the rise and fall of your abdomen will create a pleasant moment of calm before beginning the hectic day ahead.
Yoga has become an essential morning routine for hundreds of thousands of people, and for good reason. Our days are filled with stress and muscle tension that might be easily lifted with a few wonderful yoga poses. Yoga has been practiced by over 31 million American adults, with 21 million practicing yoga in the last 12 months, according to a study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine (October 2015). The study states, “Disease prevention and back pain relief were the most important health reasons for yoga practice.”
You may find these mattress yoga poses are an excellent way to end your day as well. Relieving stress and stretching out the day’s events will clear your mind for a good night’s rest — which is also essential for a healthier, happier you.
Combining yoga with a morning meditation is even better. If you have 10 minutes extra in the morning, sit up after your mattress yoga poses and meditate. It will do wonders for your health!
If you are one of the 21 million Americans who practice yoga, how does it help you?
—The Alternative Daily