Mindful Movement: Kickstart Your Day with Yoga

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How we begin our day sets us up for how we’ll approach the rest of the day. And we’re about to show you how you can always wake up on the right side of the bed. By tapping into the breath while moving in these basic yoga poses, we ease ourselves into wakefulness by encouraging the body to find length and openness. 

Mindful movement is not about getting in that last rep or pushing the body to the limit while imagining an end goal. Instead, it is all about intentional awareness within the present moment. This gentle practice of focusing on the body and breath is the art of mindful movement.

Our bodies and minds may still be fuzzy in the morning, so moving carefully with intention is a great habit to incorporate as it stimulates blood flow and circulation in the body and regulates the breath. 

These yoga stretches that will take you from the bed to your feet, and ready to take on the day! Just be sure to follow this sequence, that has been specially tailored for you below. 

Breathe

1. Find a comfortable seated pose on the bed and tap into your breath’s natural rhythm by inhaling in through the nose, exhaling out through the nose.
2. Stay for five to 10 smooth, long breaths, slowly awakening the body and mind.

Twist

  1. Inhale as you reach your arms overhead, lengthening the spine.
  2. Exhale and twist to the right side, bringing your right hand on the floor and left hand onto your right knee. 
  3. Breathe into this rejuvenating twist as you mobilise the spine.
  4. Stay here for five full breaths.
  5. Repeat on the left side.

Eagle arms

  1. Inhale and bring your arms out in front of you, bending at the elbows.
  2. Exhaling, place your right elbow over left elbow until the back of your palms touch. 
  3. If it is accessible, bring your right palm to touch the left palm. 
  4. Feel a nice stretch in your shoulders as the shoulder blades spread out to the side. 
  5. Breathe here for five full breaths.
  6. Repeat on the left side. 

Forward fold

  1. Inhale and straighten out your legs, keeping the feet flexed.
  2. Gently engage the shoulder blades by pulling them together and fold forward on the exhale, reaching the crown of the head towards the feet. Engaging the shoulders keeps the spine straight and protects the lower back.
  3. Keep a slight bend in the knees to soften the stretch in your hamstrings.
  4. Breathe here for five full breaths.

Chair pose 

  1. Bring your feet to the floor and stand up off your bed. 
  2. Inhale into a chair pose by lifting the arms over the head, bending in the knees, and dropping the hips, as though sitting in a chair. Feel the engagement of the muscles in the lower body as they fire up.
  3. Hold and breathe here for five full breaths.

Squat 

  1. Inhale as you drop your hips into a deep squat down to the floor. Feel a stretch in the hips.
  2. If your heels cannot touch the floor, stay up on your toes.
  3. Breathe here for five full breaths. 

Mountain pose 

  1. Inhale to rise all the way up to stand. 
  2. Close your eyes and exhale as you position your feet hips distance apart, arms by your side, palms facing the front of the room. 
  3. Connect with the body and breath as you stand firm and tall, grounding into your feet, and breathing into the natural rhythm of your breath. 
  4. Stay for five breaths and gently blink open the eyes. 
  5. Now go get ‘em! Have a wonderful day.

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Sara Leong is passionate about yoga, health, and wellness, and bringing all these together for balanced living. She is a certified yoga instructor and full-time copywriter, and when she is not on the mat or writing, she is planning on what to have for dessert (balanced living!). You can find her on Instagram @activelysara