Daily Stretches to Start and End Your Day

Hand and feet showing of person doing forward fold

When is the last time you took a moment to stretch? I Incorporating 10-15 minutes of light yoga movements into your daily routine is an easy and effective way to promote blood circulation, strengthen flexibility, fortify posture and increase energy levels (just to name a few).

Stretching soon after waking up helps jumpstart your body and mind. Loosening tight muscles before bed provides a sense of tranquility and calm. Read on for more on what you can do to maximize your AM and PM routines:

Morning

Rise and shine! Set yourself up for a positive day with these poses. Whether it be from the comfort of your bed or the serenity of your mat, start your morning with a fresh perspective and added focus.

  • Child’s Pose and Cat-Cow are both mattress-friendly. Hold each pose for 10–12 breaths. Repeat two more times, moving more quickly and taking one breath per pose.

Don’t have much time? Instead of focusing on your entire body, try to make the most of your short window of time by stretching particular areas that you’ll be using throughout your day.

  • Try Supine Spinal Twist (a personal favorite). Lie flat on your back, bring one knee towards your belly and cradle it with the opposite hand. Applying light pressure, pull that knee across the body and to the floor. Try to keep both shoulders on the ground. It’s ok if the knee does not make it all the way down to the floor. Hold for 5–10 breaths. Repeat on the opposite side.

Once you’re ready to pump up the energy and really get that blood flowing, practice some yoga sequences you’re already familiar with. Pair with upbeat music and let the endorphins rush in.

  • Kick it off with Downward-facing Dog Knee to Nose pose on your mat. Starting in Downward-facing Dog pose, lift your right leg up high behind you, then round your spine as you draw your knee to chest. Hug your right thigh to your chest and pull your knee to your nose. Return to Downward-facing Dog and then repeat with the left leg.

Evening

Before hitting the hay, hit the mat for a soothing sequence.

  • Try Standing Forward Fold, reaching towards the ground or bending your arms and grabbing opposite elbows above your head. Exhale and lengthen down through the crown of your head—don’t forget to inhale and exhale deeply.

Transitioning to a seated position, meditation is a great option, or just simply reflect on your day. Acknowledge any random thoughts as they come to mind and try to let them go.

All ready to catch some Zzzs? Turn the lights off and make your way to your mattress.

  • Once in bed, try the restorative Reclined Goddess Pose, which will stretch you while relaxing you even further. You can also choose to take Shavasana from this position. As you close your eyes and bring focus on your breathing, your body will begin to naturally relax, preparing you for a great night's rest.

Which stretches will you try before (or after) your next workout?

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