How often do you snooze your alarm clock, struggle to get yourself out of bed in the mornings and cover your head with the duvet hoping you can just get a little more time?
I love my sleep and generally only get up between 9 and 10 am if waking up without an alarm clock. I am not a morning person and there have been many a day where I have struggled to get up for work. I have found that on those days it helps to do some yoga poses. Sometimes I roll out of bed land on the carpet and with my eyes closed go through the motions. Other times I choose to just do these poses in bed, still half asleep, eyes closed, working through a few yoga moves to wake up the body, re-vitalize it with some breathing and help give it some energy.
So, if you struggling to get up in the morning here are five yoga poses you can do in the order they are listed to help you feel a bit more awake:
Sava means corpse, which is why this asana is referred to in English as corpse pose. This pose is much easier to do in the morning when waking up because you are naturally more relaxed and half asleep still. Normally this pose is used at the end of a yoga session or in the evenings to bring the body into a relaxed state. By doing it first thing in the morning you use it to wake up the body and bring yourself slowly into the world.
Lie on your back, straighten your legs, take your feet as wide as your hips and allow them to relax. Straighten your arms alongside your body slightly away from the sides with palms facing up. Just lie there with your eyes closed bringing your attention to your breathing. Once you’ve watched yourself breathe in and out for about three to five breathes, start to deepen them taking longer inhalation and exhalations. Bring your awareness to your feet, flex them up and point them down a few times while also opening and closing your hands bringing attention to these parts of the body.
This asana is known as one leg wind releasing pose. It is a variation of wind releasing pose and a nice warm up before progressing into its full expression. Bend your right leg and draw the knee in towards your chest taking hold of your shin or knee and gently pressing the leg into the belly and chest. Take a handful of deep breathes while keeping hold of it, then switch legs repeating the same on the left side.
Bend both knees and hug them with your arms wrapped around your shins or knees gently pressing them towards your chest. Holding onto them and keeping your head on the pillow take a few deep breathes feeling your belly expand pushing up against your thighs as you inhale. When you ready lift your head towards knees, take one or two breathes here and then roll over onto your side, coming into Balasana.
Balasana as it is known in Sanskrit is a nurturing pose and brings a sense of stillness. If you can relax and sink into this pose you may never want to come out of it. For some it brings a sense of safety and security. Bring your knees as wide as is comfortable for you with big toes touching, draw your tail bone towards your heels, keep your arms stretched out in front of you and relax your head down. You are welcome to get your pillow and rest your forehead on it. Be in this position for a few breathes and when you are ready move into table top position.
Brings your hands as wide as your shoulders, shoulders above your wrists, hips above knees and knees as wide as your hips.
As you inhale drop your belly towards the bed and take your gaze up towards the ceiling into cow pose, as you exhale round the spine drawing it up towards the ceiling and release the head down taking your gaze between your legs or at your navel into cat pose.
As you inhale make your way to cow pose and as you exhale curve the spine into cat pose. Do a few of these and when you are done take child’s pose one last time while you count your blessings and give thanks for yet another day.
Hopefully you’ll feel a bit more energized, a bit more awake and a little bit more motivated. Feel free to do these yoga poses along with me in the video I put together entitled yoga sequence to ease you into your day.