But... how bout one you can do IN BED???
Now we are talking!
Here are six poses you can do in the comfort of your PJs... or whatever you wear to bed ;)
SUPTA BADDHA KONASANA
First let's do some yogic breathing to start the day off right. Get settled into Supta Baddha Konasana by bringing your feet together and legs into a diamond shape. Use your hands on the top of your thighs to externally rotate your thighs away from your torso, and spread the knees away from the hips. Spread your hips wide and release through your lower back, getting rid of any curving that may occur by tilting the pelvis.
If this causes any discomfort, place one of your handy pillows under each knee.
Once you are settled in, you can place one hand on your chest and one on your belly, to help focus on the breath coming in and out of the body, or have the arms at 45*. Remember - inhale as if filling a bucket, filling the bottom, middle then top lungs; and exhale as if squeezing toothpaste out of a tube - exhaling the air out of the bottom, middle then top lungs. Exhale more than you thought possible! We want to start getting the maximum amount of air into the lungs from each breath.
Do this for several minutes, then release from the pose. But maintain that lovely yogic breath going forward.
DC, The World's Happiest Baby
Open your legs wider than your torso, and bring the knees up towards the armpits. Have your ankles directly over knees and press gently away, into your hands and push the heels to the ceiling, feet to the face.
Don't round the bottom of your back up - keep your butt down to ground your entire spine into the ground (/mattress!)
Bring your head into a slight double chin to stretch out the neck. Hold for up to a minute, rocking gently side-to-side (keeping the hips grounded) if you like. Long spines gang :)
Bring your legs back out long, and place a pillow under your hips. Inhale the knees into the chest, and then exhale them out straight (or as straight as you can get em!)
Press the heels up, and the feet toward the face to really activate your hamstrings. Stretch for a few breathes, then relax for a few seconds, then exhale back into it. This tricks the body into letting you go a little further into that hammy stretch.Try and get your legs as straight as you can. Make a slight double chin to help straighten your neck out nice and long.
SEATED CAT/ COW
This is a great one to start warming up the spine and getting the chest nice and open (something we don't do much in the course of our day if we are huddled over our computers and bikes/steering wheels!)
Come to an easy cross legged position and have the hands gripping the knees. On the inhale bring the shoulderblades together behind you at the back, opening out your collarbones and chest, and bring your head to gaze at the ceiling.
Then exhale all the air from the lungs with a nice forceful "HA" sound and round up through the shoulderblades bringing the gaze to look in at the belly. Get the feeling you are stretching the shoulderblades as far apart from each other as you can, up towards the ceiling.
Repeat with each inhale and exhale. Do about ten of these.
From this same seated position bring your arms to the front, spreading your shoulder blades wide across the back. Link the right elbow underneath the left arm and then bend your right elbow, getting the elbow of the left nestled into the crook of the right. Then bend the left elbow, bringing the palm of the left up to meet the right.
DC, The Optical Illusion
You want to have the palms pressing into each other, then bring the elbows up and tilt the hands away from the face. However! Make sure in doing this you are not hunching your shoulders up around your neck!!! Consciously move your shoulders down your back at the same time as moving the elbows up. Feel the stretch!
Hold for five or so nice yoga breaths then change arms.
Bring your left foot to beside your butt and cross the right leg over as per the picture above. Settle yourself so your hips are even, your sit bones are grounded into the floor and your torso is to the front.
Inhale - lengthen the spine. Exhale - bring the back of the left elbow to rest on the right knee, and the right hand as far behind you as you can, resting somewhere by the left hip.
Inhale - straighten the spine. Exhale - twist the lower ribs and chest through into a twist.
Inhale - lengthen. Exhale - twist the chest and shoulders into the twist and bring your gaze to gaze over the left shoulder, in an attempt to see as far behind you as you can, or even to gaze back over the left shoulder to the front! Twist brogis, twist!
Stay for a few breaths using the inhale to lengthen the spine and the exhale to twist further. Then on an inhale return your gaze to the front, and exhale return the rest of your torso. Repeat on the other side.
So we are all ready to start the day now... GO GET EM TIGERS!!!! If you want to do a bit of standing yoga to really get you in a good place and fire you up for the day, try Tadasana, followed by some Fierce pose variations.
Up next will be a post to send you off to sleep at the end of the day. Broga sandwich!