Looking for something different to do in bed? How about yoga? Fit Sugar shows us relaxing poses you can do in bed.
Yoga is a natural way to settle your mind and body, while reducing stress and muscular tension, all of which inspire a more restful night’s sleep. So leave your mat rolled up in your yoga bag and hop in bed instead! Follow this 10-pose sequence from start to finish, or pick and choose the poses your body needs.
Be sure to move pillows and bulky comforters out of the way so you have a flat, safe, and comfy surface to stretch on. Then in the morning when you open your eyes all refreshed and full of energy, repeat this sequence before hopping out of bed, to warm up your muscles and gently wake up your mind.
This is the perfect pose that doesn’t require a lot of effort, but will offer a wonderful stretch for your tight hips and lower back.
• Lie on your back, bend your knees, and hold onto the outside edges of your feet with your hands. Gently use your upper body strength to pull your knees toward the bed.
• Stay like this for five deep breaths, then release.
Reclining Big Toe
Reclining Big Toe pose will increase flexibility in your hamstrings as well as strengthen your core.
• Lying on your back, lift your right leg into the air. Lift your torso off the bed and hold onto your big toe with the first two fingers and thumb of your right hand. If you can’t reach your toe, hold your ankle, calf, or behind your thigh.
• Keeping your torso lifted will engage your core, but if you want to enjoy a more relaxing stretch, rest your torso on the bed.
• Hold for five breaths, and then repeat on the left side.
One-Legged Half Wheel
This variation of Half Wheel will increase flexibility in your spine and shoulders while also toning your thighs.
• Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet planted as close to your bum as possible. Press into your feet and shoulders and lift your hips into the air, supporting your weight by placing your hands on your lower back.
• Stay here, enjoying Half Wheel pose, or to tone your thighs even more, walk your feet together so your big toes are touching. Shift weight into your left foot, and when you’re feeling stable, slowly lift your right leg into the air.
• After five breaths, gently lower your leg to the bed. Find your balance, and then slowly lift your left leg for another five breaths.
One of my favorite stretches to do in bed, Cobra feels great on your back, chest, and abs.
• Lie on your belly and extend your arms out in front of you. If you’re tall, you can hang your feet over the end of the bed.
• Keeping your legs and pelvis grounded, slowly lift your torso and begin to walk your hands toward your hips, while keeping a slight bend in your elbows. Walk your hands in until you feel a nice stretch in your abs. Relax your shoulders away from your ears and lengthen your neck. If it feels OK, lower your head back between your shoulder blades, and you’ll feel a nice stretch in your chest and neck.
• Stay here for five breaths, and then lower your torso back to the bed.
Pigeon pose is essential for opening tight hips and hip flexors.
• Starting in a cross-legged sitting position, extend your left leg behind you. Place your hands on your hips and gently arch back.
• To make this pose more relaxing, fold your torso over your front leg. Place your arms on the bed and rest your head on your forearms.
• Hold like this for five breaths (or more if you love it), and then repeat Pigeon with the left knee in front.
Bow pose increases flexibility in your spine, and offers a great stretch for tight shoulders.
• While lying on your belly, bend both knees, reach your arms behind you and hold onto your ankles. Use your leg muscles to press your feet back and give height to your torso.
• Stay like this for five breaths, and then release.
Seated Forward Bend
Give your hamstrings some love with a Seated Forward Bend.
• Sit on the bed with both legs extended straight in front of you. Pressing the backs of your knees into the mattress, begin folding forward, keeping your spine straight. Lower your torso until you feel a good stretch in the backs of the legs (no need to fold completely in half).
• After five breaths, slowly sit up.
Seated Straddle stretches your hamstrings in a different way than the Seated Forward Bend, and also feels amazing if you have a tight lower back.
• Sit on the bed with your legs wide, with about a metre or so between your heels. You can place some pillows in front of you and lean onto them for a relaxing stretch, or go deeper (without any pillows) by walking your hands out in front of you.
• Relax like this for five breaths, and then sit up.
If your hips and lower back need some attention, you’ll love Butterfly pose.
• Sit with your knees bent and the soles of your feet together. With a straight spine, fold forward over your legs, resting your hands on your feet, your knees, or on the bed in front of you.
• Stay like this for five deep breaths, and then sit up.
Practically the definition of relaxing, Child’s Pose allows you to bring your awareness inward, and also releases tension in your lower back.
• Bend your knees, and sit on your heels with your shins resting on the bed. Fold forward over your thighs and relax completely, either with your arms by your legs or extended in front of you.
• Hold for as long as you want, and when you’re ready to come out, gently sit up.
So hit the sheets a bit earlier tonight, or set your morning alarm a few minutes early, and give these stretches a go.
Originally written by Jenny, this article appeared on FitSugar.
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