The relatively cold air leaves you with zero motivation to get out from under your fluffy down comforter, or even to make it out the door to go to work.
So what do you do when you just can’t get the blood flowing the way it used to? Wake up your body (gently) with these five poses.
1. Cat-Cow Pose
Inhale, belly drops, shoulders role back. Exhale and slowly curve the spine up. What better way to energize your spine (and therefore your nervous system) than cat-cow? It’s gentle and won’t cause you to feel wonky when you first wake up the way bridge pose might, and it’s a great way to draw in more oxygen into your body. Inhale one, two, three—hold—exhale one, two, three.
2. Downward Dog
Do your legs and arms feel a little stiff when you wake up? Get into downward dog. As we sleep, stress and tension tend to build up in our muscles, causing us to feel little tight. Bring the blood flow back into your body by stretching out your legs, shoulders, and back body in Downward Dog. Take any variation of this pose—whether it is going into one-legged dog, or flipping over into Wild Thing. Just do you.
3. Forward Fold
If you sit down all day, carry a heavy bag, or wear shoes that tweak out your back—forward fold will help you start your day (and your mind) with the right alignment. By starting out in Forward fold, you’re drawing blood flow into your brain and your eyes, and your ears, as well as opening up your lumbar spine, which we often compress in our day-to-day lives. By embracing the stretch, and shifting the blood flow, you will be able to stand up tall, ready to take on your day with an open back body, and a clear frame of mind.
Standing in mountain pose is the best way to tune into what your body is feeling. Are you out of alignment? Do you need to connect to your center? Stand here for a few rounds of breath, and tune into what your body is telling you. Think of this as a mini-meditation, a time for your subconscious to communicate with you about what you are feeling so that you can then use that information throughout your day to make wiser choices and take action in the right direction.
5. Sun Salutation
The sequencing of sun salutation will give your heart a juicy boost to get your engine going in the morning. Sun salutation has a way of awakening all areas of the body, stretching your muscles out, and also strengthening your arms, legs, and core. You can do one round of this pose sequence, or even five—all that matters is that you get your blood flowing in an energizing, non-strenuous way.
Photo via iStock.