Finally, a really good reason to stay in bed longer in the morning.
By Elizabeth Narins
There’s a legit reason to hit snooze and stay in bed a bit longer: Stretching there can make mornings less painful by gently waking up your muscles. Which is particularly delightful if you slept strangely or recently soldiered through a tough workout or woke up without a sexy masseur by your side.
Before you even think about getting up, perform each of the following stretches demonstrated by CosmoBody yoga maven Tara Stiles:
1. Soft Side Stretch: Sit in the center of your bed with your legs crossed. Interlace your fingers with your palms facing out, and extend both arms straight above your head. Without lifting your butt off the bed, slowly bend from the waist to your left. Pause, then return to center. Repeat on the left side, then return to center to complete the stretch.
Where you’ll feel it: Your upper back, arms, and obliques.
2. Side Sweep: Sit in the center of your bed with your legs crossed. Keeping your butt on the bed, lean to your left from the waist and let your left forearm rest on the bed so it’s about parallel to your hips. Your palm should be facing down for support. Bring your right arm up and over your head, then bring your right hand toward the wall behind you as you open up your chest. Pause, then slowly bring your hand up toward the ceiling, then forward toward the bed as you fold forward from the waist and lower your head toward the bed. Slowly return to the starting position (sitting upright on the bed) and repeat on the other side, this time leaning toward the right and letting your right hand rest on the bed, reaching up and behind you with your left arm, and folding forward toward the right side. Return to starting position to complete the stretch.
Where you’ll feel it: Your chest, shoulders, obliques, and back.
3. Forward Crawl and Side Sway: Sit in the center of your bed with your legs crossed. Keeping your butt on the bed, crawl your hands forward as far as you can. Leaning on your forearms for support, lean toward left. Pause, then come back to center and lean toward your right. Continue swaying side to side for up to 30 seconds.
Where you’ll feel it: Your hips, back, and obliques.
4. Hip Lift: Sit in the center of your bed with your legs crossed. Then place both hands on the bed behind you. Transfer your weight to your palms as you let your head fall back, bring your chest and hips up toward the ceiling, and lift your butt up off the bed. Pause and hold for up to 10 seconds, then return to start.
Where you’ll feel it: Your hips, abs, and chest.
5. Opposite Toe Reach and Roll: Sit in the center of your bed with your legs crossed. Then extend the right leg out toward the side of the bed. Bend toward the right as you place your right forearm down on the bed just inside your right leg, and lean forward as you use your left hand to reach toward your right toes. Grabbing your toes or calf, if that’s more comfortable, turn your right toes toward the center of the bed and let your left shoulder drop toward the bed. Then, turn your toes toward the ceiling as you lift your left shoulder, bringing your left elbow up and over your head and opening your chest. You can let go of your toes if you’d like. Then, bring your left hand back to your right toes, and your elbow back toward the center of the bed. Continue rolling forward and backward if you’d like, or come up back to your original seated position and repeat on the other side: Stretch your left leg out to the edge of the bed, rest your left forearm on the bed, and use your right hand to reach toward the left toes as you bring your right elbow in toward the center of the bed, then overhead and behind you. Return to center to complete the stretch.
Where you’ll feel it: Your back, hamstrings, arms, obliques, and chest.
6. Bedside Hip Lift: Scoot to the side of your bed and place both feet on the floor. Place both palms on the bed about a foot behind your butt with your fingers facing forward. Your hands should be about shoulder-width apart. Then press into your heels and hands as you lift your hips up off the bed. Your body should form a straight line between the top of your head and your knees. With control, slowly lower your hips back to the bed. Repeat until you’re ready to get up and at ‘em.
Where you’ll feel it: Your hips, quads, abs, and chest.
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