Stretching is one of the best ways to prep your body for action in the morning. While some people may do yoga or participate in various other stretching practices, you can also do stretching exercises in bed.
These stretches can be relaxing ways to start your day and ensure that your body is set up for success. Whether you’re off to a slower start for the day or are confined to your bed for a period, try these five stretching exercises you can do in bed.
1. Reclining Pigeon
The Reclining Pigeon pose can be done while lying on your back and knees bent with your feet flat on the bed. First, cross your right ankle over your left knee, which will make a figure four position. Your left foot should remain flat on the bed, and you should actively flex your right ankle. Then, clasp the back of your left thigh using your hands while also bringing your left foot off the ground and your left knee closer toward your chest. Be sure to keep your upper body relaxed and your shoulders on the floor. This stretch can be done in 30-second increments before switching sides.
2. Puppy Pose
The puppy pose is a mix of Child’s Pose and Downward Facing Dog. Begin in an all-fours position and then walk your hands out as far forward as you can, taking care to maintain your hips over your knees. Keep your arms straight and your palms flat on the bed. When you have reached as far forward as you can, rest your forehead gently on the bed and breath in deeply for five breaths.
3. Seated Forward Fold
Sit up tall in your bed, extending your legs out in front of you. Slowly reach forward toward your ankles, gently gripping your ankles (or your feet) with your hands. Allow your spine to round while relaxing your head forward. This is not meant to be a forced stretch, so focus on easing into the pose and relaxing. You can hold this pose for five deep breaths before slowly sitting up again.
4. Eagle Arms
Start by sitting in a kneeling position or another comfortable seated position. Cross your right arm beneath your left arm and twist your arms together so that your palms meet. Slowly lift your elbows up to roughly shoulder height, noting the stretch in your upper back. Hold that position for three to five deep breaths and release. Switch arms by crossing your left arm beneath your right arm and repeating.
5. Lying Twist
Gently lift your right knee up towards your hips while using your left hand to guide that knee towards your left side. Extend your right arm out while looking to the right, feeling the twisting stretch through your spine and hip. Hold the position for three to five deep breaths before switching sides.
Finding a balance of relaxing yet energizing stretches is a helpful way to get your day started. Some of the more calming stretches can even be practiced at night before bed.