It’s Monday morning and you just woke up. You're groggy and the last thing you want to do is head to an early-morning yoga class.
Many of us know that feeling all too well.
Fortunately, according to Amy Eberhardt, you can counteract the Monday blues by hitting the metaphorical reset button and practicing bed yoga when you first wake up.
No, bed yoga does not mean throwing down your yoga mat and doing the warrior II pose while standing on your bed. Amy, MPH, CYT, LMT, CPMT, who is a teacher of adaptive yoga and an integrative health educator at NYU Langone Medical Center, says, "It's about taking the basic practices of yoga and adapting the poses and stretches so that they are easy to do in your bed. Yoga is a proven stress-reliever, and doing yoga in the comfort of your own bed can help you start the day off upbeat, energetic, and refreshed."
Bed yoga also accommodates people who are older or have disabilities or injuries. Given that a bed provides a more comfortable surface to practice on, people need not worry about the pressure of a hard floor hurting their knees or wrists.
Amy encourages people to start doing bed yoga on Monday mornings because the practice will remind you to kick-start each week in a healthy way.
I used to be that type of person who would hit the snooze button several times every morning, squeezing out as many Zs as possible. But practicing bed yoga every morning for the past few weeks has gotten me looking forward to it so much that now I wake up after the first alarm. I just love how much more calm and relaxed I feel not only right afterward but throughout the rest of my day.
Here's how to get started:
1. Lie on your back and take a deep breath. Exhale while bringing your left leg over the right leg. Gently twist, dropping knees to the right while turning head to the left. Hold for 2 to 3 breaths, or as long as comfortable. Repeat on other side.
2. Kneel and place hands on the bed, arms extended, and shoulders above hands. As you inhale, arch your back and drop chin to chest. If your wrists hurt, place hands in fists. Hold for a few seconds.
As you exhale, extend spine, drop belly downward, and look up to feel a nice stretch under the chin. Hold for a few seconds. Continue doing these two poses for a few rounds, as feels comfortable for you.
3. Place legs up the wall and relax for a minute, taking a few deep breaths. Feel the belly rise and fall with each breath.
4. Bring knees into a right angle with feet flat on the wall, then place left ankle onto your right thigh. Feel the stretch in the muscles of your left hip. Do not place any pressure on the knee, but gently push against your left thigh as you take some deep breaths. Repeat on other side.
5. Gently take hold of your feet or ankles and pull knees toward armpits for a few seconds. Breathe.
6. Kneel with knees wide apart and toes touching. Ease torso down toward your thighs and stretch arms in front of you. Hold this stretch for as long as it feels good, breathing deeply.
7. Roll up to a sitting position and take a few deep breaths. Feel free to take this moment to set an intention for the week.