If you are like us, you wish you felt more relaxed and alive in your body, but often times the best laid plans of yoga and pilates classes are replaced by a never ending to-do list. Balancing our systems and staying lithe, limber and vibrant can seem like an overwhelming task; but with the right combination, it can be much easier than you think. For healthy and active women, these three morning stretches can mean the difference between a constant feeling of mild lethargy or transforming into a wellspring of vitality (at least enough to muster the energy to brew your morning cup of joe, yes?).
Find a comfortable surface and sit with your knees folded together, arms wrapped around your legs with your elbows at your knees. Start by breathing in as you roll back - making sure to tuck your head - and breathing out as you roll back up. Set a timer for one minute, then stop to take some deep breaths and notice how your body feels different. This cycle can be repeated three times.
Start crouched on your toes, knees wide enough apart to fit your arms between them. Place your hands on the floor, shoulder width apart with your head looking slightly up. With each exhale, let your feet go flat and extend your knees to the point that is comfortable for you while keeping your hands on the floor/ground, looking down between your legs. With the next inhale, return to a crouched position, again looking up. Breath deeply and fully exhale with each cycle, repeat this exercise for 2-3 minutes.
Place your feet about hip width distance apart. As you inhale, raise your hands above your head and interlace your fingers. On your exhalation, slowly lean to one side, keeping your shoulders and hips facing the wall in front of you and your weight centered evenly through both feet. As you breathe in, come back up to center and exhale as you stretch to the opposite side. You can repeat this three times to each side coordinating with your breath. Breathe as slowly and relaxed as possible, and do not stretch to the point of pain. You should feel a firm but comfortable stretching sensation.
There! Feels good, doesn't it? Now on with your days, Clementines - we've got a sweeter morning ahead of us.
p.s. Now that you're warmed up, replenish with our delicious antioxidant smoothie .