There exists such a thing in this world as a morning person.
These people jump out of bed refreshed and renewed, filled with instant energy and a sparkle in their eyes from the moment they open them. They wake up ready to take on the day.
I am not one of these people.
For us reluctant risers, waking up is just plain hard. It’s especially hard for whoever is standing between me, and my morning green tea. Friends who know me well will often kindly thing to tag me first in memes of cats with grumpy faces or pictures of kids with disheveled hair, along with some sarcastic quote about the glory that is morning.
I have been conducting this independent resting and rising research for 30 years now. I decided to share with you my little movement routine I use to trick my body and mind into wakefulness each morning. Hopefully it will make your transition from dream world back to planet Earth a smoother journey, like it does for me.
Begin the ritual as any good ritual by setting the ambiance. The goal here to gently awaken your five senses…gently:
Introduce some soft lamplight.
Often times I prefer silence, but if you have a serenity sound that is calming to you, it can be a good way to get the earwax moving—maybe some harps, or meditation bells.
I rub peppermint oil on my pulse points. It promotes mental clarity and whips the windshield of my foggy morning-brain.
I pop a mint in my mouth (don’t worry, I will also brush). It’s just to give me an extra pop of this invigorating essence.
5. Touch or movement.
This is it. What we’ve been setting the mood for. Get your body moving before you commit to leaping from the safety of your bed.
Here are some gentle stretching options that you can do in bed (see above image for all of the diagrams). I’ve re-named them to fit that morning feeling.
Reaching for Snooze (Seated Forward Bend)
Stretches the spine, shoulders, and hamstrings. It’s also a very calming pose on the brain. Which we could all use first thing in the morning.
Sides Wide Shut Side Stretch (Side Stretch)
You will feel this gentle stretch in your upper back, arms, and obliques.
Hamstring Alarm Clock (Side Hamstring Stretch)
As the name suggests this will wake up your hamstrings, as well as your spine, and shoulders.
No School Today (Spinal Twist)
Reduce back pain, de-stress, maintain normal spine rotation, and improve digestive function.
Pain in the Neck (Basic Neck Stretch)
Incorporating this stretch once a day will really help you feel less tense.
Coffee Press (Reclining Hamstring)
Stretches hamstrings and inner thighs. Alleviates stiffness in lower back.
Grumpy Baby (Happy Baby)
Opens hips, inner thighs and groin. Releases lower back and sacrum. Stretches the hamstrings.
Kicking Horse (Knee to Chest)
Let go of tension and massage digestive organs. Release the hips and lower back.
Alien Invasion (Gentle Bedside Backbend/Hip Lift)
This gentle backbend will boost your mood, relieve stress, and wake you up. Just what you need to start your day.
So that is how I wake myself up. Your body might be asking you to move differently, and relieve different areas of tension—so pay attention to what you need. I highly recommend the bed stretch session though. It sure beats hitting snooze button and having to hear that horrid alarm a second time in one morning. Good luck out there reluctant risers!
May it be of benefit.
Author: Bailey Grover
Images: Author’s own
Editor: Renée Picard