Stretch out your soul with this 5 mins Easy Morning Stretch

I’m sure all of us have a go-to meal/beverage to boost our spirits up (some of which makes us sick but taste so good)!

I have a plenty of comfort food – a handful of mentos from the receptionist table (meant for the clients), Khong Guan whole wheat biscuits socked in a hot cuppa of MILO, eating spoonfuls of Milo by the can, or a “homemadewithlove” barley drink when I’m sick.

Extra Hot No Classic Soy Green Tea Latte is my current favourite drink in Starbucks. In fact I’ve converted a lot of my caffeine-addicted friends to this combination because let’s face it – it is less addictive than coffee, less sweet (please ask for no classic so they don’t pump additional sugar syrup), and it is vegan. Doing my bit to be healthy somewhat.

I should be having it every day because it’s so good for my soul! But…
ONE – it is expensive (a daily habit will set me back S$3k!!)
TWO – I’m starting to get sensitive to soy.

So I have limited myself to 1-2 per week.

It’s the opposite for exercise though. I should exercise daily because I truly believe movement is medicine for the soul. But damn it, why am I not following my own doctrination?

I have too many excuses why I don’t get to a yoga class or do a self-practice or go for a run around the block. And no, I don’t get to work out with my students when I teach. The only muscle working is my vocal chords! 😛

So I am on a streak of NOT madly exercising, BUT moving daily – “Wriggle Walking” from A-SPACE in Cantonment to Pure Yoga in Chevron House; catch the Iyengar class in between my classes on Wednesdays, run in the hot afternoon sun, and wake up earlier to work out. I have to get back on the bandwagon of mindful movement.

I am also getting back to doing my morning stretches, which kinda doubles up as my meditation but in motion.

And I always feel like I have to do it everytime I watch this video, which always plays at every Anatomy class. I never grow tired of it, but it does put the fear into me, to want to move so I don’t stiffen up like a cadaver. 😛

And I’m calling my morning stretches my –  Soy Latte for the Active Soul!

I’m going to start creating easy to follow practices that you can do for less than 30 mins in a day…. so you can do this once a day, either on it’s own or part of your morning routine.

Watch out for my Soy Lattes serving virtually in Sophie’s World.

5 Mins Morning Edition

Please take the time to breathe and tune into your body to see what works for you.  If this doesn’t work for you, that’s okay!  The process by which you’re learning more about your own body and its needs is what’s important.

This easy morning stretches can be done on the Bed, so you roll to the side, and you can do it with your eyes closed.

PREPARATION:
**THE NIGHT BEFORE: Set ALARM to go off at least 5 MINS earlier!
**MORNING OF: Set TIMER for 5 MINS!

1. Sit up and find an easy comfortable seated position on the bed, either cross legged, on your knees or let your legs dangle over the side of the bed. You can sit on pillow as well.

2. Place your hands on your knees, pass can face up or down, your choice. Sitting tall, stacking shoulders on top of sitbones.

3. [BREATHE] Gently close your eyes and take 5 big breathes in and and out of the nostrils, counting each inhale for 5 counts, exhale for 5 counts; slowing down your breath, and making nice long and even. Do this 3-5 times!

4. [SIDE BEND] On the next Inhale, swoop your arms out to the side and all the way up, keeping shoulders away from your ears. You will now be sitting upright with your arms overhead, and fingers reaching up.

5. On the exhale,  place left hand down beside left hip and reach right hand over to the left side, creating a rainbow with left side body. Pause in your Side bend for several breathes, feeling the stretch in your side body, and getting longer with each and every breathe.

6. Inhale both arms back up overhead, Side bend to the opposite side.

7. [SPINAL TWIST] Inhale both arms back up overhead. On the exhale bring left hand on the bed behind you, and right hand come to your left knee in a gentle twist, pause for several breathes, with the inhale breath to lengthen and lift and on the exhale twist further.

8. Inhale back to centre, both arms over heard and switch to the other side.

9. [SPINAL ARTICULATION/SEATED CAT & COW] Inhale both arms back up overhead. Exhale and bring both hands on your knees, and press back into your knees to push your chest forward, keeping both sitbones on the bed.

10. Pause here for several breaths in this gentle chest opener.  If it is good for your neck, you can lift your chin up, bringing the gaze to the ceiling.

11. When you are ready, on your next inhale, s-l-o-w-l-y bring your chin down and start rounding through the upper back, and coming back to your the back of your sitbones.  Your hands stay on your knees using it as a fulcrum.
And Pause.

12. Inhale body back to centre, arms overhead, bringing your chin back to parallel with the ground.

13. Exhale hands to your knees and pause.

14. This completes the seated salutation.

Repeat this sequence, going as slowly or quickly as feels good for you, until your five-minute alarm buzzes.  You can also change this into a Vinyasa (one breath one movement). This sequence takes your spine through a safe range of motion and can be invigorating at any time of day.

AND IT CAN MOVE YOUR FUZZ!! BYE BYE STIFFY SPINE!

xoxo

Look out for a video, coming up pretty soon! If you like to get updated once video is up, subscribe to my mailing list BELOW!!!

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