Practicing morning meditation can greatly improve how you’ll feel for the rest of the day. It relaxes the mind by lowering cortisol levels and reducing anxiety and stress. But did you know that doing dynamic exercises like simple yoga stretches can take your daily morning meditation up a notch? Yes, it can. Try these five simple stretches before meditating today and feel the difference.
5 Easy Dynamic Yoga Exercises You Should Do Before Meditating in the Morning
1. Downward-facing Dog
Downward-facing dog pose. I find it relieves fatigue and rejuvenates the body, especially my tight lower back & hamstring. Never did I thought that I would embrace #yoga, I’m not really good at it as you can see but I’m trying. I found that I needed to do stretching for #recovery. pic.twitter.com/EBPp6aJ6Fa
— Bodybuilding S’pore (@BodybuildingSG) March 4, 2018
The downward-facing dog pose can energize and revitalize the whole body. Doing this position stretches the hamstrings, arches, spines, hands, and shoulders. It can also strengthen the arms, legs, and shoulders.
- Start on your hands and your knees (Tabletop Pose). Spread your palms wide while stacking your shoulders over your wrists. Remember to keep your knees hip distance apart. Then curl the toes under. Slowly move the palms forward, making sure they are spread flat with no air under them.
- Gently raise the body and back into a posture. Move your head towards your palms as you raise your knees off the mat and shift the stomach towards your thighs. Then, as your legs straighten, lift your hips up. Make sure to keep your toes pointing forward.
- Hold position and breathe. Let your heels press against the mat and continue raising your hips. Breathe in through your nose and exhale through your mouth for 5-10 times then retreat to your initial position by bending the knees and lowering the hips.
2. Three Legged Dog
By performing this exercise before your daily morning meditation, you will be able to stretch your side body and inner and outer hip while improving your balance.
- Do the downward-facing dog position. Follow the same steps in executing the down dog pose.
- Stay in the downward-facing pose for three to five deep breaths while you create a gap between the legs and draw your heels nearer to your yoga mat.
- Lift the right leg up toward the ceiling while inhaling. Make sure your hips are level and your right heel reaches back while the toes point down towards the mat.
- Keep your weight balanced by distributing it across both your palms. Keep your right shoulder dropped to keep your upper body squared.
- Hold the position for about five to ten breaths. Then, slowly square off the hips while lowering your extended leg as you exhale. Slowly return to the downward-facing dog position, then do the same sequence with the other leg.
3. Low Lunge
The low lunge exercise will stretch out tightened quads, hamstrings, groin, and hips. With this pose the lower body experiences a full range of motion making it perfect for runners, cyclists, and those seated in the office the whole day.
- Start in the downward-facing dog position. Then, move your right foot forward between your hands on an exhale.
- Slowly move your left knee, then your whole left leg onto the mat.
- With caution, take your head back and look up. Raise your right hand and let your pinkies reach toward the ceiling.
- Hold for a few breaths. Exhale while bringing your hands back to the mat. Finally, lift your knee off the mat and retreat to the downward-facing dog pose. Repeat on the other side.
4. Half Splits
Half splits help in lengthening the hamstrings and the front leg’s gluteus maximus.
- Start in the downward-facing dog position with the palms grounded firmly and the hips raised high and backward. Take a few breaths while bending the knees and raising the heels to open up through the back of the legs.
- Move your right foot forward between your hands on an exhale. Lower down onto your left knee and let your left foot touch the mat.
- Straighten your right leg as much as you comfortably can. Make sure your toes are pointing towards you.
- To lengthen your spine, you need to inhale. Then slowly fold over your right leg as you exhale.
- Draw the right heel back as you reach your chest forward while drawing your shoulders down your back away.
- Stay in the position for five to ten breaths. Slowly make your way back to the downward-facing dog position, do the same on the other leg and repeat as desired.
5. Pigeon Pose
The pigeon pose helps in keeping the hips agile. It provides the external rotation and flexion it needs to release tension.
- Start with all your hands below your shoulders and your knees below your hips. Move your left knee to meet your left wrist. Your left thigh should be parallel to the side of your mat. Then move your left foot forward ’til it’s in front of your right hip.
- Slide your right leg to the back of your mat and lower both your hips closer to the floor. As you do this, make sure your hips do not spill to the left. Remember, your back leg is extended straight. Press your back foot on the mat a little harder to stretch your hip flexors. Keep this position for two to four breaths, arms straight and alongside your hips.
- Move your arms forward, making a 45-degree angle to the floor. Firmly press your hands into the floor like you’re pushing the ground away. Take two to five deep breaths.
- Move your arms forward so your forehead rests on the floor. Keep your elbows off the ground to stretch your outer hip more deeply. Breath in and relax your eyes, throat, and jaw. Take three to five breaths then repeat on the other side.
Starting a habit of morning meditation for energy? Watch this video below from BrettLarkinYoga for more easy dynamic pre-meditation exercises:
There’s nothing better than starting your day with a soothing meditation session. Not only can it increase your productivity and improve your focus, it can definitely make you happier too! Don’t forget to do these pre-meditation stretches next time!
What’s your favorite pre-meditation exercise? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below!
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