5-Minute Yoga for Every Body: Energizing Bed Yoga
5-Minute Energizing Bed Yoga
Yoga isn't just about stretching and flexibility. And it's not just about strength and balance. Sure, those are important components, but they aren't the only focus, and they shouldn't be the main focus of a yoga practice.
The most important aspect of yoga, in fact the essence of yoga, is the breath. Breathing deeply is the most important part of yoga, and if you are breathing deeply, then you are doing yoga.
The next most important part of yoga is to feel something. We focus on breath and sensation. Get connected to how you are feeling. Where do you feel the stretch? Does it feel good or uncomfortable?
Before you begin, remember that yoga should never hurt. If something hurts, back out of the pose until you feel a gentle stretch.
There is no such thing as a perfect pose. The perfect pose is the one that works for where you are today.
Energizing Bed Yoga
- Begin laying comfortably on a bed, on a mat or on the floor.
- Breathe deeply, bringing your awareness into your body. What feels stiff? What feels good? Remember, Inhaling is Energizing.
- Bring the hands to the head and begin firmly massaging the scalp, while breathing deeply. This energizes and enervates the head and face.
- Inhaling deeply, open arms wide, reaching fingertips to the edges of the bed. This stretches the chest and shoulders and opens the energetic pathways in the heart center.
- As you exhale, cross the left arm over the right arm, giving yourself a big hug. This stretches the rear of the deltoids as well as the rhomboids, and opens up the back.
- Inhaling again, reach the arms open wide.
- Exhaling, cross the right arm over the left, giving yourself another hug.
- Open arms wide, inhaling, stretching the chest and shoulders.
- Exhaling, cross left arm over right, for a big hub.
- Inhaling, open arms wide.
- Exhaling, cross the right arm over the left one last time.
- Inhaling, open arms wide again, stretching through the shoulders and chest.
- Exhaling, reach arms overhead, stretching fingertips toward the sky.
- Wiggle the fingertips, open and close the hands, rotate the wrists, the forearms and the arms, awakening and energizing the upper body.
- Bring knees into the chest. Wrap arms around shins or behind the knees, and rock back and forth. This loosens up the lower back.
- Place both feet on the bed or mat and drop both knees to the left and right, like windshield wipers. After several times, drop both knees to the left.
- Reach right arm overhead, stretching long down the right side of the body. Hold for several breaths.
- Bring right arm back to the belly, and bring both knees back to center.
- Drop both knees right and left, like windshield wipers, several times. Drop both knees to the right.
- Extend left arm overhead, stretching past the head, and reaching toward the wall behind you. Feel the stretch down the left side of the body, through the rib cage and all the way into the hips. Hold for several breaths.
- Return left arm to the side or to the belly, bring both knees to center.
- Pull knees into the chest and rock back and forth for several breaths.
- Inhaling deeply, extend the right leg while pulling the left knee in toward the chest. Exhaling, switch sides, drawing the right leg into the chest while extending the left leg all the way out to the bed or the mat.
- Repeat several times, breathing deeply.
- Bring knees in to the chest, and extend legs overhead. Keep the knees as bent as feels comfortable.
- Flex feet by pressing heels toward the sky and pulling toes toward the body. Point toes toward the sky. Alternate flexing and pointing feet for several breaths.
- Point toes toward the sky and rotate the feet clockwise several times, then rotate toes counterclockwise, continuing to breathe deeply.
- Finally, pull knees into chest and rock side to side for a few more breaths.
- Now, continue your day, feeling stretched and energized.
Do You Stretch and Breathe?
Do you spend some time every day stretching your body and breathing deeply?
A regular yoga practice can be a great addition to any exercise regimen. Not only will you find your recovery time better, but you will be faster and stronger as a result of regular yoga.
In addition, flexibility and balance are leading indicators for healthy aging, As we get older, these are two aspects of our physical fitness that can rapidly decline. Lack of flexibility and balance can lead to falls, broken bones and overall poor health. A regular yoga practice can help improve your balance and flexibility, and your confidence as you grow older.
Finally, yoga emphasizes deep breathing. Deep breathing helps relax the body and reduces stress. A regular practice of deep, mindful breathing releases endorphins into the body, counteracting the negative effects of cortisone. When you breathe deeply, your bring the body out of "fight or flight" mode, and into "restore and relax" mode. In this calm place, the body feels safe and is able to function at a higher level.
And don't let the excuse, "I'm too stiff," to keep you from trying yoga. The point of doing yoga is to increase flexibility, not to begin by being flexible. You can start today, exactly where you are. Breathe deeply, tune in to how your body feels, and move slowly. You can do this. You can try yoga. It only takes five minutes!
You Can Do it!
I am a certified yoga instructor, massage therapist, and life coach. I want to help everyone achieve their best life, today. Using the tools I've learned in yoga, massage and life coaching, I want to help you improve your life from the inside out.
Yoga is an important component of a complete life, as it combines the essence of breath, movement and feeling. Practicing yoga daily will help with your peace of mind, as well as balance and flexibility.
As I get older, I realize that some things that I used to do are no longer comfortable, so I have adjusted my yoga practice to be realistic for every body type, regardless of age, size, fitness level or experience.
Join me on the journey, as we explore yoga and the benefits of breathing and feeling.