For many of us, New Year resolutions include exercising more or losing weight, but by the time February rolls around the plan has gone out of the window. With constantly overflowing to-do lists, your schedule has been too manic for you to get away. Wouldn’t you love to tone and tighten your butt, thighs, abs, and shoulders without even jumping out of bed, especially on a lazy Saturday morning? Breaking a sweat before bed not only torches those extra pounds, but also improves your ZZZ’s. These calming moves without any props or machines can be done before your morning coffee.
Inhale as you open your arms wide, then cross your arms to give yourself a hug while exhaling. Hold this position for 30 seconds and release. This stretch primarily targets the shoulder and to a lesser degree also targets the biceps and forearms. The pose works the rhomboids and trapezius muscles of your upper back and relieves shoulder blade pain caused by poor posture or frozen shoulder.
Bend left knee such as sole of the foot touches the right inner thigh. Lift your butt extending the right leg behind. Gently hinge forwards from hips, extend arms forward, elbows slightly bent, placing head on pillow.
Hold on for 10 breaths, roll back up, and repeat. This pose provides the quadriceps and hip flexors a nice stretch. Lots of blood flowing through the pubic region. It has a calming effect on the nervous system.
Child’s pose (Balasana):
Next time you need some support surrendering to sleep, grab some pillows, settle your chest between your thighs and sink your hips back to your heels. Your big toes touching and knees wide apart as they need to be to enjoy the sensation of breath flowing in and out. If you want a more active pose, rest your forehead on a blanket and stretch your arms. Roll your forehead from side to side for a mini face massage.
Viparita Karani (Legs up the wall pose):
This restorative pose allows blood to circulate to every part of the body and has anti-aging effects on the body. To do this pose, sit with your right side against the wall and swing your legs up onto the wall. If you can,
bring your tailbone closer to the base of the wall, you can add a rolled mat or firm cushion underneath for added support. Release your arms out to your sides, palms up. This can be a great gentle hamstring stretch, also helps drain lymph and lactic acid from the legs decreasing fatigue and soreness if you spend more time on your feet.
Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclining Bound Angle):
Lie flat on the floor, bring the soles of the feet to touch one another and allow your knees to fall open pulling the heels as close to the pelvis as is comfortable. Place pillows under the thighs and below the head for more support and a bit elevation. Relax your arms away from your torso, palms facing the ceiling. Feel a gentle stretch in your hips and groin with each deep breathe in and out.
Feel the afterburn all night long with a workout that keeps you fired up after lights out. Get in some exercise before retiring to bed to hit the snooze button in the morning. May your dreams be sweet and sleep