Stretching has so many benefits to your overall physical and mental health. When adding a few simple stretches to your morning and night routines, you’ll notice so much of a difference in the way you feel every day!
Here’s a little guide on a few stretches that you can do when you begin and end your day that’ll get your blood flowing, improve your posture, and even increase your flexibility if you’re consistent!
Stretches For The Morning
Stretching right when you wake up is a great way to get your blood flowing and increase your energy for the day. Every time I wake up and stretch I instantly feel so much better and I feel like I’m ready to take on the morning! Here are a few stretches you can try when you wake up next.
Stretch Out Your Entire Body Before Getting Up
When you first wake up it’s so nice to stretch your arms and legs out as you’re lying in bed. It feels amazing and it’ll get you ready for the next few stretches you’ll do.
As you’re doing this imagine someone is gently pulling on your arms and legs in opposite directions as you stretch so you can really start to create length in your body. Remember to take deep breaths, inhaling and exhaling throughout all of these stretches!
For this one I like to inhale as I reach and lengthen my body and then exhale, releasing a little. Then I’ll inhale and stretch again to create more length in my body, and exhale to get up for the next few stretches! P.S. I like to do this laying on my back.
Stand And Reach To The Sky And Then To Your Toes
Next, you can get out of bed and reach to the sky as you stretch, similar to what you did while you were laying in bed. Then you can fold over and reach for your toes, taking any movements you need to feel comfortable. You can sway side to side or just let your head hang heavy for a few moments as you continue to breathe.
Side Bend Stretches
After you’ve stretched for your toes as much as you’d like to, you can come back up to standing and start with some side bend stretches. First, you’ll stand with your feet hip-width apart, keeping your core engaged or slightly tucking your pelvis underneath you.
Then put a soft bend into your knees and reach your arms to the sky creating length in your spine. Grab your left wrist with your right hand, lift and side bend over to the right side as you continue to breathe. Always remember to think about creating length through your side as you’re doing these stretches!
Then you can side bend to the other side, grabbing your right wrist with your left hand and bending to the left. Doesn’t this feel amazing?!
Cat And Cow Poses
Next, you can flow through the cat and cow yoga poses using your breath! First, get into a tabletop position and as you exhale, curve your spine up like a cat as you try to look towards your navel. Then inhale and slowly arch your back as you look in front of you. You can continue to breathe as you flow through these poses, back and forth.
Feel free to add your own movement into these poses to do whatever feels good for you! This will really help you to release any tension or stiffness that could be in your back from the way you slept.
After you’re finished with the cat and cow poses, you can come to a neutral spine and sit back into child’s pose. You can stay here for as long as you’d like stretching your hands out in front of you as you start to relax into child’s pose.
Then you can slowly roll up and stretch your arms to the sky as you get ready to start your day!
Stretches To Do Before Bed
Stretching before bed can really help you to de-stress and unwind before you cuddle into bed. These stretches will help to release any tension that has built up in your body throughout the day and they can also help with your posture and increased flexibility!
Stretch To The Sky And Touch Your Toes
Similar to the morning stretches, you can once again reach for the sky as you inhale and then exhale as you reach for your toes for as long as you’d like.
Sitting Straddle Stretches And Side Bends
Then you can sit on your bed and put your legs into a straddle position (or criss-cross as shown in the photo below). You can side bend over to one side for a few breaths, and then fold over as you square your shoulders and try to reach for that toe. Then do the same for the opposite side.
Next, you can reach out in front of you if you’d like as you feel your entire body getting a good stretch. Remember to keep breathing!
Next, bring your knees in and the souls of your feet to touch as you hold them together with your hands. Try and get your knees to touch the bed but don’t force anything.
Relax into this stretch for a few breaths as your soft bed supports you. You can even try and reach forward if you’d like for a deeper stretch!
This next stretch is one of my favorites. After you’ve done your butterfly stretch you’ll want to slowly release it and roll back onto your back while you’re laying in your comfy bed. Then bring your feet up to your hands and bend your knees into where your armpits are.
Relax into this pose as you continue to breathe. Slowly pull your feet towards you with your hands as you gently press them away at the same time. This will feel amazing as you’re relaxing into this stretch!
Now you can do a few cat-cow stretches before this if you’d like, or even stretch to the sky one more time, but if not; pull your knees into your chest and give them a quick hug before lying flat on your back and putting your hands by your sides.
Relax everything as you lie in a Shavasana pose like the cute kitten below. Continue to breathe as you slowly drift off into a nice and dreamy sleep. Sweet dreams!