The morning isn’t everyone’s favorite time of day. If it’s early enough, it’s usually the time we want to spend in bed and slowly transitioning from dreams to reality. For most of us, we have more rude awakenings than luxurious late mornings, so it makes sense that we begin to generate a routine of overthinking and feeling anxiety at this crucial beginning part of the day.
One way to diminish these feelings from the start is to implement stress-relieving stretches into your morning routine. Here are eight morning stretches to reduce anxiety and overthinking!
SETU BANDHASANA (bridge pose)
Better known as the bridge pose, this stretch is great for your back, neck and chest. To execute, you lie flat on your back, bend your knees, and place your feet on the floor hip-width apart. Then, lift your back off the floor. Roll your shoulders in and keep your chin resting on your chest, and breathe deeply.
PASCHIMOTTANASANA (seated forward bend)
This stretch also helps quell anxiety because the seated forward bend will help stretch out your back and hamstrings. To do this stretch, sit up straight with your legs out in front of you. Flex your toes and raise your hands over your head. Stretch, inhale, and bring the arms slowly forward. Elongate your spine, and lean forward a little bit more. Exhale and move your navel toward your knees and lift your head slightly.
BADDHA KONASANA (butterfly pose)
The butterfly pose is one of the easiest poses on the list and helps to stretch your inner thighs and groin. To do this anxiety-reducing pose, all you have to do is sit up straight, stretch out your legs, and bend your knees as you pull your heels toward your pelvic area.
USTRASANA (camel pose)
Ustrasana is the ultimate stretch for your back and abs, as it helps improve strength and flexibility. It helps increase blood flow throughout the body, which helps regulate your blood pressure and heart rate, thus lowering anxiety.
DANDASANA (staff pose)
A good way to reduce anxiety is to balance your body by adding to your core strength. To strengthen your core, you definitely want to do this pose. It’s one of the easiest on the list and is perfect to ease into the more advanced poses. Press your buttocks to the floor and keep your head straight; With your feet pointed up and your heels pressed to the floor, put your palms next to your hips. This helps to support the spine and relax your shoulders and torso. Make sure the entire lower half of your body is pressed to the floor, breathe deeply, and hold this pose for 20-30 seconds.
MARJARIASANA (cow & cat pose)
To perform this stress-relieving exercise, get on all fours and make sure that your hands are under your shoulders and your knees are hip-width apart. Keep your gaze straight ahead, inhale, and raise your tailbone. Push your navel down and hold the pose for a few breaths. This is the cow pose. The opposite is the cat pose, where you exhale, drop your chin down to your chest, arch your back, and relax the buttocks.
BALASANA (child’s pose)
This relaxing pose helps to stretch the back, neck, and shoulders. To do this pose, kneel down on the floor with your big toes touching each other. Then, stretch your arms out in front of you and lean forward, spreading your knees hip-width apart. Lay the torso between the thighs and rest the crown of your head on the floor.
DHANURASANA (bow pose)
The bow pose is a difficult pose for a beginner. Lie flat on your stomach with your legs hip-width apart. Gently fold your knees and reach your hands toward your ankles. Lift your chest and legs off the ground and pull the legs back. Like the other aforementioned poses, this stretch effectively relieves tension and thus reduces anxiety and overthinking.