1698b847c2e4fe98c05adcdc9d420590_LExperts say we need eight hours of sleep, which I agree with 100%. I’m never quite the same when I’m sleep deprived. But the downside of all that time in bed is that when our joints rest for that long, they become achy and stiff. I have had to learn how to wake up my body to feel good for the day.

Even when I wake up without an alarm, it takes me a few moments of looking at my bedside clock to comprehend the numbers. Clearly my brain takes some time to come to life too. So first thing, take a breath. A big one. In through the nose, out through the mouth. Do that three times. Pulling in oxygen helps to jumpstart your brain and your metabolism. It also helps calm a racing mind and a sluggish body.

OK. Time to get up. Instead of sitting straight up, turn on your side and push yourself up. Since your abs may not be ready or engaged to pull you up, this option will protect your back.

Let’s get loose! Sling your legs off the side of the bed and sit up tall. Place your right palm on the bed and left your left palm to the ceiling. Keeping your hips pushed down, look up at your left hand. Take a breath. On your next inhale, move the left hand to the right of your right hand and look over your right shoulder. Exhale. Relax and let’s do the other side. Left palm at your side, right arm up. Breathe. Inhale as you move your right hand to the left of your left hand, look over your left shoulder. Exhale.

Sit up tall and rotate your shoulders back. Ooh. I can hear the clicking as my tight neck, traps, and shoulders start to loosen. Can you hear your body waking up?

Now for the legs. Cross your left ankle over your right knee, opening your left hip and inner thigh. Take a deep breath and as you exhale, gently push on your left thigh, stretching your left hip flexor. Inhale again and as you exhale, left your chest and bring your it down toward your knees. You should feel a stretch in your left glute, hip, and piriformis (a muscle that connects your spine to your thigh). Hold the position for 5 breaths. Relax and switch sides.

Jump out of bed, turn around, and extend your arms on the bed. Hold your palms down, bend your knees and, as you exhale, pull your hips back until you feel a stretch in your back and chest.

Stand up. Roll your shoulders back and down again. Take a deep breath, raising your arms and welcoming positive energy into your morning. Now, go have your day!

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