Cat-Cow

These two poses done together can increase the circulation of your spinal fluid. This will help lubricate the spine, stretch your back and torso, and gently massage the organs in the abdominal area. All of these are good to help you wake up and go into the rest of your day.

  1. Push up from Child’s Pose onto all fours, the top of your feet flat, shoulders directly over your wrists, and hips directly over your knees.
  2. As you inhale, drop your belly, letting your back arch but keeping your shoulders rolled back and down (this is Cow). Look slightly upward toward the ceiling.
  3. As you exhale, press into your hands into the ground and round your upper back (this is Cat).
  4. Continue moving, arching on your inhales and rounding on your exhales, repeating this for 5 breaths.

Downward-Facing Dog

This pose is great for the morning because it’s a mild inversion. It resets your nervous system, calms the brain, and energizes the body.

It can also be therapeutic for sciatica and relieve fatigue. If you have back problems that impact your sleep and leave you achy and tired, this pose is especially for you. Consider doing it for twice as long as suggested below or returning to it between other poses in this sequence for three breaths each time.

  1. From all fours, push into your hands, straightening your arms as you raise your hips and straighten your legs. Note: You may want to inch your feet and hands a little farther apart, as a longer stance is normally more comfortable and beneficial. Your heels don’t have to be touching the ground here and won’t be for most people. “Working toward the ground” (not being on your tiptoes) is fine.
  2. As you exhale, press into your hands and roll your shoulders down and back, moving your shoulder blades down your back and your shoulders away from your ears.
  3. Your spine should be neutral here. You don’t want your upper spine working too hard, your shoulders hunched, or your belly dropping too far toward the floor in a swayback.
  4. Take at least 5 deep breaths here, bending one knee and then the other as you do, to gently open up the back of each leg. Settle into the pose by not moving your legs for at least 2 deep breaths.

SimpleTakeaway®: Most of us have our own routines in the morning including meditation, coffee, a workout, or breakfast. By adding in a few minutes of stretching, your body will feel more energized and your mind will feel more relaxed. It will stimulate your organs, brain, muscles, and your focus. Plus, it pairs perfectly with your SimpleTherapy exercise therapy regimen.

Log in to #ProgressYourself. Remember, as a CHOC associate, SimpleTherapy is available at no cost to you through your employer. Complete a session to further your recovery journey today!