Wouldn't you love to just wake up every morning and know exactly what to do to unstiff yourself and set yourself up for comfort and flexibility throughout the day?
I have met so many people who just want to head straight for the coffee pot, myself included. Or, some might pop a pill, hit the freezer for a shot of vodka, or light up the bong. You think I am kidding. I know people who do this. Some also, just dress, head out the door and sooner or later the back loosens or it does not.
Since I am one of those people who does wake up with a stiff back, and it takes at least an hour for me to wake up, there is no way I can start work, or go out for a walk or run without doing some sort of stretching. Even the idea of yoga sounds awful if I am stiff.
When complaining to a friend about how long it takes me to wake up, she offered her solution, “I wake up, pee and go straight to the yoga mat, and breathe myself awake.” OMG. A light bulb went off when I heard this. This I can do. My mind did not have to think a routine, or a lot of movement, or anything but walk to the mat. Somehow the mindset worked for me. It sounded inviting, slow and peaceful, and has been my practice ever since.
I want to share this same practice with you, because so many people have back issues, particularly upon rising. And, this practice serves so much more than the back.
So, here is what I recommend. Set up your yoga mat or a blanket in a spot in the house where it will be waiting for you first thing upon rising. Relieve yourself, grab a glass of water and go to the spot and simply do the “cat cow” stretches - slowly. If it is easy, turn on some soft morning music that feeds your soul.
Cat Cow instructions:
- Get on your hands and knees with your wrists directly under your shoulders, and your knees directly under your hips. Point your fingertips to the top of your mat. Place your shins and knees hip-width apart.
- Begin by moving into Cow Pose: Inhale as you drop your belly towards the mat. Lift your chin and chest, and gaze up toward the ceiling.
- Next, move into Cat Pose: As you exhale, draw your belly to your spine and round your back toward the ceiling. The pose should look like a cat stretching its back.
- Release the crown of your head toward the floor.
- Inhale, coming back into Cow Pose, and then exhale as you return to Cat Pose.
Be extremely gentle and keep breathing. Chances are, if you are like me, you don’t stop there and instead continue on with a few more stretches. It depends on how much time I have.
The point here is to get on the mat and unstiff your whole back and bring some fresh breath into your body - “breathe yourself awake while loosening your back.” During this time you can also begin to go in and give your body gratitude and instructions for the day.
This practice will set up your spine for a more productive day, I am sure of it.
My vision for you is to be comfortable in your body. This is important especially as you get older. Much of people’s back pain today can be alleviated. Since I have had chronic back pain for years, I have learned how to keep myself pain free, and that is with continual movement and strengthening.
Keeping our back healthy is so crucial at any age but especially as we get older. And speaking of getting older, today my interview is airing on the Menopause is a Trip Summit. Listen HERE for more valuable insight into the wonderful process we are living. You will also be able to download the “I love My Body” meditation mp3 for free.
Do you want to learn how to keep our back (and the rest of the body) healthy and more? I have got lots of tricks up my sleeve and I can’t wait to share them with you. Schedule a strategy session with me HERE.