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7 Energizing Morning Stretches to Jump-Start Your Day

Yoga legend Tara Stiles makes it easy to increase energy with these fatigue-fighting moves you can even do in bed.

Easy Seated Morning StretchCourtesy Tara Stiles

Easy Seated Morning Stretch

For the first of these morning stretches, sit comfortably with your legs crossed and your back straight. If it doesn’t feel okay to cross your legs, try sitting on your heels instead. Relax your hands on your thighs. Close your eyes and take a big inhale through your nose and then a long exhale through your mouth. Set a nice, deep pace of breathing you can stay with for a while. When you are ready, open your eyes. Here are some more easy ways to make your morning routine instantly happier.

Cow Face Morning StretchCourtesy Tara Stiles

Cow Face Morning Stretch

Stack your knees on top of each other (left on top of right) and let your feet rest out to your sides. If this doesn’t feel good on your knees, don’t push or force your body into the shape, just stay in easy seated for a few more breaths. If you are comfortable with your knees stacked, take a few breaths here. You can either stay upright or rest your torso forward. Did you know you can use stretches to relieve stress, too? Here’s how.

Courtesy Tara Stiles

Simple Seated Side Bend

Relax your right hand on the ground on your right side. Soften your right elbow, arc your left arm up, and bend over your right side. Take a few big deep breaths here. When you are ready, roll back up to center and do the same morning stretches on the other side. Here are some more great morning mindfulness exercises to start your day.

Courtesy Tara Stiles

Soothing Seated Forward Bend

Walk your hands out in front of you until you feel a nice opening. It might be a few steps today and perhaps a few more tomorrow. Don’t worry about how far you can bend. For all of these morning stretches, just go with how you feel and what feels comfortable. Allow your body to shift and drift along with your breath. This is a great way of sharpening your brain while you wake up.

Courtesy Tara Stiles

Stretchy Seated Back Arch

Press your fingertips behind you on the ground. Take a big inhale as you press down through your fingertips to lift your body up. As you exhale, gently lower your hips back to the ground and relax. Check out these other easy yoga poses you should be doing every day.

Cow and Cat Morning StretchesCourtesy Tara Stiles

Cow and Cat Morning Stretches

These are some morning stretches you can easily do one after the other. Shift your hips to one side and roll onto all fours. Take a big inhale as you drop your belly down toward the ground and look up (cow). As you exhale, round your back and look toward your stomach (cat). Allow your body to move how you feel.

Courtesy Tara Stiles

Down Dog Morning Stretch

Tuck your toes and take a big deep inhale to lift your hips up and back to down dog. Relax your head, neck, and shoulders. Allow your body to shift side to side or forward and back to open up. Hang here for five long, deep breaths. End your day with stretching too with these nighttime stretches that will help you sleep better.

Tara Stiles make your own rules diet bookCourtesy Tara Stiles

Keep moving!

Don’t stop with your morning routine—find other fun ways to mix yoga, meditation, and delicious, wholesome food into your life with the new book Make Your Own Rules Diet by Tara Stiles, founder of Strala Yoga in New York City. Adding a bit of “om” to the day has never been so easy (or fun!). Once you get started, you’re sure to start noticing the wonderful effects meditation has on your body.

Reprinted with permission from
Make Your Own Rules Diet © 2014 Tara Stiles, Hay House, Inc.
Reader's Digest
Originally Published in Reader's Digest