The first thing you should do in the morning before getting out of bed is to stretch. I love to do the following cross-over back stretch, which helps release tension in the lower spine accumulated through the weird positions we put ourselves in through our sleep. Also, if your family is anything like mine, we always end up having two kids in our bed and me sandwiched between them.
Perform the stretch every day and hold for 30 seconds. This will ease any awkward kinks that sleep can bring and place the spine in better alignment.
Cross-Over Back Stretch in Bed
Lie on your back and reach your hands to the top of the bed and your feet down toward the bottom of the bed. You will feel the spine elongate (a gentle traction of the spine). Hold a few seconds and take deep breaths.
Next, place your arms to the side of your body at shoulder height, palms facing downward. Bend your right knee toward your chest and gently hold on to your right knee with your left hand. Draw the right knee across the midline (left side) of your body and twist the torso to a point which feels comfortable. At the same time, turn your head to the opposite direction of the bent leg, looking toward the right hand. Hold this lower spine stretch and gently breathe for about 30 seconds. Repeat on the other side.
Get Out of Bed
To get my kids going in the morning, I sometimes play fun music to give them a little energy boost. Kids love to move their bodies, even first thing in the morning. It’s an instant pick-me-up!
Quick Stretches for Mom and Kids
The following stretches stimulate the nervous system and open the many channels of the body -- especially the main channel, the spine -- so that energy can flow freely and reduce stress. Also, by taking deep breaths throughout, the stretches will increase oxygen uptake, gently awaking the body.
1.) The Mermaid. Little girls love this! For the boys I call it The Merman. It streches the obliques (waist), lower spine, and hips.
Sitting tall with both knees bent to the right side of your body, resting on both sit bones. The right hand is resting on your right ankle and the left hand is extended straight up to the sky, level with your left shoulder.
Inhale and reach up and over to the right side (legs) and turn your focus toward the sky, opening the heart center (chest upwards). Hold this stretch for 30 seconds and repeat other side.
Keep equal weight on each butt cheek.
2.) Butterfly Stretch. This stretches the inner thighs and hips.