by Samantha Garrison, RYT 200
Being tight is no fun, especially since it can cause injuries to your body according to Harvard Health. Sometimes being tight means having muscle pain that is so bad that you wish you could remove that part of your body, maybe just for an hour. Turns out, doing some quick poses in the morning (even from the comfort of your bed) may help to improve your flexibility (Aldridge et al., 2012). Flexibility is defined as the ability of a joint or series of joints to move throughout a wide range of motion, without pain or limitations (Dantas, 2005). With time, you will be able to focus on other things besides how much you ache because you already took care of this part of your body.
Although sleeping is an extremely important regeneration period for our physical and mental health (John Hopkins Medicine), we are often stuck in the same position for a long period of time. Hydrating in the morning will ensure that your body is hydrated and prepared for the day ahead of it (Popkin et al., 2010). Implementing stretching into your morning routine can boost your mood by increasing your blood-oxygen levels, and even help you to prevent injuries (long-term and short-term) during your daily grind (Hotta, 2018).
Whether you are a truck driver, a business person at the office all day, a desk-ridden student, or anything in between, you may find yourself in the same position or using the same muscles for a long period of time. This can be harmful to your body if you do not make countermovements which is why diversifying the way we move is critical (Luttmann, 2003). This is because our precious bodies adapt to whatever we do most, while the rest of our muscle systems can become inadequate (Harvard Health).
Take advantage of your morning stiffness and transform it into an opportunity to help your body grow.
The poses in the series below may be helpful for all skill levels, especially for those who are wanting to introduce yoga into their life again, or for the first time.
Hold each posture for at least three breaths, then move on to the next posture
- Corpse Pose (Savasana)
- Supine Spinal Twist (Supta Matsyendrasana)
3. Reclined Butterfly (Supta Baddha Konasana)
4. Reclined Half Lotus (Supta Ardha Padmasana)
5. Bridge Pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana)
6. Corpse Pose (Savasana)
Are you up for the challenge? Try doing this short routine every morning (bonus points if you also do it before you fall asleep)
I believe that you are very likely to see improvements in all those tight places by implementing these soothing and helpful postures. Please comment below if you have any questions or comments, your feedback is always welcomed and appreciated.
May God Bless You All,
Aldridge, R., Stephen Guffey, J., Whitehead, M. T., & Head, P. (2012). The effects of a daily stretching protocol on passive glenohumeral internal rotation in overhead throwing collegiate athletes. International journal of sports physical therapy, 7(4), 365–371
Dantas, E. H. M (2005) Alongamento e Flexionamento. Shape, Rio de Janeiro. https://www.worldcat.org/title/alongamento-flexionamento/oclc/77542014
Harvard Health (2013). “The Importance of Stretching.” Harvard Health, Harvard University, 25 Sept. 2013, www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/the-importance-of-stretching.
Hotta, K., Behnke, B.J., Arjmandi, B., Ghosh, P., Chen, B., Brooks, R., Maraj, J.J., Elam, M.L., Maher, P., Kurien, D., Churchill, A., Sepulveda, J.L., Kabolowsky, M.B., Christou, D.D. and Muller‐Delp, J.M. (2018), Daily muscle stretching enhances blood flow, endothelial function, capillarity, vascular volume and connectivity in aged skeletal muscle. J Physiol, 596: 1903-1917. https://doi.org/10.1113/JP275459
John Hopkins Medicine. The Science of Sleep: Understanding What Happens When You Sleep. (n.d.) Retrieved November 26, 2020, from https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/the-science-of-sleep-understanding-what-happens-when-you-sleep
Luttmann. Preventing Musculoskeletal Disorders in the Workplace. N.p., 2003. Print. https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/42651/924159053X.pdf
McHugh, M.P. and Cosgrave, C.H. (2010). To stretch or not to stretch: the role of stretching in injury prevention and performance. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports, 20: 169-181. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1600-0838.2009.01058.x
Popkin, B. M., D’Anci, K. E., & Rosenberg, I. H. (2010). Water, hydration, and health. Nutrition reviews, 68(8), 439–458. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1753-4887.2010.00304.x
About the Author
Samantha is Co-Owner and Co-Founder of the Healthy People Project. She is a Registered Yoga Instructor with over 5 years of experience, teaching diverse groups and ability levels. At the Florida State University, she earned her Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science and developed a strong understanding of Biology through taking courses and publishing research related to sea turtle conservation.