When you’re roused to the sound of birdsong, isn’t it tempting to head outside and join in with nature’s awakening? ‘Stretching out your limbs as the orange sunrise gives way to blue skies is the perfect start to the day,’ says yoga instructor Sarah Tucker. ‘It’s always a peaceful time for practices such as yoga. There’s little distraction and your head is clearer so you can stretch, twist and balance in peaceful preparation for the day ahead.’ After a night in bed, stretching first thing will loosen your joints, muscles and tendons, so you feel nice and supple. It also gets your circulation going, which not only warms your body, but also fires up your brain with oxygen-rich blood.
This easy sequence devised by Sarah awakens your body first thing by boosting circulation, increasing flexibility and improving mental focus as you flow from one posture into another.
Shake any remnants of slumber from your body with a quick warm-up. Place your hands on your shoulders and bring your elbows in towards each other in a circular motion. Do this ten times, then repeat in the opposite direction. Next, widen your legs, turning your feet out at 45 degrees and slightly bend your knees directly over your ankles. Place your hands on the inside of your thighs just above your knees. Take long and deep even breaths. On an out breath, push your right shoulder forward, alternating with your left as you breathe in. Do this five times on each side.
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