Morning stretches

Few of us enjoy getting up in the morning but crawling to your coffee machine doesn’t have to be your everyday.
Moving your muscles and releasing tension first thing can leave you feeling energised well into the afternoon.
It starts in bed. Before you open your eyes, fill your lungs with oxygen and breathe out slowly. Repeating this seven times before you lift yourself up. Once out of bed, try these stretches. Holding the poses for 15-20 seconds and repeating each up to three times. Then begin your day.

Neck and Shoulders
Relax your upper body and one with one hand on the top of your head, gently move your left ear towards your left shoulder. Feel the stretch in your neck and shoulders, stopping when it’s no longer comfortable. Repeat this on the right hand side of your body too. Then move onto the shoulders. Pulling them back, place your hands on hips and push your chest forwards and up. Breathe in and feel your muscles lengthen.

Chest and Back
With one hand on your hip, cross your left leg in front of right leg. Extend your right arm upwards and over the left side of your body. Breathe in and out slowly as you do so and then swap sides. With your feet facing forwards, move them apart as far as your hips. With your legs and back straight, bring your chest towards your knees, bending forwards from the waist.

Legs
Place one leg on the bed and with your back kept straight, lean from the hips slowly towards your leg on the bed.
Your leg on the ground should be slightly bent at the knee, with the foot facing forwards. Change sides and repeat movement. Whilst applying lotion or body oil, use the opportunity to extend your limbs and increase flexibility.
Focusing your attention on the task at hand - the texture of the cream, the sensation of moisturisation. Let other thoughts wash away as you clear your mind for the day ahead.

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