Saturday, 2 September 2017

A Fresh Start with Bed 'Yoga'

I know yoga isn't really supposed to be performed in bed, but bed yoga is better than no yoga. Not that I don't pull the yoga mat out once a week or so for a good hour long sesh, but as my 40 something year old body begins to experience some aches and pains, I find it necessary to supplement my dance with some daily maintenance movements. Many of these are performed as soon as I wake up and before I have time to talk myself out of it. They are not strenuous, just mobilising. Save the strenuous stuff for the yoga mat.

Arm Circles

Begin while laying on your side. Move your arm in large circles 3 - 10 times in each direction. Keep the arm long and feel how the shoulder joint is moving and gently warming up. Repeat on the other side.

Leg Raises

Laying on your back with arms by your side, gently raise a leg as high as is comfortable. Keep the leg straight for the whole exercise. Repeat 3 - 10 times. Swap legs and repeat.

Knee Bends

These are for those strange knee pains people can get in otherwise healthy knees. The exercise is performed laying on your back. Raise your leg in the air as in leg raises. Then carefully bend and straighten the leg at the knee. Be gentle and mindful, stopping or moderating the exercise if you feel any pain. Repeat 3 - 10 times and then with the other knee.

Air Cycling

Laying on your back with both legs in the air, pretend you are cycling an upside-down bike. Cycle first in one direction, then reverse.

Push Ups

Some shoulder niggles have indicated the need for me to perform some daily push-ups. I started with up to 10, gradually increasing to 20 per day, (Girl ones). Keep it light until after you get up and have performed your morning routines.

Reverse Ankle Grab

While still on your stomach from the pushups, bend your knees, reach back and grab both ankles, creating a reverse arch of the back. This is a great stretch to start the day for any chair dwelling person.

A Fresh Start

These exercises have certainly helped me to raise my energy and ease the process of getting out of a warm bed. They are warming and motivating. They are also great for the joints of the shoulders, legs and back. They are a great way to start each day.

Not Only for Physical Reasons

As a dancer I have many modes of exercise available to me. My reasons for beginning an exercise ritual upon waking were of a less physical nature. As a sufferer of PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) I had suffered years of troubling dreams. They had me waking (understandably) in a foul mood, morning after morning. I needed a distraction that took my attention as soon as I became conscious in the morning, before even opening my eyes. Essentially I began the practise as a dream forgetting tool. Activating the physical realms directly upon waking meant my mind didn't grab onto the dream fragments threatening to torment my first waking moments.

Good for Me

Personally I have found that my morning bed 'yoga' practise has directed my mind toward more positive things as I wake from sleep. Another benefit is the physical improvement. It is winter and I am neither teaching dance nor doing much walking. The persistent morning ritual of a little light exercise has helped to prevent some of the knee pain I suffer when I don't exercise enough in winter. I hope others can benefit too. Keep it simple. Adopt a single new exercise one at a time. If it's hard it won't be repeated. Don't make it hard. Make it simple and doable so it becomes a daily ritual. I developed this particular set of exercises to suit my own body. Use your own body's wisdom and needs to create your own practise. 

I am currently planning for Spring Majickal Bellydance Classes. Stay in touch with this blog or my Facebook page for up to the minute details. 

Move Safely and Be Well ✴︎

Leanne Margaret ©️ 2017

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