For exclusive access to all our stories, including sequences, teacher tips, video classes, and more, join Outside+ today.
What is the very first thing you do in the morning? Be honest. Do you scroll through Instagram? Check your email? Meditate? How about yoga in bed?
Your early morning thoughts and actions are incredibly important as they set the tone for your entire day. Going immediately into an intentional yoga practice before you do anything else is like setting your internal GPS. It sets you up to navigate your life with greater grace and ease, regardless of what unexpected twists and turns arise.
Here’s how to get grounded, centered, and grateful before getting out of bed.
5 simple yoga poses you can do in bed
Vajrasana (Thunderbolt Pose)
Come to a kneeling position on the bed and sit back on your heels with your toes untucked in Vajrasana. Keep your spine long. If you experience pain in your knees, you can take any other comfortable seated position. Place both hands over your heart and take several deep Ujjayi breaths, slowly inhaling and exhaling through your nose.
After your fifth breath, pause for a moment. If you’d like, think of one thing you have to be grateful for today. Doing a gratitude practice—or any intentional meditation practice—upon waking and before you do anything else is transformative because there’s no interference between you and your instincts and sentiments. Imagine and sense the gratitude or whatever your intention, whether calm, patience, ease, trust, or fill in the blank for yourself. Feel it fully. Keep this focus in your mind throughout the remainder of your practice and come back to it throughout your day.
Balasana (Extended Child’s Pose)
Separate your knees as wide as your hips and keep your feet together. Bow forward and refocus on your intention. Extend your arms, allow them to relax, and bring your palms together. Take 5 slow, deep breaths expanding the capacity of your lungs as you expand the capacity of your gratitude.
See also: Why is Child’s Pose So Insanely Calming?
Seated Cat-Cow Pose
Return to sitting on your heels in Vajrasana with your hands resting on your knees. If you experience pain in your knees, you can take any other comfortable seated position. Inhale to arch your spine as you draw your hands toward your hips and gaze upward. Exhale to round your spine as you draw your hands forward to your knees and gaze in toward your navel. Repeat this sequence of movements 5 times to awaken your heart chakra.
See also: A Beginner’s Guide to the Chakras
Simple Seated Twist
Stay seated in Vajrasana or switch to Sukhasana (Easy Pose). Inhale to lengthen your spine. Exhale and twist to the right as you place your right hand near your right hip and your left hand on your right knee. Take 5 deep breaths. Slowly turn your head to look over your left shoulder to complete the twist. Exhale and return to center. Repeat on the other side.
Seated Surya Namaskar A (Sun Salutation)
Inhale as you lengthen your spine, extend your arms overhead, and bring your palms to touch. Exhale and draw your palms down to your heart in Anjali Mudra. Repeat. After your fifth round, pause for several deep breaths with your hands at your heart center and gentle, even pressure between your palms.
Return to your intention. “Namaskara” means “to bow or salute” and “anjali” means, “divine offering, gift, or prayer.” Take this moment to seal your intention for your day.
About our contributor
Justin Michael Williams is a public speaker, musician, and yoga instructor who trains the conscious community to thrive in marketing, media, and business. He has spearheaded the marketing development and social media of over 150 brands, including Sianna Sherman, Ashley Turner, Noah Mazé, and more. By using his expertise to coach individuals and nonprofits, Justin works to spread positivity and inspire change, especially as a voice for diversity and inclusivity in wellness. See more at justinmichaelwilliams.com.