Article by Ntathu Allen
Most people dream of waking up feeling refreshed, vibrant, calm and ready to seize the day! We grow up with the message “the early bird catches the worm”, and our inboxes are bombarded with blogs about the value of morning routines and starting your day at 5.00am is the best way to live a “happy, productive and fulfilling life.”
Benjamin Franklin may have passed away in 1790, yet his famous quote “Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise” is imprinted on our hearts.
However, the rise of the digital, 24/7 “always-plugged-in society” affects our ability to switch -off, get a good night’s sleep and wake up rested, refreshed and raring -to go.
If you are tired of waking up fatigued, lack energy and worry how you’ll get through the rest of your day, in today’s post, I share a simple yoga breathing exercise you can do, in bed.
This basic yoga breathing exercise releases anxiety and brings balance and harmony to your body, mind and spirit, so that you can refocus your energy and start your day feeling refreshed and, in a more positive frame of mind.
Getting a good night’s sleep and waking up feeling calm, confident and centred is our birthright.
Nevertheless, our modern attachment to “hustling” and being proud members of the “hustle culture” mentality affects people from every stratum of society.
Even us smart women over 50, struggle to get enough sleep and wake up refreshed and energised.
We have spent years caring for our families while building our successful careers.
In most cases, we are the primary carer for ageing parents, and also responsible for ensuring everything runs smoothly at home.
Letting go of society’s unreasonable expectations that we should do – and be it all – often means we have to unlearn unhealthy patterns of behaviour and, literally fight for the right to a good night’s sleep and build structures that help build a simpler life for ourselves!
That’s why, as a yoga teacher, I love teaching yoga breathing exercises to people who are overwhelmed, on the brink of burn-out, going through a difficult time and struggle to have the energy to get through the day.
Yoga breathing exercises are quick and easy to master. They don’t require specialist equipment; you don’t need fancy clothes, and best of all, you can do them laying down in your bed and still get immediate benefit!
Even if you had a bad night’s sleep and woke up feeling groggy and under the weather, you can slip in a few rounds of breathing exercises while lying in bed to ease anxiety, refresh your mind and, boost your energy.
Yoga-in-Bed Breathing Exercise – Here’s How To Do It
- Still lying down on your back, with your feet resting on your bed, hip-distance apart and knees pointing upwards, place your right palm on your lower abdomen and your left palm on your upper chest, just below your collar bones.
- Let your elbows rest on the bed and make sure you feel secure. Keep your chin tucked in; check your lower back feel supported and comfortable.
- Breathe slowly in through your nose and as you do so, consciously focus on your hands and become aware of your hands and feel your hands rise as you breathe in (through your nose) and lowering on the out-breath.
- As you settle into this awareness, start to consciously breathe in (through your nose) for a count of 1—2—3 and breathe out for a count of 1—2—3.
- Repeat this yogic breathing cycle of gently, with awareness breathing in for a count of 1—2—3 and breathe out for a count of 1—2—3; for 5 – 7 more cycles, each time, allowing the breath to be fuller and longer.
- And when you are ready, give yourself one final full-body stretch, smile and hug yourself.
- Hug yourself deeply. Squeeze your arms around your chest. As you embrace yourself, smile and be happy for being the magical woman you are. Spend a few minutes resting quietly, smiling to yourself and feeling glad to be you.
- You are now ready to start your day!
When you start your day feeling refreshed, vibrant and calm, even if you are going through a difficult time, it becomes easier for you to feel more hopeful, peaceful and positive about your day ahead.
Practising a few rounds of this simple yoga breathing practice first thing in the morning helps you ride the ups and downs of life.
Do try this simple yoga breathing exercises and let us know you feel!
And if you want to go deeper into this work and explore other ways to relieve stress and feel calm, Get the FREE 5-minutes Slash Stress Slay Your Day video training, and start to enjoy your day!
Listen to Ntathu’s podcast with Fab after Fifty as she talks about the benefits of yoga and meditation . Podcast with Ntathu