The West Coast is considered one of the healthiest parts of North America. Just a simple walk around will show you the large number of active people out and about, jogging, cycling and walking to their destinations. You will also probably notice a great number of people carrying rolled up pads. Locals will instantly recognize these pads as yoga mats, thin platforms for the entrenched yoga culture that has gripped the city.
As the birthplace of Lululemon and subsequently western yoga practice, the “Wet Coast” is obsessed with the meditative powers of the ancient Hindi tradition. We use it to tone our bodies, relax our overworked minds and welcome the new day.
Yoga is intended to unite the mind, body and spirit. It is an excellent way to bring both your mental and your physical states into a congruent 'position'. The meditative poses allow you to block out your external worries and focus your energy on clearing your mind. This practice will help you maximize your mental potential and reduce your stress levels.
The physical nature of the poses stretches out your muscles, ligaments and skin tissue. The longer you hold the pose, the better the stretch.
Another physical part of yoga is breathing. Controlling your breath helps you deepen your stretch and gives you increased muscle control. Proper breathing also helps you relax and clear your mind.
The morning is a perfect time to practice your yoga poses. Think of it as a reboot. Before you even pick up a piece of technology, take the time to synch up your head with your body.
The best part of yoga is you can preform many of the poses from the comfort of your bed. Hard ground with a yoga mat is optimal for a full workout, but for morning meditative stretches, your mattress will do nicely.
Here is a list of yoga poses that are easily done from your mattress:
Reclining Goddess Pose
This is an excellent pose if you are still on your back, contemplating your day. Bring the soles of your feet together and slowly pull your heels towards your keeping your knees out to your side forming a diamond shape with your legs. Lay your arms loosely out to the side, close your eyes and breathe deeply.
While still on your back, pull your knee up to your chest. Then rotate your lower half of your body to the right or the left so your knees are touching the bed. Turn your upper body slightly and look away from the side your knees are on. Then switch sides and repeat the pose.
Now move into a stretch. Sit up and bend your torso forward towards your knees, stretching out to touch your toes or ankles. Hold the pose and feel your body awakened. If you're having trouble reaching your toes, bend your knees slightly.
You're almost up …
Finish with a child's pose. Place your legs in a kneeing position on your mattress then sit back on your heels. Facing forward slowly lower your torso and head to your knees while folding your arms along your sides. Tuck your head between you knees, breathe, relax and soak in the last precious moments before you start your busy day.
So before you reach for your tablet or smartphone tomorrow morning, reach for your toes. Your mind, body and 'spirit' will love the opportunity to unite as one before your adult responsibilities pull you in a thousand different directions.