Stop Looking Like a Zombie—5 Yoga Poses to Feel Refreshed
By Savanna Stone //
Do you get up in the morning feeling and looking like a zombie? Your hair looks like it’s never been washed, you limp to the bathroom (dragging one foot) because sleeping makes you sore, your face is discolored (especially under the eyes where your skin is extra saggy), your eyes are bloodshot from lack of sleep, all you can think about is the meal that will break your fast because you’ve been searching for raw flesh for quite some time . . . Oh, sorry you’re not actually a zombie. You just look like one. Don’t worry; you won’t look like a zombie for long. Do these yoga stretches1 every morning to help you feel refreshed—even if you didn’t get a good night’s rest. Note: if you need help balancing during any of these poses, try using the Chirp Wheel+ for balance or for guidance while stretching.
1. Mountain pose: This stretch will help you get rid of that zombie hunchback. Stand with your feet together and your arms at your sides. Tilt your pelvis backwards. Push your feet into the ground as you simultaneously raise your arches and toes. Reach up to the sky, arching your back, reaching up as high as you can. Inhale on the way up and exhale on the way down. Doing this pose will improve your posture and strengthen your thighs, knees, ankles, abdomen, and buttocks. It’s a great warm-up and cool-down pose.
2. Downward facing dog: This pose will help you stretch out your back and legs (to fix that zombie limp you have in the morning) while energizing and rejuvenating the entire body. It will also help you stretch out your hamstrings, shoulders, calves, arches, hands, and spine while building strength throughout your body. Because this stretch is considered a mild inversion it can relieve headaches, insomnia, fatigue, and mild depression. There are a lot of other benefits too. To do this pose, start on your hands and knees with your wrists under your shoulders and your knees under your hips. Spread your fingers wide and exhale as you tuck your toes, lifting your knees off the floor. Reach your pelvis up toward the sky as you gently begin to straighten your legs. Do not lock your knees. Imagine that your body is the shape of the letter A and your hips and thighs are being pulled upwards. Keep your head between your shoulders. If you aren’t very flexible, you can try bending one knee and a time to focus the stretch on one leg.
3. Twisted lunge: From the downward facing dog, you can go right into this pose by stepping your right foot forward into a lunge in between your hands. This is the first big step to help you escape your zombie self. Make sure your left hand is directly under your left shoulder, and then twist your body to the right, lifting your right hand to the sky. Turn your head so you’re looking up to the sky. To exit the pose, untwist your body and go back into downward facing dog. Then try the pose on the opposite side. From this pose, you could go into a high lunge by lifting your body up and reaching both hands up to the sky. That’s just an extra pose for you that could help strengthen your core. The twisted lunge improves your stamina and balance. It can help awaken your spine and back muscles, relieving back pain. This pose also relieves mild depression, improves concentration, and helps with mental focus.
4. Child’s pose: Start on your hands and knees. Bring your feet together so that your big toes are touching and spread your knees. On an exhale, bend backwards so that your buttocks rests on your ankles, and reach your hands forward, letting your head rest on the ground. It’s like you’re now hiding from the zombie inside of you. This pose will help to stretch your hips, thighs, and ankles. It also reduces stress and fatigue by relaxing the muscles on the top half of your body simultaneously stretching the muscles on the bottom half of your body.
5. Forward fold: This pose stretches some of the muscles you just worked. Sit down with your legs in front of you and your feet together. Reach up to the sky and then forward to touch your toes. If you can’t quite reach, just keep trying every day. You can also try this pose while standing to have gravity help you relax toward your feet. This pose helps to reduce stress and when done while standing, it opens up your shoulders and chest.
By now, you should feel refreshed and ready for the day—not anything like a zombie.