If you’ve ever spent a lazy morning in bed, or even just lingered in bed for a few minutes after the alarm goes off on a work day, you probably did a lot of stretches without thinking too much about it. When we first wake up, we yawn and stretch out our backs and pull our arms back behind our heads. These are essentially meridian exercises that all humans, even little babies, do instinctively. They are a natural way of waking up our energy systems and getting rid of stagnant energies that accumulate as we sleep.
Meridian exercises help you use stretching more deliberately so that you can keep your body in top energetic condition. The good news is that you don’t have to get out of bed to use meridian exercises; you can go ahead and have your lazy day and still do something great for your energy system. Whether you want to have a low-key day lying in bed all day, or you just want to wake up your energy before getting out of bed, simple meridian exercises can help. Here is a simple head-to-toe energetic workout that you can do without even getting out of bed:
1. Neck Aligning
- Lie flat on your bed without your head on a pillow. Elongate your neck with your chin pointing upward.
- Begin to rock your head from side to side as you relax your neck muscles. Continue for about one minute until your neck feels relaxed.
- Now, turn your head to one side, reaching your chin toward your shoulder as you breathe in. Return your chin to center position as you exhale.
- Repeat the same motion, this time in the opposite direction.
- Complete twenty repetitions, ten in each direction.
2. Shoulder Pump
- Continuing to lie flat on your bed, inhale as you bring your shoulders toward your ears, squeezing out the muscles in your shoulders.
- As you exhale, relax and allow your shoulders to return to their neutral position.
- Repeat the movement 20 times, focusing on relaxing your shoulder and neck muscles.
3. Arm Twists
- Place your arms outside of your covers and at a 45-degree angle from your body with your palms facing the ceiling. Breathe deeply but naturally as you relax the body.
- As you breathe in, twist the hands and arms so that the palms completely turn over and the entire arm is twisted, like a rag being wrung out.
- Hold your breath for a couple of seconds, and then exhale as you return to the original position.
- Repeat the motion ten times and then close your eyes and relax for several breaths.
4. Knee Squeeze
- Removing your covers while you lie on your bed, lift your knees toward your chest.
- Wrap your arms around your knees and pull your bent legs toward your chest as you breathe in. Inhale and hold for a couple of seconds.
- Exhale and slowly return your arms and legs to the bed.
- In the lying position, breathe in once deeply, allowing all tension to leave the body as you exhale.
- Repeat the stretch, pulling your knees to your chest and inhaling deeply. Exhale as you return to the lying position.
- Repeat the movements 5-7 times.
5. Hip Twist
- While lying on your bed without covers, bend your knees to form 90-degree angles.
- Keeping your back flat on the bed and your legs together, twist your legs to the side so that the side of one leg touches the bed. Breathe in deeply as you complete this motion.
- Exhale slowly as you return your knees to the upright position, and then repeat on the other side.
- Repeat the motion 5-7 times.
6. Toe Tapping
- With your legs outside of your covers, bring your legs together as you lie flat on your bed. Relax and let your feet fall naturally to the sides.
- Now, begin to tap the feet together, hitting the sides of the feet together rhythmically.
- After 100 repetitions, relax your entire body as you feel energy in the form of tingling, heat, cold, heaviness or lightness run through your lower body.
If you get in the habit of repeating this sequence, you might find that it becomes second nature to you, just like the stretches you do every day when you first wake up. You can also do them as you are going to sleep at night, as a way of releasing the stress and stagnant energy that has accumulated in the body. Also, they help to bring energy down from your head and into your lower body, which can help you overcome insomnia. However and whenever you use them, they are sure to leave you feeling both energized and deeply relaxed.