The best time to stretch or do yoga is in the morning. Why?
For a few reasons: Many people wake up stiff and tired. Using yoga or some light stretching first thing in the morning will help you cure this. I am going to suggest 3 light stretches that I think help the most and why:
1. A spinal twist. A spinal twist can be done while in your bed before you get up. With both arms outstretched like wings, send one or both knees in one direction across your body and turn your head in the other, then do the other side. This is a great stretch for the sides of your body, your neck and most especially, your thoracic spine. After you’ve been sleeping (maybe even favoring one side of your body over the other) the best way to balance it out is with a spinal twist.
2. Modified pigeon. This is another great stretch you can do in bed. Laying on your back, bend both knees and place the ankle of your right foot over the thigh of your left leg, making sure to avoid putting pressure on either the knee or ankle joints. This stretch should look like the number 4 with your legs. If you want to take it further, keep your shoulders back against your bed and reach your arms around to the thigh or shin of your left leg. You should feel a counter stretch by sending your right knee forward while you pull your left leg back toward your chest, then do the other side. This is a great stretch for your hips. We store all kinds of emotions in our hips and this serves as a release before your feet even meet the floor to start the day.
3. Once you’re standing, Interlace your hands behind your back and fold forward hinging from the hips. Let your hands fall forward over your head toward the ground as much as they can (keeping them interlaced), while keeping your shoulders down and away from your ears. This stretch is a chest opener, stretching your pectoralis major and minor, anterior deltoid, and also your rhomboids, levator scapulae (neck muscles) and biceps. If done regularly, this stretch can even improve your posture because it stretches and strengthens the muscles in charge of pulling your shoulders back.
These 3 stretches will help wake you up, keep your body relaxed and improve overall movement to ease you through your day. I suggest doing this first thing in the morning and just before you go to bed. The stretches I’ve described are aimed at target spots most people often feel are tight, sore, stiff or in pain (back, hips, shoulders, neck, and chest).