Five-Minute Wake-Up for Your Whole Body

Some mornings the last thing we want to do is get up out of bed and exercise or go to work.

Here is a simple five-minute wake-up you can do on those rough mornings—or every morning—to get your joints lubricated and your mind ready to face the day ahead.

1. Lie on your back in bed with your legs long, knees gently straight.

2. Move your feet toward pointing and then toward flexing. Be careful not to simply flex and point; take your time and luxuriate in the movement. We have 26 bones and 100 joints in each foot!

Move your feet like you are making a soft fist with each foot and then spread the toes like a bird leaving a branch to fly.

3. Now bring your attention to the movement of your heels. Continue to move the feet slowly, more toward pointing and then more toward flexing. Keep your knees gently straight. Do you notice when your heels move away from your head? When do they approach your head? Explore this movement for a few moments then let that go.

4. Bring your attention to your hands. As you lie on your back, slowly move your hands to make gentle fists, as if you’re holding a baby’s hand, and then open your hands as you did with the feet, like a bird spreading its wings.

5. After you do this a few times, notice: Does this resonate in your arms? Your chest? When do you breathe in? When do you breathe out? Play with the hands and feet opening and closing in various combinations.

6. Notice how all of the movements begin to relate to each other. Make them a little larger and quicker.

7. Let that go.

8. Slowly get up out of bed and notice what you feel.

Frederick E. Schjang is a nationally recognized fitness educator and innovator who specializes in the Feldenkrais® Method, Pilates and Flexibility Training. Schjang leads group classes, maintains a private practice, and mentors other instructors in the field. His annual Feldenkrais Festival has become a must-attend event for fitness enthusiasts.