5 Refreshing Morning Stretches Inspired by Your Cat

cat stretching

Cats always have their priorities straight – especially when it comes to their morning stretches. Even though they’re also an essential part of our wake-up routine, we’re more likely to cheat: Hit snooze, head straight for the coffee maker, or instantly scroll through our smartphone messages. Our fur babies, on the other hand, don’t let anything mess with their routine, and it’s time we follow suit.

Morning stretches loosen your muscles and leave you feeling recharged. Best of all, they only take ten minutes. Here are 5 refreshing morning stretches for you to enjoy, a la cat:

1. Spinal Twist

Lie on your back and bring both knees toward your chest. Stretch your hands out to your sides and swing both knees over to your right, like so. Rest both knees on top of each other and hold for about 30 seconds. Use your core muscles to bring your legs back to center. Repeat on your left side.

2. Cat Pose

Starting in table pose, exhale and round your spine toward the ceiling. Make sure to keep your shoulders and knees in position while releasing your head toward the floor. Inhale and bring yourself back to table pose.

3. Extended Puppy

Start in table pose, making sure your shoulders are directly above your wrists and your hips are directly above your knees. Walk your hands out in front of you and lower your chest toward the ground. Keep your hips over your knees and your arms shoulder-width apart while bringing your forehead to the ground. Lift your forearms and elbows away from the ground, draw your shoulder blades onto your back and reach your hips toward the ceiling. After five breaths, lift your forehead and walk your hands back to table pose.

4. Downward Dog

Start in table pose and walk your hands away until they’re slightly in front of your shoulders. Lift your knees off the floor and tuck your toes under, raising your tailbone and buttocks toward the ceiling. Draw your abs in and straighten your legs, bringing your heels down. Let your head hang freely. After five breaths, return to neutral.

5. The Elevator

Okay, so not all cats stretch like this, but how adorable can you get?

Morph mountain pose into an H2T stretch: Elongate your neck, draw your shoulder blades back, tighten your core, stretch your arms alongside you as if they’re being pulled to the floor, and stretch your legs until you’re on your tip toes. Your version of The Elevator might not be as cute, but it’ll still get the job done.

What are your favorite morning stretches?

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Image: Michael Dougherty