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Morning Lethargy Breakers that Reduce Stress

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Exercises for the winter


I’m getting used to colder winters in New Delhi and ushering in 2018 with a thick blanket of fog didn’t come as a surprise. It’s when the temperature falls below 5 degrees Celsius that I begin to wonder if we’re going to break any cold wave records again.

When I originally wrote this post back in 2013, little did I know the record for coldest January 12th would be broken today, January 12th 2018 with a drop in temperature to 3.4 degree Celsius — the lowest on this date in five years.

If we look at the record season-wise this this the second coldest day as January 6 in 2013 still holds the top honors at 2 degrees Celsius.

I would personally prefer to stay inside the quilts but a pet parent has duties and record temperatures or not, the morning walk is a must. So while I huddle away to get ready, Coco the pet child has her own way of warming up. She does stretch exercises while she waits for me.

Having watched the exercises for the past few days, I noticed that some of them are quite useful when it comes to managing stress apart from making the limbs flexible in the morning.

This post is a joint contribution from Coco and me on a few select stretch exercises that shake off lethargy and also reduce stress.


3 Power Moves Recommended by Miss Coco to Energize




If you prefer to read, here are Miss Coco’s instructions.

Before starting the stretch, it is a good idea to warm up. Walking or marching on the spot helps to increase the blood flow and make the muscles supple. Hold the stretch until you feel the muscles loosen and then hold for a further 10 seconds. You might feel a little discomfort at the beginning of the stretch but if it is painful, then please stop immediately. The stretch exercise is supposed to help you, not hurt you.

Coco starts with a front paws and then hind paws stretch. This is followed by vigorous shaking and a wagging tail which indicates she is ready to get out of bed.

The human variation is as follows:

Stand up straight with your arms at your sides. Raise your arms above your head with palms of hand facing inward and stretch as if you are trying to reach the sky. Hold the position to a count of 5 and lower your arms again to your sides. This is one set. Do a set of 3.

Stand up straight with your feet slightly apart. Raise your right hand over your head and stretch to your left side. Let the left hand slide on your left leg while you stretch. Repeat on the other side. This is one set. Do a set of 3.

Stand up straight. Lift one foot off the ground and circle it, first clockwise and then clockwise. Do the same with the other foot. This is one set. Do a set of 3. If you have trouble balancing, hold onto a chair or the wall.

I admit I could not think of a variation for the tail wag, but a gentle shake up of the hands and wrists as well as of both legs does wonders.

The great thing about these stretches is that they can be done anytime you are feeling stressed out or need to shake off lethargy.

Even when winter is over and spring arrives, these stretch exercises will help you get a great start to your day.

How are you keeping yourself fit this winter? Please do share in the comments box below.

Also, if you found this post useful, please share with others. You never know who needs it – especially a furry being who is having difficulty persuading their pet parent to take them out!


Winter tends to bring out our procrastination habit too!


How to stop procrastinating mini-course


Written by: Vatsala Shukla

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16 Responses to “Morning Lethargy Breakers that Reduce Stress”

  1. Angela Goodeve says:

    Lessons learned from a dog…brilliant! HI! Just stopping by to say Hi, and check out your new site…it is great! I am currently migrating my blog/website to wordpress, and they will be redirecting people from my Blogger site to the WordPress site. When I clicked on an older post there it said “Sorry this page does not exist”, and did not redirect to your new site. Just wanted to let you know so that people don’t miss your wonderful blog!

    Here is to another great year blogging!


    Ang 🙂

    • Karmic Ally says:

      Hi Angela!

      Welcome to the relocated blog!

      The website was launched in January 2012 but I kept the blog at its original location. The migration of the blog was part of my self-development. Who says a coach cannot improve? I’m glad you are doing the same and grateful to start Monday with your validation. Thanks for the valuable tip about the links. I will check it out. I had removed some of my posts from Blogger but they are still here on this website. Migrating blogs and websites to other platforms is a meticulous process. While the migration is easy, checking for links and bugs is where the action is!

      Bloggers of the world unite!

  2. Archana Sali says:

    Hi Vatsala,

    I am not greatly fond of dogs but am very impressed by the way you find something useful from every being and have made a blog post from it for the benefit of a larger group. Hope you have a energetic and fantastic 2014!


    • Karmic Ally says:

      Dear Archana, delighted to see you back at the blog! Thank you for the compliment. It all comes down to how we view the world. It is a known fact that we see more of what we focus on even if not on the conscious level. So if a person is on a diet and is avoiding fast food, they will see fast food stores more because the sub-conscious is focusing on junk food. 🙂

      In a similar manner, I focus on lessons that Life and the world around me teach and yes, sometimes we learn from the most unexpected sources, such as our pet friends. Wishing you a happy and abundant 2014. A big God Bless!

  3. Tamuria says:

    This is such a sweet post – dogs can teach us so much. I love stretching first thing in the morning. 🙂

    • Karmic Ally says:

      Same here, Tamuria, even if it is just a mild one when I get out of bed. I’ve always enjoyed observing all my dogs and can truly say that they do teach us complicated human beings a lot if we are willing to learn. 🙂

  4. Suzie Cheel says:

    Love your dogs tips and yes stretching is so important and somethings i must do more of. I can imagine the tempation to pull the sheets up and go back to sleep, maybe why I live where we have no real winter and no snow. PS I grew up where we had 4 distinct seasons. xxx

    • Karmic Ally says:

      The temptation to go back to sleep is unimaginable, Suzie. I’ve trained myself to sit up in bed and say a morning prayer to kindle the momentum in the morning and then do the stretch exercises under Miss Coco’s supervision, of course. 🙂

  5. Love the video and warm up! I had to look up Celsius vs Fahrenheit to figure out the temperature there. It was -2 Celsius here yesterday, but so far we have only had a little snow. Last year this time we were buried so I’m hoping this trend continues.

    Coco is adorable! My little Lucy also helps me keep moving. Every morning we head out for a long walk either to the village or the woods behind my home – I usually try to dedicate a full hour for her to explore, sniff and go through her various territory marking rituals. Thanks for the tips, and stay warm!

    • Karmic Ally says:

      I didn’t know girl dogs marked territory too, Marquita. Miss Coco leaves calling cards when she is ‘in season’. Thank God for furry Earth Angels to keep us humans on track. 🙂

  6. Reba Linker says:

    Adorable! Your post got me moving this morning so . . . thank you!

    • Karmic Ally says:

      I’ll let Miss Coco know you’ve taken a page from her book, Reba. Considering the mini Ice Age weather in New York right now, stay warm and mobile.

  7. I empathize with you and Miss Coco, Vatsala! It’s been as cold as -17 Celsius here recently! The last few days have warmed up to 12 degrees Celsius and it felt like spring. Today it got really cold again. The weather is unpredictable and I see how many people are suffering with flus and colds, coughs etc. As for me, I am very sad that my regular outdoor walk has been cut short. I tried a few days and it was brutally cold. I love your ideas, as I need something to take the place of my daily walks. I will take some of Miss Coco’s and your suggestions in mind, so that I keep moving and stretching and at least feel like I have the illusion of exercising!

    • Karmic Ally says:

      Happy to be of service, Beverley. A 30 minute walk once a day does wonders for our health, especially for blood sugar and cholesterol and other modern day maladies. Stay warm!

  8. Joyce Hansen says:

    We have a new rescue dog by the name of Thomas. I take my cues from him. Stay in bed as long as you can, cuddle into the blankets. Face the day with a downward dog stretch before jumping out of bed. Start at the front door and pace back and forth for a warm up. Briskly exit and maintain a steady pace up and downhill. Take time out for necessary mini-breaks. Otherwise stay focused on returning to the home destination. Then, it’s back to bed for a morning nap. I can see how I can turn that into a gym routine. Thanks, Miss Coco.

    • Karmic Ally says:

      Congratulations on the new addition to your family, Joyce. I haven;t met Thomas in person yet but I love his ideas – my kinda guy! We can learn so much from our pets about simplifying life.

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