Rising and shining is easier said than done for most people. It is hard to wake up with enough energy to do any kind of exercise routine. Those people that can get up at 6 AM and go on a 5-mile jog must have an external energy storage appliance because who honestly prefers running over sleep? Well, if you're one of the people that needs a nice and easy transition in wakefulness perhaps you could benefit from some early morning yoga stretches. These moves are not strenuous but they stimulate the brain and body into waking up and greeting the day. Maybe one day you'll get to that 6 AM run, but until then try a few of these to get you going.

1) Go Outside

Those in the yoga and holistic field are huge proponents of acquiring morning air as soon as one awakens. Supposedly the time before the sunrise, the air is filled with a type of energy that the body appreciates. Perhaps it is the coolness of the breeze or just the lack of traffic and noise but going for a quick walk around the block can help get the blood flowing throughout the brain and body as well as motivating the body's metabolism to awaken. Plus you'll feel so accomplished before the sun's up.

2) Standing Backbend and Side Stretch

A great stretch to help wake up those sleepy muscles is a standing backbend. When you sleep the body becomes used to the prostrate position. So as soon as you awaken, stand with your feet shoulder width apart and slowly raise your arms and reach for the ceiling. The stretch reaches almost all parts of the body. For a deeper stretch, try standing on the balls of your feet while reaching for the ceiling. When you feel that you arms and hands cannot go higher, push your arms back to bend your back slightly. You'll feel this stretch in your ribs, hips, legs, arms, and back. A side bend is just a modified backbend. After you have stretch as high as you can, just pull your arms to your sides. This stretch will help to open up your rib cage, diaphragm, and lungs so you can get oxygen into your body and brain.

3) Forward Bend

Once again, stand with your feet about shoulder width apart and reach your hands high above your head. Then slowly, lower them toward your feet. Follow with your head, neck and then back. If there is pain in the back of the legs or lower back, try bending your knees. Relax the space between your shoulder blades and let your head hang. This stretch gets the blood from your limbs into your head and gives you that refreshed feeling as well as helping to expand the back muscles. When you are finished, rise up with your back first, then shoulders, then the neck and head.

3) Side Twist

Side twists are really great for those that have mid and lower back problems. While laying on your back, extend your arms out until they're on either side of you. Then lift one leg straight and bend the other leg with the foot still on the ground. While maintaining steady breathing, take your extended leg and slowly drop it across your body until it touches the ground. Keep your shoulders on the ground and don't try to pull on your arms to make the stretch go further. You'll probably hear a few cracks and pops but this stretch will help you mobility and back pain so you can be more productive throughout the day.

Don't forget to have a nice, big breakfast and a big glass of water with every morning. The tone of the morning is what will set the mood for the rest of your day so try to awaken every morning with positivity, strength and excitement.

This article was written by M.G. Bachemin in association with Brahman Systems, the new standard in cable and hose protection for industrial traffic. For more information, please go to http://www.brahmansystems.com/.