By Alexis Wolfer

If you wake up feeling groggy, hit snooze one-too-many times or just want to feel more energized and refreshed as you begin the day, read on!

Jill Miller, the creator of Yoga Tune Up (a unique blend of yoga, calisthenics, self massage and corrective exercise designed to help strengthen and heal the body) holds the key to feeling more grounded, stronger, happier and relaxed – and she’s sharing her secrets…

Watch Your Body Breathe

During the first few moments of awakening, we are still in a deeply sedated state (unless your alarm clock was blaring heavy metal to wake you…), try to extend this tranquil time for 3-5 minutes by practicing breathing meditation.

Try This: Instead of opening your eyes and moving, remain still and let your mind become an “observer” of the way you’re breathing. There is no need to change or manipulate your breath. Simply watch your breath move in and out. This will help you to remain calm, aware and focused throughout your day.

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Wake Up Like An Animal

When you watch a cat or dog wake up, you’ll notice that they actually stiffen their whole body and then stretch while they are tightening their muscles everywhere. This type of stretching quickly dissolves stiffness in the muscles and connective tissues and rehydrates your cells from inside out.

Try This: Start your day with the Squirm Worm Workout. Upon waking, press your body and limbs into the bed, sheets and blankets as if they are uncharacteristically heavy. Hold each spontaneous position and take a deep breath from each shape. With each new “squirm,” tighten your abs, buttocks, thighs and arms as the whole body yawns. Do this 8-10 times.

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Skip The Caffeine, Opt For Skin Brushing

Skin brushing is a yoga technique where you use a firm loofah (or other skin brush) to exfoliate your skin before the shower. Vigorously scrub the brush everywhere to rapidly improve circulation (like natural caffeine!) and buff your body before the water even hits you.

Try This: Grab your loofah and, wearing your birthday suit, step into the  non-running bathtub or shower (to catch all those extra dead skin cells). Take a huge inhale, hold the breath and then vigorously scrub in a circular motion the top and bottoms of your right foot until you can no longer hold the breath. Then exhale. Inhale again, hold breath firmly, and then scrub the left foot until you need to exhale. Proceed with this invigorating breathing technique and briskly brush the remainer of your body in this order: right calf, left calf, right thigh, left thigh, right hip/bottom, left hip/bottom, right hand and forearm, left hand and forerarm, right shoulder, left shoulder, abdomen, low back, chest, upper back, neck. After this sequence, you heart, skin, and soul will be so refreshed! Plus you’ll feel like you’ve just worked out!

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