Feeling stressed or all tied up in a knot? Whether you have been sitting and travelling all day or just feeling like you need 5 minutes to yourself these 5 stretches will help you get on your way to feeling relaxed. The best part these stretches will relieve tension in the back, hips, and shoulders, but you don’t have to be flexible or twist yourself into a pretzel.
Thread the needle// Starting in child’s pose: Kneel onto the floor with your big toes touching and knees wide. Lengthen the spine and reach the arms long in front resting the forehead and chest down onto the ground. Bring your left arm under your chest and extend it long on the floor with the palm facing up. Think of gently rolling the chest towards the ceiling so that you feel the should stretch.Hold the stretch for 30 seconds then release and stretch the other side. Option to perform the stretch on hands and knees instead of child’s.
Spinal twist// Sitting nice and tall, cross the right ankle outside the left knee. Left leg can be extended long in front or bent bringing the left foot towards the right hip. Inhale lengthening the spine, exhale twisting towards the right leg. Place the right hand behind the right hip and cross the left arm on the outside of the right leg. Take your gaze over the right shoulder. Each inhale grow taller and each exhale twist slightly deeper. Hold for 5 deep breathes then repeat on the left side.
Swan dive// Standing tall, feet hip width apart, spine tall, and shoulders relaxed. Inhale reaching arms high overhead and exhale fold forward. Bend the knees if needed. Hang in your forward fold letting the head hang and shoulders relax. (While in this fold feel free to shake the head out, sway side to side, etc.) Taking your time keep the knees soft as you return to standing rolling up through the spine one vertebrae at a time. Once standing keep the shoulders relaxed as you reach the arms over head. Perform this 5 times.
Low lunge// Stepping the right foot forward come into a low runners lunge with the hands on the ground. Keeping the left leg long and staying on the ball of the left foot rock gently forwards and back to relax the hip. Lower the left knee down to the ground untuck the left toes so that the top of the left foot rests on the floor. If able bring the hands to the right thigh, lengthening the spine. Option to lift the arms high and lifting the gaze upwards. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat with the left foot forward.
Reclined Pigeon// Lie on your back with knees bent and feet flat. Place the right ankle on the left knee (be sure to flex the right foot in order to protect the knee). Grab behind the left thigh and pull the left thigh towards your face until you feel a stretch in the right hip and glutes.