Stretching is not only good for a healthy body, but it can also impact on our emotional state of mind. As the body carries tension in joints, opening them on a daily basis frees up the flow of energy and clears tension, both physically and emotionally.
Here are 5 stretches to do daily that will help you feel GREAT!
Whether you choose your forward fold standing or seated, it will benefit you any time of the day. Simply tilt from the hip, keeping your knees slightly bent, stretch your spine long and reach with your nose for your knees. You can intensify by taking 10 breaths, lengthening the upper body and straightening the back on each inhale, then folding deeper on each exhale. You can slowly start extending the knees as well.
Forward folds are great morning stretches to wake up the body, lengthen the hamstrings, and awaken your digestive system.
To counter your forward fold I would suggest a gentle backbend, such as bridge pose. Lie on your back with your feet grounded close to your sit bones, and then press into your feet to lift your hips skywards until your hipbones are in line with your shoulders and knees. Keep pressing your knees in towards each other and walk your shoulder blades close so you can feel your heart lift towards your chin. Keep your neck long and count 5 to 15 breaths in this pose, until you roll down your spine one vertebra at a time.
Especially if you sit on your computer all day, backbends are great to open the front of the body and clear stagnant matter in the chest and throat region.
Standing up tall, take your hands overhead on your in-breath and reach for the sky. Then lifting the chest, move your whole upper body to the left in the same plane and without rotating the hips or shoulders. Lift back up on the in-breath and move over to the right. Repeat a few times.
Side bends open the side of the ribcage and the intercostal muscles receive a massage and increased blood flow. The lungs and respiratory organs as well receive some loving.
This ever-so-restful pose is also a fantastic stretch to add to your daily routine. Start in plank with your shoulders stacked over your wrists and then without moving the feet, shift your body backwards so your chest reaches for your thighs. With the tailbone sticking up, bend your knees and press knuckles and base of the hands down firmly as the fingers spread wide and the middle finger of each hand points forward. Then send your heels gently towards the ground. Relax the neck and breath deeply for 30 seconds.
Downward dog opens the hamstrings, chest and lower back, while strengthening arms and shoulders.
Half pigeon pose
One of the best hip opening poses is half pigeon. From downward dog bring your right ankle to your left wrist, square the shin to the front of the mat, breathe in to lift the chest and then relax over the front leg.
Left and right side often feel completely different, so it’s great to embrace and even out our physical imbalances.
Do you stretch on a daily basis? SHARE with us in the comments below.
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