Best stretches for relaxation. To continue on this week’s theme of relaxation, I thought it would be fun to take a look at some stretches that will help you ease your sore and tired muscles after a long day. so that you can fall into a deep sleep and then some stretches that will invigorate you and help you kick start a busy day.
BEST STRETCHES FOR RELAXATION
In order to be refreshed for your day (and ready for any holiday parties that might suddenly crop up) you need to start with a few quick minutes of easy stretching in the morning. I promise they won’t take long, but you will feel fantastic.
MUST DO MORNING STRETCHES
Chest. Start this one while you are still in bed and toasty warm under the covers. Reach your arms over your head and stretch out like a little kid would. Make sure you are breathing deeply and then repeat the stretch and slightly arch your back. Your mattress will act like the perfect support for your neck and shoulders.
Shoulder & neck. Sitting up straight on a chair or on the edge of your bed, plant your feet on the floor. Gently tilt your head to one side and press the opposite hand away from you. Hold for 10 seconds. Then clasp your hands behind your head and very gently press your chin down toward your chest. In order to target the back of your neck, it’s important to keep your spine as straight as possible.
Side & Spine. Remaining in the same seated position, reach one arm overhead and go into a nice deep side stretch. Hold for about 10 seconds and repeat on the other side. There are many ways to twist your spine, but since it’s still morning, start with lying flat on your back. Bend your knees and let them fall to one side while your torso remains still. You should feel a great release in your lower back.
Hamstring. Since it’s still early, lie down on your back, left leg on the floor and using a belt or a band straighten your right leg toward the ceiling.
Quadriceps. Lying on your side (legs stacked), bend your top knee and gently pull your heel toward your glutes. Don’t arch your back and keep your pelvis in a neutral position. You should also feel this stretch in your hip flexors (the front of your hips).
BEST STRETCHES FOR SLEEP
Spine Twist. Lying on your back under the covers, take your right leg across your body (it can be bent or straight), but try keeping your shoulders straight. You should feel a nice stretch through your right hip and your back. Hold for 20 seconds and repeat with the left leg.
Knees To Chest. Hug both knees to your chest and hold for 20 seconds. You’ll find a great release in your lower back.
Back Lying Straddle. Lying on your back, lift your legs to the ceiling and let them fall open to the sides. You can press down on them with your hands for an even deeper stretch or just let them go. Hold for 20 seconds.
Hip Stretch. Flip over onto your stomach, keeping your legs about hip distance apart, place your hands beneath your shoulders and press down as you lift your head and chest up to the ceiling. You should feel a stretch through your chest and maybe even into your hips. Pull your stomach muscles in so that you don’t put too much pressure on your lower back. Hold for 15 seconds.
Child’s Pose. After the cobra, simply press your body back so that you are sitting on your heels with your head on your knees. Breathe deeply and hold for 30 seconds.
The holidays will be crazy no matter what and that’s a fact we need to accept. I don’t participate in any big family dinners, I don’t cook huge meals and most of the presents I buy are over the internet and sent overseas at the beginning of December and yet, I still somehow manage to get stuck in at least a handful of insane lineups that leave me completely frazzled. These stretches are meant to be your 5-10 minutes of peace and calm, so that you don’t completely lose yourself. Do them whenever you have a second, or do them as I’ve presented them. Most of all remember to have fun!
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