When you crawl under the sheets at night, do you find that your body is holding on to the tension from the day? Do the aches, pains, and stresses of the day leave you losing precious sleep time to tossing and turning?
Give yourself 15 minutes to try these 6 stretches before hitting the hay tonight.
1. Supported Fish or Reclined Butterfly – If you have a set of blocks, set them up with one lengthwise between the shoulder blades and the other horizontal to support the back of the head. Choose whichever height you prefer, I have them on the middle. Lower down onto the blocks, or straight to the ground if you prefer. Bring the soles together and drop the knees out to the sides. Relax the arms down at the sides or bring them up overhead for an opening in the shoulders. Settle in and find some comfort. Close the eyes. Focus on the breath here, using the 4-4-4 technique – inhale for 4, hold for 4, exhale for 4 (all through the nose).
2. Seated Butterfly Fold – Keep the legs as they are as you lift up to seated. Walk the fingers out in front of you. Crawl them to the left. Fold and soften down, letting yourself round. Allow your head to be heavy. Relax the belly. Crawl through center and over to the right side.
3. Thread the Needle – Come to table top, with the palms under the shoulders and knees under the hips. Reach the right arm up, then thread it through underneath you. Lowering down on the right ear and shoulder. Keeping the hips over the knees. Lift up and repeat on the other side.
4. Sphinx – Lower down on to the belly. Bring the forearms out in front of you. Lift the chest and heart. Roll your shoulders back, broadening the collarbone. Push the pubic bone into the ground, and lengthen tail towards heels. You should feel no pain or compression in the low back.
5. Reclined Knee Pile – Flip over onto the back. Cross your right thigh over the left. Trying to stack right knee over the left. Hold onto the knees or the feet. Widening the feet away from one another. Pulling everything down, as you stretch into the hips. Repeat on other side.
6. Happy Baby – Clasp the outside edges of the feet, or the big toes. Kick the heels up to the sky. Stack the ankles over the knees. Pull the knees down towards the sides of the body.
Want to just relax and be gently guided through the poses? Practice along with me in the video below.