You know that therapeutic feeling you get after a massage? When you feel like you could just fall asleep. These stretches will help you to feel just like that post massage bliss. Releasing tension from the hips and low back.
Try these 7 poses out before getting ready for bed tonight. No props required.
- Butterfly Fold – Start seated. Bring the soles of the feet together to touch. Drop the knees out to the sides. The feet can be a little bit further from the body, so that the legs make two 90 degree angles. Fold down any amount. You might props yourself up on the hands, or to go a bit further thread the arms underneath the legs and lower the head down. Hold here for about 10 deep breaths.
2. Seated Pigeon – Cross the right ankle over the left knee. Choose how close you bring the left foot. Bring the hands back behind, pushing into the fingertips and the sit bones to find length in the spine. You might rock gently side to side here. If you want to go deeper, wrap the elbows around the foot and knee to cradle the leg and extend the left leg out on the mat. Repeat on the other side.
3. Cat/Cow – Lift up to hands and knees in table top position. Start to trace big circles with the hips. Switch directions. Flatten out to table top, drawing the belly in. Lift the left knee up and trace big circles with it. Try not to bend the opposite elbow.
4. Low Lunge – Step the left foot through between the hands. Sink the hips forward. Keep your right hand down on the floor and bring the left hand up to the thigh. Push the palm into the leg. Roll your left shoulder back, looking over the shoulder if it feels good.
5. Hamstring Stretch – Push into the left heel, straightening the left leg out and sending the hips back. You can stay lifted up, or sink all the back to the heel and folding forward. Use as little effort.
Repeat 3 through 5 through on the other side.
6. Camel – Lift up to tall kneeling. Toes can either point back or stay tucked under. Length the tailbone down. Pull the belly in. Bring the hands onto the low back. Broaden through the chest as you take a small back bend leading through the heart.
7. Seated Spinal Twist – Come to a seat, extending the legs out front. Bend your left knee, and step the foot over the opposite thigh. Keep the right leg straight, or bend and bring the right foot outside the left glute. Hug into the midline. Lift your right hand up, and hook the elbow outside the left thigh. Walk your left fingers back behind you. Focus on sitting up tall. Repeat on the other side.
These 7 poses come from Day 21 of the 30 day April Evening Yoga Movement challenge over on YouTube. Check out the full practice below, or sign up to start from the beginning.