Do you spend the majority of the day standing? Running around? Or stagnant but on your feet?
Maybe you work retail, maybe you have little ones to chase, maybe you are in the service industry, maybe you like to hike. Whatever it is, unwind at the end of the day with these 7 stretches. Absolutely no standing necessary.
You will either want 1 block or a wall handy for the last pose.
1. Toe Squat – Start kneeling. Tuck the toes, and rest your hips back on the heels. Lean back all the way with the hands on the thighs. Or keep your hands down to ease off if it’s too intense. Breathe into the pose and sensations, relaxing the facial muscles. Stay for about 10 breaths.
2. Ankle Stretch – Untuck the toes, coming onto the tops of the feet. Sit the hips on the heels. Bring the hands back behind you. Try to lift the knees and shins up off of the mat. Avoid rounding or collapsing through the upper back.
3. Three-Legged Dog – Bring the hands down, walking them ahead of the shoulders. Tuck the toes and lift the hips up and back into downward dog. Keeping shoulders squared, kick the left foot up towards the sky. Bending the knee, opening the hip and pushing into heel. Squeezing into the glute to lift the knee as high as you can. Hold for a few breaths. Then straighten and lower leg, before switching sides.
4. Low Lunge – From hands and knees, step the left foot through between the hands. Stacking the left knee over the left ankle. Keep the palms flat to the floor, melting the hips down. Relax the shoulders away from the ears. Take into a twist by bringing left hand onto left thigh, and looking back over the left shoulder. Repeat on the other side.
5. Butterfly Pose – Come to sit, bringing the soles of the feet together and letting the knees drop out to the sides. Have the heels as close or as far away from you as feels right to you today. Grab hold of the big toes with the two peace fingers, arching into the back and gazing up. Then begin to passively fold over the legs, rounding into the spine. Let the head relax. Hold for about 10 breaths.
6. Reclined Head to Knee – Lower onto the back. With the knees bent and feet on the floor. Hug the right knee into the chest. Straighten the leg any amount, holding the back of the leg. Flex and point the right foot. After a few reps, hold with the toes pointed. Option to extend the left leg out straight on the mat. Return feet to mat and switch legs.
7. Waterfall or Legs Up the Wall – Keep the hips on the mat, or lift them up on to a block on its lowest level. Extend the legs up towards the ceiling to float, or rest the heels against the wall. This is the absolutely best pose to do after standing all day, particularly if your feet swell. Rest your arms at your side or reach them up over head for additional opening in the upper body.
These 7 poses come from a 30 minute Yoga class for tired legs. Practice in its entirety with me below.