MY FAVORITE STRETCHES AND YOGA POSES
I got an e-mail through my website for a request on what my favorite stretches and yoga poses are, so I am going to try my best to describe them for you. I also plan on shooting a short little video to put up on YouTube, as well as on my site.
It is important to hold each stretch and pose breathing deeply through the nose for 3-5 breaths. Visualize the breath going into the area of focus, and on the exhale release struggle and relax deeper into the stretch.
FOR MY BACK:
Spinal Twist. Cross Right Leg over Left so there is no gap in between the knees. Inhale then drop the knees to the right and your head to the left. The goal is to try and get the left shoulder and left ear closer to the floor. Visualize the breath coming up your spine and expanding your chest. Exhale and relax into the twist. Repeat other side.
The Bridge. Lay on your back with your knees up and feet flat on the floor. With arms by your sides, bridge your hips up and hold. Only go as far as you can. Squeeze your buttocks and try getting your shoulders flat and your chin closer to your chest.
FOR MY HIPS:
Cross Right ankle over Left Thigh. Opening right knee out to the side, then reaching through and grabbing left hamstring. Keeping head/shoulders/back pressing into the floor, then pulling leg in tight. Repeat other side.
Happy Baby Pose. Start on your back with knees drawn into chest. Grab hold of your feet with your hands. Ensure your arms are in front of your shins and you are holding on to the outside of your feet. Flex your feet drawing your knees wide and toward your armpits. Try to stack ankles above knees. Lengthen your lower back, trying to touch the tip of your tailbone to the ground.
FOR MY MIDSECTION:
Side Stretch. Inhaling Up reaching arms up to the sky. Grab the left wrist and stretch up and over. Repeat other side.
Triangle and Extended Triangle. Standing with your feet wide apart. Right foot is at a 90 degree angle and the left foot is at a 45 degree angle. Take a deep breath reaching your arms out to the sides, shoulder height, with your palms facing down. Inhale and reach your right arm extending as far as you can to the right. Then drop the right arm down resting on the floor or grab your calf or ankle. Reach the left arm straight up to the sky. Make sure your hips and shoulders are stacked and your chest is open. Then bend your right leg and rest your right forearm on your right thigh. Zipper the left arm up and over your head so it’s close to your ear with the palm facing downward. Keep opening your chest and hips. Repeat other side.
FOR MY SHOULDERS:
Standing Shoulder Stretch. Grab both elbows in front of your body. Raise your arms up and over your head.
Modified Eagle Pose. Begin standing or sitting with legs crossed. Extend your arms straight in front of your body. Drop your left arm under your right. Bend elbows and raise your forearms perpendicular to the floor. Wrap your arms and hands, press palms together (or as close as you can get them). Lift your elbows and reach your fingertips toward the ceiling. Keep shoulder blades pressing down your back. Repeat other side.
FOR MY HAMSTRINGS:
Straight Leg Stretch. Lying on back, bringing the Right Leg Straight Up grabbing a few inches below the knee. Keeping the leg as straight as possible, Inhale point the toes. Exhale and Flex the toes. Repeat 3 times then hold Hamstring Stretch for 3 Deep Breaths. Repeat other side.
Forward Bend. Standing with your feet wide apart and toes turned slightly inward. Take a deep breath then fold over from your waist. Keep your legs straight and drop your head. Keeping the weight in the balls of your feet. Roll up slowly driving your heels into the floor, tucking your pelvis under and head coming up last.
FOR MY QUADRICEPS:
Standing Quad Stretch. Stand and grab the right foot. Keeping the knees together, tilting the pelvis under and pulling the foot into your buttocks. Standing leg is bent and chest is lifted. Repeat other side.
Crescent Lunge. Start up on your knees. Step forward with your right leg into a lunge. Place your hand on your thigh and press forward until you feel a stretch on your back thigh. Repeat other side.
FOR MY CHEST:
Standing Chest Stretch. Clasp your hands behind your back and lift your arms as high as you can, while lifting your chest. Keep your head neutral and retract your chin in.
Cobra. Start on your stomach. Place your forearms on floor next to your chest and close to your body. Lift your chest and Upper Body into an easy cobra position.
FOR MY NECK:
Chin to Chest Stretch: Stand and clasp your hands behind your head. Inhale with your head neutral. Exhale and drop your chin to your chest until you feel a stretch down your back. Make sure you are standing up straight.
Side Neck Stretch. Standing or sitting. Take your right palm and place on the nape of your neck. Left Hand is placed on small of your back palm facing outward. Inhale and slowly begin looking under your right arm. Repeat other side.
Favorite Pose: ALL TIME FAVORITE POSE IS: SAVASANA (CORPSE POSE).
Lay on your back. Feet are slightly wider than your hips and allow them to open and fall to the sides. Your arms are by your sides slightly away from your body with your palms facing up. Simply close your eyes, follow your breath and let go. This is a great time to set your intention for the day.
I hope these stretches and poses help you to work out the kinks and reduce any stiffness and soreness your body is experiencing. If you do them on a regular basis, preferably when your body is warmed up sufficiently, you will definitely feel the results!!
REMEMBER, TRANSFORM YOUR BODY AND MIND AND YOU WILL EMPOWER YOUR LIFE!