As we get deeper into the holiday season our stress levels rise and our lives get busier. Stretching can help us slow down and rinse out all of the toxins that are being consumed this holiday season. Stretching can also help us relieve stress that we are holding within our bodies. Here are some stretches that we recommend that will only take 10 minutes out of your day to do! Hold each stretch for 1 minute to get the full benefits.
Start in childspose. Place your forehead on the mat, spread your knees mat width apart and let your heels sink down to your heels.
Walk up to the top of your mat and bring your feet mat width apart. Grab opposite elbows and let the crown of your head hang down towards the mat. Bend your knees as much as you need to here. To release extra tension shake your head out “yes” and “no”.
Now sit down on your mat and come into butterfly pose. Bring the soles of your feet together, pull the flesh from underneath your sit bones and let your knees fall down to the mat. For a deeper stretch bring your nose down to your knees.
Pose #4 & 5 is double pigeon pose. Stack your legs like logs. For your right side, bring your right ankle bone on top of your left knee, and slightly bend your left knee. For a modification straighten your left leg as shown in the second photo. Hold this pose for 1 minute, then switch to the left side. Place your left ankle over your right knee and bend your right leg.
Straighten both legs in front of you and reach for your toes. If you cannot reach your toes just place your hands on your shins and let your head hang. Let gravity do the work and pull your upper body down to your lower body.
Now for my favourite pose, half pigeon. Flex your right foot and bend it to a 90 degree angle. Place your hands on either sides of your hips to lift you up and over your hips. Your left leg should be reaching straight to the back of the room with your toes uncurled. If this feels okay, start to reach forward to the front of your mat, if this feels intense enough just stay sitting up. Many of us hold our stress in our hips. This is a great pose that will release that tension. Hold the right side for 1minute before switching to the left side.
For a modification, check out this video
Pose #9, Fish Pose. This pose is a wonderful heart opener. Place your hands underneath your sit bones and place your elbows down on the mat. Puff up your chest and let your head fall down to the mat. You can always place a block beneath your head or in between your shoulder blades for more support.
Last pose of the series. Place your hips on a block or blanket and lift your feet to the ceiling. Many of us spend the day standing or sitting at a desk, and during this season shopping. This will allow the blood to drain from our feet, ankles and thighs to pump fresh new blood down to our legs.
YOU DID IT! Feeling good and looking for more? Go to our Facebook for a stretch video for you to try!