Today’s the day! I’m going to sign up for yoga class… after I finish cleaning out my closet. Surely, that’s a workout. Right? Tomorrow it is… I’m going to finally start yoga and unleash my inner Goddess. Okay… that didn’t happen. Next week it is… After all, I can’t do yoga without getting a hot outfit.
We know how this ends… NO YOGA. This holiday season, to binge guilt free, take baby steps towards being healthy and fit. We’re talking about stretchinggggg! All it takes is 10 minutes a day. Stretching daily has a whole lot of benefits. Improved blood flow, better posture, improved flexibility and relaxed body and mind to name a few.
Oh, and it really helps you spice it up in the sack! 😉
Now that I have your attention, here are some things to keep in mind before starting out:
1. Always warm up for a few minutes by light jogging or even do some pole dancing inspired moves and get your sexy on. Reason being, never stretch cold muscles. You can get injured.
2. Ease into the positions. Never force anything.
4. Hold the position and lean into it until you feel a slight stretch. It should feel good and not hurt. Do not hold your breath. We tend to stop breathing when focusing on things. Keep breathing. Hold for 20 seconds and gradually build up to a minute over time.
5. Be patient. You will see the magic happen and your flexibility improve.
1.Standing Forward Fold
This simple move will leave you feeling energised and happy!
Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Bend over and hang down from your waist with your arms folded and gently holding your elbows. Advanced version is to touch your hands to the floor.
This is one of the best stretches you can do especially when tired. It rejuvenates you, while stretching and strengthening the whole body.
From table position, tuck the toes under, feet hip width apart, press into the hands and begin to lift the hips up towards the ceiling. Spread the fingers wide apart with the palms shoulder width apart. Using straight,but not locked arms, press the hips up and back reaching the chest towards the thighs. Lift through the tailbone to keep the spine straight and long.
3.Upward Facing Dog
Begin by lying face-down on the floor with your legs extended behind you. The tops of your feet should rest on the mat. Place your hands on the floor alongside your body, next to your lower ribs and hug your elbows in close to your ribcage. Inhale as you press through your hands firmly into the floor. Straighten your arms, lifting your torso and your legs a few inches off the floor.
4.Seated Forward Fold
Seated forward fold provides a deep stretch for entire body, especially the back.
Sitting down with your legs in front of you, inhale the arms up over the head and lift and lengthen up through the fingers and crown of the head. Exhale and while hinging at the hips, slowly lower the torso towards the legs. Reach the hands to the toes, feet or ankles.
To deepen the stretch: A) Use the arms to gently pull the head and torso closer to the legs. B) Press out through the heels and gently draw the toes towards you.
5.Single Leg Forward Bend
This stretches the lower back and massages the abdominal organs.
Bend the left knee and place the left foot against the right thigh, keeping the left knee on the floor.
Breathing in, raise both arms above your head and stretch up, and twist a little to the right from the waist.
Breathing out, bend forward from the hip joints keeping the spine straight, directing your chin to the toes.
If you can, hold on to your big toes and, pointing your elbows to the ground, move forward as you pull on your toes. Repeat on the right.
6.Wide Leg Forward Bend
This stretches the inner legs as well as the groins and hamstrings, promoting a healthy pelvis and lower body. The pose also stretches the spine and stimulates the abdominal organs. You can hang out in this pose and reconnect with your body!
You can stretch forward and to each side.
Our hips tend to get super tight due to daily activities. This is a great hip opener and helps relieve physical and emotional stress.
From downward facing dog step both feet together and bring your right knee forward between your hands so your outer right leg is resting on the mat. Stay here with your hands resting on your right leg or walk your hands out in front of you, allowing your torso to rest over your right knee.Hold here, breathing into any areas of tightness and tension for at least five breaths, building up to 1-5 minutes.
8.Lying Hamstring Stretch
The hamstrings are a group of muscles in the back of your thigh that you use constantly to hold yourself upright. Hence, they are prone to becoming tight.
Lie on your back and raise one leg and slowly pull it back with your hands. Stretch back to the point where it is comfortable. Do not strain. You can keep the other leg bent at the knee to make it easier.
Child’s Pose helps to stretch the hips, thighs, and ankles while reducing stress and fatigue. It gently relaxes the muscles on the front of the body while softly and passively stretching the muscles of the back torso.
Begin on your hands and knees. Spread your knees wide apart while keeping your big toes touching. Rest your butt on your heels.
Bow forward, draping your torso between your thighs. Your chest should rest between or on top of your thighs. Allow your forehead to come to the floor. Keep your arms long and extended, palms facing down.
So there you go. Try this out for a week and we guarantee that you’ll be looking forward to stretching everyday!
Remember a healthy body makes a healthy mind!
Style ♥ Sparkle ♥ Swag
About Author: Samira Abraham
Passionate, non conformist, and a rebel at heart, Sam is happiest when training and competing, triathlon and cycling being her focus. She loves getting lost in books, prefers animals to humans, and is always on the lookout for healthy yummy produce. She truly believes in fearlessly following her heart and not limiting oneself.