Lie face up on the floor with knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Inhale and as you exhale and press the bellybutton towards the spine and ‘closing’ the ribs. Keep the breath flowing and relax the tension on your shoulders and face. Repeat for 10 breaths.
Cat Stretch – Kneel on all fours, knees under hips and hands under shoulders. Spread the fingers out on the floor with palms flat, contract the abs to bring the head, neck and back in alignment. Inhale and tip the hips towards the ceiling while drawing the shoulders back and down away from your ears; look up. Exhale and tuck the chin while pulling your belly towards your spine. Round the back and feel a stretch down your spine. Repeat for 4 to 6 breaths, moving smoothly between each move.
From the previous Cat Stretch exercise, sit back on your heels with arms stretched out on the floor or next to your body, palms down and forehead touching the floor. You can take your knees wide for a more comfortable position if you need to. Stay here for 5-10 breaths.
Side Child’s Pose
While in Child’s Pose, walk the hands over to one side, feeling a stretch all the way down the waist. Hold for 3 or more breaths and then walk the hands to the other side, again holding for 3 breaths.
- Begin in mountain pose-standing with big toes touching, heels slightly apart, chest lifted and legs strong and active (not pictured).
- Exhale and tip from the hips and lower into a forward bend, with hands on the floor or feet–bend the knees if you need to.
- Inhale and look up as you come upon your fingertips until your back is flat.
- Exhale into forward bend.
- Inhale, sweep arms overhead until palms touch.
- Exhale and bring the hands back to the sides in Mountain Pose.
- Repeat the series 4 to 8 times.
Lie on the floor with knees bent, heels close to the hips. Exhale and press feet into the floor as you lift hips up until thighs are parallel to the floor. Relax the glutes, feeling your quads activate to hold you in place. Hold for 3 or more breaths and slowly roll back down onto the mat. Pull the knees into the chest to stretch the back and relax.
Lie on your side with knees bent and hips, knees and ankles stacked. Stretch the bottom arm straight out and rest top arm on top, palms together. Keeping your hips stacked and abs engaged, draw the top arm across your body (fingertips trailing the body) and out to the other side. Feel a gentle stretch on your back. Draw the arm back in, stretching over the bottom arm and repeat 3 times before switching sides.
Lie on your back with legs and arms out from the body. Let your feet flop out and relax your fingers. Close your eyes and relax the muscles around each eye as you breathe deeply. Starting at your feet, consciously relax each part of your body, letting all your tension go as you breathe. Stay here for 5 or more minutes.
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