RACHAEL'S TOP 5 RELAXATION STRETCHES
As we will all be spending a lot more time at home, it’s important to keep moving. During these stressful times, I highly recommend taking time out before bed to stretch, unwind and engage in mindfulness.
Stretching offers potential physical benefits, helping to relieve muscle tension and prevent sleep-disrupting cramps. Be sure to only do gentle stretches before bed, as a big workout can have the opposite effect.
Some of my favourite stretches to finish off the day include:
Ragdoll Pose – Evenly distribute the weight in your feet and have them hip distance apart and with a micro-bend in the knees, let your upper body hang over the legs, keep the back of the neck long and head heavy, and breathe into the hamstrings.
Happy Baby – On your back, with your tailbone toward the ground, bend your knees and grab your feet or ankles with your hands. Have your knees pulled in towards your armpits, open your chest, and make sure the back of your neck is flat on the ground.
Childs Pose – Kneel onto the floor, knees apart, forehead on the ground and arms can be extended in front of you, or tucked behind.
Seated Side Body Stretch – This is a very good stretching exercise for the sides of your body. Your body should lengthen rather than stretch. The shoulder of the arm raised should be behind so as to open the front of the body. The hips should never leave the floor. If you have sore knees or hips, sitting on the edge of a folded blanket will let you sit more comfortably for the pose and ease the strain on these areas.
Lying Spinal Twist – Lay down with your shoulders flat to the floor. Stretch your arms out to the side, and bed one knee and cross it over the flat leg to touch the floor. Turn your head the opposite way from the bent knee.
All of these movements will assist in calming the mind, opening the body allowing it to recharge while you get one of the most important parts of a healthy body, mind and life … sleep!