After a long day of work, running errands and traffic jams, your body is probably tense and stiff. Therefore, these stretches are the perfect way to end your day!
Extent improves blood flow and breaks down lactic acid accumulation in the muscles. It also improves digestion and energy flow, activates the parasympathetic nervous system and helps with general recovery.
It is especially good to perform specific movements before going to bed as they help you relax and get into rest-and-digestion mode. This can help you sleep deeper and longer.
And hey, don’t limit yourself to just stretching at the end of the day. Good stretching habits can help all day long, so be sure to start the day with some stretches and also sneak some stretches at your desk. To target the muscles in a way that does deep wound-so-good, it’s hard to beat incorporating a foam roller into your routine too!
Stretching the lower back, thigh and calves helps relieve any tension and stiffness from sitting in a car or at a desk all day. However, walk lightly on this stretch; it can be quite intense, but you can change by bending your knees if necessary.
Use inhalations to lengthen the spine and exhale to go a little deeper into the fold. After five breathing cycles, simply let your upper body hang over your legs. Let gravity do its thing and stretch out passively for a minute longer.
Seated Forward Fold
Use this stretch to focus on one leg at a time and tune in to any imbalance. Everyone has one leg that is more flexible than the other and one hip that is more open than the other.
Breathe in the stretch and maximize your time in this position to relax your muscle fibers and increase blood flow. Take your time with each leg and allow at least five full breathing cycles before switching.
Downward facing dog
While it may not be obvious at first, a downward-facing dog is actually a type of inversion that is essential for relaxing and activating your parasympathetic nervous system. Before going all-in on this pose, stretch your spine out and prepare your neck for a few more inversions.
Use your palms and feet to move gently around, stretching your hips and buttocks out. Then “walk with your dog” by alternating as you bend your knees. Move your hips left and right. Get high on your footballs and lower your heels to the floor to stretch your Achilles tendons.
Move as long as you want, but do not make it too short. A good trick is to put on a good, chill-out song and use half of it to play with this pose.
This is probably the best position for relaxation and preparation for dreamland. It is also the ultimate stretch for loosening the lower back. It will also help you with water retention, bloating, digestion and blood flow. After being on your feet all day, this position relieves the fluid pressure in your lower body and is a great and free way to pamper your feet.
Support your pelvis and let it rest completely on your arms. Breathe in the stretch, and relax your head and neck. Try to stay in this position for at least a minute or a little longer.
The child’s position
Many people absolutely love child positions. It releases the hips, sacrum and the entire back without struggle or discomfort. By extending your knees a little more, you can bend deeper and let your upper body fall between your hips.
If you are super stiff, you may be able to start your child’s posture with fairly narrow hip spread and knee placement. As you breathe deeper and relax more in the position, you will notice that your knees become wider and your torso sinks longer.
Stretch your arms out in front of you, making sure your shoulders stay away from your ears. Move your fingers further forward and feel your torso being pulled away from your hips.
A yoga mat is not a requirement for the position, but it certainly does not hurt to have one. It can help you grasp better (stretch further) in the process. With a mat, you can also avoid smearing your face into your carpet when you get really deep into the stretch.
This is the perfect stretch to do in bed just before you slip off. Bring your knees to your chest, then stretch one leg while holding the other tight. Slowly grab your knee and turn it to the side. You can stay here or extend your leg to stretch it completely.
The last expression is to bend the lower leg and grab your foot. Use your breath to go deeper and twist more, but only to the extent that it feels good – do not go deeper if you feel pain or your breathing becomes shallow.
Slowly return to the center the same way you went into the position, and bring both knees to the chest to reset before turning to the other side.
Twists are great for detoxifying your spine and sending fresh blood, oxygen and energy to every cell. They also help you prepare for rest.
We live in such a crazy, fast-paced world, it is no wonder that so many of us have chronic back pain, headaches and insomnia. However, if you implement an stretching routine before bedtime, you can reduce some of it, which strains your body every day. It will also help you sleep soundly and recharge your batteries so you can do it all again tomorrow.