People with stiff bodies face a special challenge in yoga classes where everyone seems pretzel-like in their flexibility. But don’t despair!
Everybody has six-minutes a day to spare, right? These four exercises done daily will change your life! Ok, that might be a bit dramatic but it will change your body which will make you feel better in it. Do them religiously, and within a couple of weeks, you’ll notice the difference.
Even if your body is more open use them as daily maintenance to stretch out when you wake up or after sitting for a long time.
1. Stand with one foot on a table or counter top. Push the heel of the foot on the table down firmly and use that power to stand fully in your leg that is on the floor. Tone your belly and lengthen up through your spine. The more open you are the higher the surface you should use, and the closer you can come toward the table. I like to do this at my bathroom counter while I am brushing my teeth! Do this daily and feel you hips and hamstrings open quickly! Hold each side for 45 seconds breathing evenly.
2. Standing Quad Stretch. Bend your knee and hold your foot behind you. Kick your foot into your hand as you pull your heel toward your hip. Stretch your knee straight down toward the floor. Use a table, chair back, or wall for balance if you need. Hold each side for 45 seconds breathing evenly.
3. Box Pose at a table or wall. Place your hands on the
tabletop and walk back until your torso is parallel with the floor and your hips are over your heels. Press your hands into the table and reach your hips away from your hands to stretch your spine. If you hamstrings and low back are tight, bend your knees and tip your pelvis so your sitting bones move back and apart and you put a curve in your lower back. Engage your legs and your low belly muscles to support your spine and stretch long. Hold for 60-90 seconds breathing evenly.
4. Shoulder Stretch at the wall. Face the wall and stretch one arm placing the little finger side of one hand on the wall. Press your outer hand into the wall to engage your muscles and turn your feet, hips, and chest away from the wall. Make sure to keep your head stacked over your pelvis. Breathe into your front chest, shoulder, and upper arm. Play with targeting different spots by placing your hand even with your shoulder, 45° higher, and 45° lower. Hold 30-45 seconds per side.
Please ask for questions or clarifications below and comment to let me know how it’s going for you.