STRETCH FOR SLEEP


We all want to get the most out of our day, but after endless hours of work, running errands, or carting kids around and just basically kicking butt, you need to take time to relax.  Even superwoman needs her sleep!    

It’s hard to get a good night’s sleep though when you’re still feeling all tight and tensed up from the day.  That’s why you need to stretch!  Stretching has been found to help relax the body by releasing tension in the muscles, especially when you get your body and breath in sync.  What does that mean for you?  Better quality shut eye and a more productive day.  Hooray!

Here are some of the best stretches for promoting relaxation right before you hit the hay…

1. Child’s Pose

This one’s so relaxing and great for opening up your back!  Start by kneeling on your mat with your knees hips-width apart and your big toes touching behind you.  Then take a big, deep breath in and exhale as you bend forward over your thighs.  Try not to arch your back too much in this one.  You want to keep your back and neck nice and long!  Stay here for 10 breaths.

2. Head to Knee 

This one is super simple but super effective!  Start by bending one leg and placing the sole of the foot against your inner thigh.  Inhale and sit up nice and straight before releasing the breath as you fold your torso over your left leg.  Place your hands on the floor or around your foot and stay here for 10 breaths.  Then do the same on the other side!

3. Butterfly Pose 

Start by sitting on the floor with both knees bent and your feet pressed together.  Next, hold your feet with your hands as you press your knees down to the floor as much as you can with your elbows.  Try bending forward over your feet for an even deeper stretch!  Stay here for 10 breaths. 

4. Reclined Spinal Twist 

Start by lying on your back and let both your knees drop down to one side.  Place both your arms down by your sides and twist your upper body and head so that they are facing in the opposite direction to your legs.  If you like, try extending one of your legs and grabbing your toes for an extra deep stretch.  Hold here for 10 breaths before repeating on the other side.

5. Bridge

Start by lying flat on your back with your arms by your sides and palms facing down.  Bend your knees and place your heels as close as you can to your bum before pushing your hips up towards the ceiling.  Next, try and clasp your palms together on the floor underneath your pelvis.  Hold here for 10 breaths.  

6. Wall Stretch

This one’s so great if you get a lot of lower back pain.  Not to mention, its incredibly relaxing.  Start by sitting as close as you can to the wall before placing your feet up on the wall.  Next, scoot your bum as close as you can to the wall and straighten your legs.  Stay like this and let your whole body just relax.  Hold for 10 to 20 breaths.  

7. Forward Bend 

I love this one for stretching out the legs.  It’s also a great stress reliever!  Start by standing up straight and taking a huge, deep breath in as you raise your hands above your head.  Next, exhale as you fold forward over your knees with a straight back.  Make sure to relax your shoulders and extend your head toward the floor to keep your spine long.  See if you can straighten your legs as much as possible and touch your hands on the floor.  Hold here for 10 breaths.  

8. Wide Legged Bend

You won’t believe how great this feels for your upper back!  Stand with your feet about 1 metre apart and position your heels so that they’re slightly wider than your toes.  Bring your arms behind your back and clasp your fingers together.  Take a deep breath in and then exhale as you fold forward, hinging from the hips.  Let your arms fall over your head.  Hold here for 10 seconds before standing up straight again.   

 

Now all that’s left to do is crawl into bed and enjoy some seriously good quality shut eye.  Night!  

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