1. Child’s Pose

Description of Stretch:

Release tension in the back, shoulders, and chest. Helps to alleviate stress an anxiety. It lengthens and stretches the spine.

Variations:

1. Arms can be at your side rather than out in front with forehead on the floor

2. Taking the arms to the side gets more of a back and side stretch

You can do child’s pose throughout your practice or when you need a break between poses. It’s great for meditation or cool downs.

Try it! 

Let go, breathe, and just be.

2. Cat/Cow

Description of Stretch:

Stretch the hips, abdomen, and back. It is said to improve balance and posture. Synching the breath with the movement does relax and ease the stress from your body.

Variations:

1. Hands in fissts

2. Cat/Camel: If lower back pain and you need to open it up more. Do your cat then send your bottom back towards your heels until you feel an opening through your low back. Don’t go all the way down. Then go back into cow.

3. Cat/Cow seated position

Can be used for warmup or cool down. Awesome anytime!

Try it! 

Go slow.

3. Bridge Pose

Description:

Stretches the spine, back of neck, thighs, hip flexors, and quads. It opens up the chest and shoulders. Strengthens the glute family and hamstrings.

Don’t focus on pushing hips up high! That could cause low back pain. 

Try it! 

Squeeze your core and glutes the whole time.

4. Chest, Back, Wrist, Forearm Stretches

Chest:

In a seated position, put your wrists together and open up your hands with your palms facing out. Take your arms out laterally, straight to your sides. Open up your chest and push sternum out slightly.

Benefits arms, wrists, chest, belly, back!

Wrist:

Great for relieving tension from wrists and forearms. Bring your hand to just where you can feel a stretch.

You can do this anytime!

 

Try it! 

These aren’t really yoga poses, but are great stretches!

Emily Sawlaw, CPT is a personal trainer at Mettler Center. 

Call 217-356-6543 to schedule a free 30-minute personal training consultation.

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