Well, winter is certainly here! Perhaps, like me, you’re beginning to feel all the muscle tension building up in your body due to the cold. Here are three yoga stretches that will relieve the tension in your body and soothe your spirit – a moment of rest and refreshment just for you, in the morning before you head off to work or at the end of the day.
So listen to your body and do these poses whenever you feel the need. Namaste!
Sideways neck stretch
You may find the muscles in your neck tensing up from the cold. This sideways movement will give both sides of your neck a gentle stretch, including your trapezius muscles.
Sit on the floor, legs crossed, or on a chair with your feet planted on the floor. The main thing is to feel comfortable so you can elongate your backbone. Place your right hand on your head and bend your head sideways, bringing your ear over your right shoulder. Take five or six breaths in the pose, relaxing the left side of your neck and trapezius. Repeat on the other side.
This stretch is great for restoring mobility and range of motion when your poor feet have spent the whole day cooped up in winter boots.
Stand forward on your legs, with your hips over your knees. Turn your toes towards the ground. Gently place your pelvis over your heels, keeping your back straight. The first few times you perform this pose, you may find it rather intense, so I suggest gradually increasing the number of breaths you take in the pose till you get to 15.
Opening the chest
The shoulder and back area tends to grow rounded to preserve body heat, which restricts chest movement. This exercise, which opens the chest, promotes proper breathing and energizes the spirit.
Lie on your back with your legs bent or stretched out. Press your hands and forearms to the ground beside your body to lift your back off the floor. Let your head fall to the ground, with your chin pointing slightly towards the ceiling. This will gently stretch the front of your neck. Concentrate on expanding your chest and rib cage for three to five breaths.
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