Welcome to the stressful, too-many-parties, family-filled, end-of-year wrap up, glittering time of year. You know what you need to do? STRETCH! This series should take less than 20 minutes. Make sure to do the whole sequence in order for the full effect. Enjoy!
1. Breathe. Lie on your back and take a few full breaths. This stretches your insides and is an important first step to any stretching process.
2. Hamstring Stretch. Draw one knee into your chest and loop a strap (belt, long towel, scarf) around the sole of your foot. Extend your leg to the sky at an angle that allows you to keep an even pelvis and long spine. 1 minute each side.
3. Figure Four. Cross your right ankle over your left knee and bring your left leg to tabletop. Hold behind the back of your left leg and gently draw your legs towards your chest keeping your lower back long. You may like adding a gentle rock from side to side. 1 minute each side.
4. Quad Stretch. Lie on your belly with long legs. Make sure you line your self up in a straight line (not like a banana!). Bend one leg, bringing your heel towards your pelvis. Hold your ankle and direct your knee straight down. 1 min each side.
5. Hip Flexor Stretch. Stand vertically on your knees and step one foot forward into an upright lunge. Use your abdominals to lift your hip points and level your pelvis. Tuck your tail slightly and gently shift your aligned pelvis and spine forward into a stretch. 45 sec each side.
6. Straddle. Sit with your legs open to the sides like a large "V". If you cannot sit comfortably like this, sit up on a blanket or yoga blocks. Point your knees and toes up to the ceiling and have a very upright spine. If you are able, slowly tip your spine forward, hinging from your hips to move deeper into the stretch. 1 minute.
7. Chest. Stand clasping your hands behind your pelvis. Reach your knuckles down towards the ground as your open the center of your chest to the sky. 30 seconds, and then switch the way your fingers are crossed. Repeat!
8. Neck. Here is a link to a series of neck stretches we think are fabulous for relieving neck tension. Trust us.
9. Breathe. Yes, again :).