1. Child’s Pose
Child’s Pose is a common yoga move used as a resting pose. Use this pose to release tension in your neck and back with a gentle stretch in the hips, spine, thighs, and ankles. Allow the calming effect of this stretch to relieve stress.
- Start in a flat tabletop position on your hands and knees. Spread your knees shoulder-width apart and keep your big toes touching each other.
- Release your shoulders toward the floor, and extend your hands back to rest by your feet, palms up. Relax in this position for 30 seconds to a few minutes, taking about 8 deep breaths per minute.
Tip: If you have difficulty sitting back on your heels, place a folded blanket between your thighs and calves.
You can stretch your arms out in front with palms down if it’s more comfortable
2. Extended One Arm Child’s Pose
This stretch is a slight variation from the traditional yoga pose. Experiment freely with the arm position until you accomplish a relaxing stretch through the hips, spine, shoulders, and neck.
- Start in a flat tabletop position on your hands and knees. Spread your knees slightly wider than you do in the traditional Child’s Pose, but still, keep your big toes touching.
- Rotate your hips toward your heels and bring your hands together under your chest. Turn your right shoulder under to reach your hands as far left as you can until you feel the stretch across your upper back. Relax in this position for 30 to 60 seconds, taking 4 to 8 deep breaths, and repeat on the other side.
Tip: For a greater stretch in the hips, thighs, and ankles, lower your hips to your heels.
3. Kneeling One Arm Lat Stretch
This is similar to but more challenging than Kneeling One-Arm Reach on Stability Ball, allowing for a deeper stretch by lowering the body to the floor. Flexible upper back muscles allow for a greater overhead reach and improved range of motion.
- Begin by sitting upright on your knees and facing forward. Your neck should be in line with the rest of your spine and your arms relaxed at your sides.
- Gradually lean forward while pressing your hips back toward your heels. Extend your right arm in front as far as possible and your left arm behind, relaxed at your side.
- Feel the stretch along your right side. Repeat on the opposite side by shifting your weight and pressing your hips back toward your heels. Extend your left arm in front and your right arm behind, relaxed at your side.