This month Rebecca Drummond, Studio Director at HOM Yoga in Sydney has shared a five-minute stretching routine to help you de-stress during the Christmas period. To achieve a Zen state, simply hold each stretch for one minute and practice your deep breathing each morning.
Taking five minutes out of your morning to work through this simple stretching ritual will ensure you’re well equipped to deal with the most difficult of in-laws and hyperactive children.
If your favourite stretch isn’t listed here be sure to share it on the Almond Breeze Facebook page.
Start with the Forward Fold (uttanasana)
Inhale with your hands on your hips to lengthen the body and then fold forward from the hip joints. Let your hands fall to the floor and soften the shoulders away from the ears. Move your arms around to lightly hold your heels to complete the stretch.
This pose is great for stretching out the hamstrings, calves and hips. It will also help to clear the mind, relieve fatigue and headaches.
Move into the Upward Stretch (urdhva hastasana)
Stand with your hands by your side, palms facing away from the body. Reach up on an inhale and as you draw your ribs in, lengthen your tailbone to the floor.
Use this pose to stretch out your stomach, shoulders and armpits to improve your digestion and circulation.
Transition to Eagle Arms (modified garudasana)
You can do this one standing or sitting. Reach your arms in front of you, cross one elbow over the other and bend so the forearms are perpendicular to the floor. Bring the hands together or hold your shoulders before reaching the elbows forward to deepen the stretch. Change the crossing of the arms to take this into the other side.
This pose works to relieve tension in the shoulders and upper back muscles.
Next, do the Twist
Find a comfortable space on the floor. Once seated cross your legs, place your hands on your knees and gently twist your chest in one direction as you draw your belly softly in towards your spine. Release and twist in opposite direction.
The Twist helps to stretch the muscles in your back, decompress vertebrae and create ease in the entire body as you restore the range of motion in your spine.
Lastly, try to Thread The Needle
Start on all fours; reach your right arm up towards the sky with your palm facing outwards. Thread through, underneath your torso, until your right shoulder is resting lightly on the floor. Reach skywards with your left arm to complete the pose. Relax and repeat with your left arm.
This pose is awesome for releasing tension in the upper back.