Yoga and Stretch Benefits

Implementing yoga and stretching into your weekly routine has benefits physically and mentally.

Helping to reduce stres and anxiety. 

Stretching aids in improving your mental health and physical benefits such as increased flexibility, increased muscle strength. 

Yoga could also aid in reducing  chronic pain and help improve the quality of your sleep. 

Exercises To Try Home

1. Standing  Forward Fold

  1. Exhale forward, bend forward at the hips, 

  2. Bend the knees enough to bring the palms flat to the floor and the head pressed against the knees.

  3.  As you let your head hang down, feel the spine stretching in opposite directions .Press the hips up,  work on straightening the legs to deepen the stretch in the backs of the legs.

  4. Bring your weight to the balls of your feet.  While keeping your hips aligned over your ankles.

  5. With each exhalation release deeper into the pose. Slightly lift and lengthen your torso with each time.Let your head hang.Hold the pose for up to 4-8 breaths. 

  6. To release: bend the knees keeping the back straight, inhale the arms out to the sides and inhale the arms and torso up back

2. Downward Dog

  • Start in an all fours position, Align your wrists directly under your shoulders and your knees directly under your hips

  • Exhale and lift your knees away from the floor. At first keep the knees slightly bent and the heels lifted away from the floor.

  • Exhale as you tuck your toes and lift your knees off the floor., engage your lower belly drawing the navel back to the spine. Press through your hands and lift your hips back and up to bring yourself into an upside-down V pose.

  • Press the floor away from you as you lift through your pelvis. As you lengthen your spine, lift your sit bones up toward the ceiling. Now press down equally through your heels and the palms of your hands.

  • Maintaining length in the spine, 'walk your dog' by alternately bending and straightening your legs. Eventually bringing both heels towards the floor. They do not have to touch the floor.

    1. Hold for 5-100 breaths.

    2. To release, exhale as you gently bend your knees and come back to your hands and knees.

3. Head - to - Knee Forward Bend

  1. Sit  with your legs extended in front of you in and bring the sole of your left foot to the inside of your right thigh.

  2. Align the center of your torso with your right leg (a mild twist). Keeping your spine long, exhale as you hinge forward from the hips to fold over your right leg. Imagine your torso coming to rest on your right thigh, rather than reaching your nose toward your knee (so, bend at your waist). Draw your right thigh down and flex your foot.

  3. Hold onto your right leg’s shin, ankle, or foot.Keep the front of your torso long; do not round your back. Let your belly touch your thigh first, and then your chest. Your head and nose should touch your leg last.

  4. With each inhalation, lengthen the front torso. With each exhalation, fold deeper.

  5. Hold for 30 seconds. To release the pose, draw your tailbone toward the floor as you inhale and lift your torso. Extend your left leg. Repeat the pose on the opposite side.

4.  Spinal Twist

 Lying on your back, bring your arms out to the sides with the palms facing down in a T position. Bend the right knee and place the right foot on the left knee.

Exhale drop the right knee over to the left side of your body, twisting the spine and low back. Look at the right finger tips.

Keep the shoulders flat to the floor, close the eyes, and relax into the posture. Let gravity pull the knee down, so you do not have to use any effort in this posture. Breathe and hold for 6-10 breaths.

To release: inhale and roll the hips back to the floor, and exhale the leg back down to the floor. Repeat on other side.