Ginger Daniels Movement Specialist
Happy Friday everyone!
Friday, for me, is a day to reflect on the week that has just occurred, and regroup for the week ahead.... how do I do this for myself, you may ask? Well, I do these 3 nifty stretches that always seem to help me with inner reflection as well as rejuvenating my being. Watch the video below....
Legs Up The Wall:
Lay down on your back on the floor in front of a wall and literally put your legs up the wall. You want your hips to be as close to the wall as possible, so minor adjustments are made as you get into this position. Extending through your legs, you may feel a hamstring (back of the leg) stretch. Only extend the legs as far as you can maintain a healthy stretch without forcing anything. Feel your pelvis drop into the floor without tucking your hips or arching your back. Feel the pelvis and the head heavy into the floor, free of tension. Wrap your fingers around your ribcage and BREATHE. Try a 5 count inhale and a 5 count exhale through the nose. This counted breath helps you slow down and control your breath, and gets you to focus on being in your body. Holding onto your center (ribcage) while breathing helps you to actually feel tangibly how your body feels when it breathes. Do this 4 or 5 times and allow your mind to refocus and your body to become reinvigorated.
Figure Four Balance Stretch:
Standing up, you will use the wall for balance as needed and cross one ankle over the other thigh just above the knee, literally creating a figure four with your legs. Make sure your standing foot is parallel, and bend that knee, sticking your butt out behind you with your weight back like you are sitting in a chair. Feel your abdominal muscles lift in to support and stabilize you. If you feel like it, let go of the wall and make a prayer pose with your hands. Try that 5 count breath, in and out. This stretch really helps you to open up your hips and stretch the piriformis under the glutes. Make sure you do both sides.
Downward Facing Dog Shoulder Stand With Legs Up The Wall:
Get down on your forearms with your elbows under your shoulders, palms flat. Carefully walk your feet up the wall behind you and press your chest towards the wall, allowing your head to drop down relaxing the neck. There should not be any pressure on your hands. You want to open your chest and stretch your shoulders. Now also rotate the hips up, just like you would in a regular downward facing dog pose. You will feel your abdominals lift and engage and stretch. You may feel the backs of the legs stretch as well. BREATHE. 5 counts in and 5 counts out.
Now you may wonder why these 3 positions are good to get into.... Our legs are generally always below us, in a supporting role for the rest of our bodies. Reversing that supporting position by putting the legs above the heart is a good idea because we rarely ever do this, and it feels good and is good for us. Opening the hips that are generally not in an open position feels really wonderful too, maybe not at first because the body is so tight, but trust me, the more you do this, the better you will feel inside of your being. These stretches are another step to allowing yourself to get closer to feeling good in your body, and if you feel good there, your mind will be more focused and your intentions will be clearer. Not to mention, your spirit will feel more alive and happy as a result.
Nutrition Tip: Foods For Energy and Rejuvenation:
I know, I'm always promoting a mostly vegetarian diet, but that is because I have studied nutrition, and I find it to be the most beneficial way to eat for most people. So, here are a couple of foods to incorporate into your eating this week to help your energy levels and make you feel your best you. RAW SLICED ALMONDS, DARK LEAFY GREENS, YOGURT, BANANAS.
You can eat any of these foods throughout your day and they will help boost your stamina and your ability to focus.
Move well, Eat Well, Be Well,
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