For tight chest and shoulders
Ever look up at the clock and realize that hours have gone by and you have been sucked into your computer screen. This little sequence is the perfect antidote.
01. Chair Arm Raises
This is best done on a stool or a chair with no arms.
Use the fullness of your inhale to swing your arms forward/up.
Use the whole exhale breath to swing your arms wide/down.
You can reverse the breath/action for a mind teaser… then rub your belly and pat y our head ;)
02. Standing Chest Stretch
Firm hip width stance with knees unlocked. Tone your abdominals to keep your low back feeling long and spacious.
Now you want to clasp your hands behind you, but make sure that the fronts of your shoulders have rolled wide first. (This action is called external rotation). So, turn your palms forward, sweep your arms backward giving your shoulder blades a little squeeze AND THEN clasp your hands.
Now to increase the stretch, lift your chest up and broad while aiming your knuckles down and away.
03. Side Bending
Solid hip width stance with hands interlaced on head.
Press your head upward into hands to maintain a strong core/torso/neck alignment.
Press your right elbow upward - ensure you are staying long though your sides. Hold for a few breaths.
04. Standing Dancers Pose
Make sure you are close to a wall or chair for balance.
Bend your left knee, catching your ankle in your hand.
Squeeze the knees together and aim the left knee downward - as best you can.
If that is easy for you, start to angle your left knee back while maintaining an upright torso.
And if that is easy for you, squeeze your bum without letting your knees splay apart.
Hold until the intensity of stretch subsides. Switch Sides.
05. Seated Twist
Sit with feet firmly planted in a comfortable wide stance. If you are wearing a skirt, you will definitely want to find a more private place to do this stretch :)
Press your left arm to the inside of your left shin + reach your right arm up to the ceiling.
Feel this movement as a rotation in your spine - using leverage within the connection of forearm-to-shin to get deeper.
Try to keep the collarbones broad and spacious. Resist the temptation to collapse in the chest/shoulder in an effort to reach higher.
Hold for a few breaths then switch sides.