Three Yoga Stretches to Integrate into Your Everyday Routine
ways to stretch, ground your body, and get a little movement
If you’re looking for a new way to stretch, get grounded, and move your body within your normal day-to-day schedule, check out these three easy yoga poses. “It is a common reflection that a.) I wish I had started sooner, and b.) I did not realize the community was going to be so inviting and would help me feel so welcome,” says Amy Erickson, founder of Latitude 44 Yoga. Embrace your inner yogi with Latitude 44 Yoga Studio in downtown Eau Claire, or grab a mat on your own time!
CAT + COW
Cat + cow are technically two poses, but They pair extremely well together. “(They) bring in some additional movement to the spine and are so great for postural health, heart opening, and stretching your way into a good day,” Erickson says. Start off this pose on your hands and knees, hands under your shoulders and knees under your hips. As you inhale, lift your hips upward while pressing your chest forward, allowing your belly to sink to the floor. This is cow pose! Exhaling, come back to center to round out your spine, bringing it upwards (making a kind of hump with your back) and tuck in your tailbone. Relax your head downward. This is cat pose! These two poses support your back, help improve posture, and can help center your balance.
“Supine Twist is wonderful to reboot the systems of the body and bring some movement into the spine,” Erickson says. To start, grab a mat and lie down on your back. Push your hips a few inches to one side, bend your knees, and draw your right knee into your chest while extending your left leg. Then, cross your right knee over to the left side of your body. Open your right arm to the right, and feel the twisting of your spine. Do you see where this pose gets the nickname “heart opener”? Hold this pose for a few seconds, then repeat on the other side. While this pose sounds a bit tricky, it’s really not too hard once you get the hang of it. And, an added bonus: It can help aid spinal mobility, relieving common back pain.
“Easy seat is great for grounding, calming, and taking a much-needed pause,” Erickson says. Here’s how to do the pose at home: Sit down, cross one shin over the other, lengthen your back, and push your shoulders up, back, and down into your spine. If you can’t cross one shin over another easily, just get as close as you can! Rest your arms on your knees (or wherever feels comfortable!) and focus on breathing steadily. This pose is great for posture, flexibility, and staying present in the moment through meditation. Many yogis choose to start their yoga sessions with this pose, but this can also be a pose you integrate into a five-minute “pause” at your office desk or a quick stretch session in the middle of the day.