5 Ways to Stretch Your Chair-Shaped Body
It’s that moment in the festive season when you finally check the calendar and realise that your rear end has been composting into the sofa for the best part of a week (me too). Your joints start to set solid when you don't use them. No wonder you can’t feel your toes.
These are my 5 top tips to unwind your chair-shaped body. Grab a cushion or book before you start.
1. Constructive Rest
You thought I was going to say move or stretch? When your muscles have shortened, they need space to release first. Asking them to stretch straight away will only send them into a panic. Lie on your back on the floor (no, not your bed!) with your knees bent and your feet on the floor. You might need your head and/or shoulders on the book or cushion. Put your hands on your tummy and relax for a few minutes. Those big muscles across the front of your hips will gradually begin to melt.
Rock your knees a little to one side, then slowly to the other side.
In the same position on your back, pop a cushion or book under your hips and rest for a moment. Then, as you inhale sink your weight into your feet, imagine your knees moving out toward your toes and let your hips lift. It doesn’t matter how much they lift. This is no performance Relax them down slowly as you exhale.
4. Hip Circles
Roll over and stand up slowly. Circle your hips. Move as smoothly as you can. It’s a good idea to circle your arms at this point just in case they’ve hardly reached further than the chocolate tin since Christmas Eve.
5. Calf Stretch
Your calves shorten when you sit on a chair. Put the ball of your foot on a block, book or rolled up towel with your heel on the ground. Keep your knee bent and line your hips up over your heel. Gently start to straighten your leg. It doesn’t matter if it’s still bent, it’s the stretch that’s important. Go slowly and be careful not to lock your knee. Take a step forward with the other foot if you'd like a deeper stretch. Swap to the other side.
See you for 2020 yoga-ing soon!