4 Poses, 4 Minutes, and Your Hips and Back Will Thank You

If you have the ever-popular office job that involves sitting at a desk for eight hours a day, it can wreak havoc on your precious body, creating tight hips and lower back pain. Many stretches for your hips also stretch out your lower back, so these poses are like two for the price of one. It will only take about four minutes, but that’s all you’ll need to ease tension.

Butterfly

Sit on the floor, bend both knees, and bring your feet together. Using your hands, open your feet up like a book, pressing your knees toward the floor with your elbows. If you want more of a stretch, extend your arms out in front of you.Stay here for five breaths (about 30 seconds).Half Happy Baby

Lie flat on your back. Bend the left knee and hold onto the outside edge of your flexed foot with your left hand. Keep your left arm on the outside of your leg.Gently use your upper body strength to press the left knee to the floor below your armpit. Try not to tense your shoulder or chest, but keep everything relaxed. Stay like this for five deep breaths, and then switch legs.Then do both legs together for another five breaths. Pigeon

Sit with your right knee bent and your left leg extended straight behind you. If your hips are flexible, inch your right foot away from you. Make sure your left hip is always pointing down toward the mat. If it begins to open up toward the ceiling, draw your right foot back in toward your body.Rest your hands on your hips or walk your hands out in front of you, allowing your torso to rest over your right knee.Hold here for five breaths, and then repeat Pigeon on the left side.Double Pigeon

Sit on the floor with your legs straight out in front of you. Bend your right knee and place your knee, shin, and foot on the floor so they’re parallel with your pelvis. Bend your left knee and place it on top so your knees, shins, and ankles are stacked. You’ll know you’re doing it right when you gaze down and see that your legs make a little triangle.To make this pose more intense, place your hands in front of your shins and walk them out as far as you can, folding your chest toward your legs.Stay here for five breaths, slowly release, and then switch legs so your right knee is on top.Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Louisa Larson

4 Poses, 4 Minutes, and Your Hips and Back Will Thank You

If you have the ever-popular office job that involves sitting at a desk for eight hours a day| it can wreak havoc on your precious body| creating tight hips and lower back pain. Many stretches for your hips also stretch out your lower back| so these poses are like two for the price of one. It will only take about four minutes| but that’s all you’ll need to ease tension.

Butterfly

Sit on the floor| bend both knees| and bring your feet together. Using your hands| open your feet up like a book| pressing your knees toward the floor with your elbows. If you want more of a stretch| extend your arms out in front of you.Stay here for five breaths (about 30 seconds).Half Happy Baby

Lie flat on your back. Bend the left knee and hold onto the outside edge of your flexed foot with your left hand. Keep your left arm on the outside of your leg.Gently use your upper body strength to press the left knee to the floor below your armpit. Try not to tense your shoulder or chest| but keep everything relaxed. Stay like this for five deep breaths| and then switch legs.Then do both legs together for another five breaths. Pigeon

Sit with your right knee bent and your left leg extended straight behind you. If your hips are flexible| inch your right foot away from you. Make sure your left hip is always pointing down toward the mat. If it begins to open up toward the ceiling| draw your right foot back in toward your body.Rest your hands on your hips or walk your hands out in front of you| allowing your torso to rest over your right knee.Hold here for five breaths| and then repeat Pigeon on the left side.Double Pigeon

Sit on the floor with your legs straight out in front of you. Bend your right knee and place your knee| shin| and foot on the floor so they’re parallel with your pelvis. Bend your left knee and place it on top so your knees| shins| and ankles are stacked. You’ll know you’re doing it right when you gaze down and see that your legs make a little triangle.To make this pose more intense| place your hands in front of your shins and walk them out as far as you can| folding your chest toward your legs.Stay here for five breaths| slowly release| and then switch legs so your right knee is on top.Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Louisa Larson

This Yoga Sequence Is Even Better Than a Before-Bed Massage

This Yoga Sequence Is Even Better Than a Before-Bed Massage

Yoga before bed can be some of your best defense against insomnia. By calming down your body and your mind| you’re putting yourself in a better position for sweet and restful slumber. Ready to get to bed? This yoga sequence will save the day.

u2014 Additional reporting by Jenny Sugar

| Child’s Pose

Start off your bedtime practice by cooling off in Balasana:

  • Kneel on your mat with your knees hips-width distance apart and your big toes touching behind you. Take a deep breath in and| as you exhale| lay your torso over your thighs. Try to lengthen your neck and spine by drawing your ribs away from your tailbone and the crown of your head away from your shoulders.
  • Rest your arms beside your legs| with palms facing up| or try extending your arms out in front of you.
  • Stay here for 10 breaths.

Learn about a variation of Child’s Pose here.

| Standing Forward Bend

Standing Forward Bend will feel like all the stress is pouring out of the top of your head:

  • Stand at the top of your mat in Mountain Pose at the front of your mat. Inhale and reach your arms straight above you.
  • As you exhale| engage your abs and fold forward with a straight back. Tuck your chin in toward your chest| relax your shoulders| and extend the crown of the head toward the floor to create a long spine. Shift your weight forward onto your toes| straightening the legs as much as possible. Place your hands on the ground| fingertips lining up with the toes.
  • Hold here for 10 breaths.

Here’s a deeper explanation of Standing Forward Bend.

| Wide-Legged Forward Bend C

Wide-Legged Forward Bend C is another relaxing pose that will loosen up your shoulders and help you destress before bed:

  • From Standing Forward Bend| slowly roll up vertebrae by vertebrae until you’re standing at the top of your mat.
  • Stand with your feet three to four feet apart| placing your heels slightly wider than your toes.
  • Bring your arms behind your back| clasping your fingers and pressing the heels of your palms together in a fist.
  • Fold forward| hinging at your hips| drawing the crown of your head and your hands toward the floor. Relax your toes| and try to shift the weight of your hips forward so they’re in line with your feet.
  • Stay here for 10 deep breaths. Then press into your feet| engage your quads| and inhale as you stand up.

Here are more details on how to do Wide-Legged Forward Bend C.

| Butterfly Pose

The introspective Butterfly Pose gives your hips some love:

  • From Wide-Legged Forward Bend C| sit on the floor| bend both knees| and bring your feet together. Using your hands| open your feet up like a book| pressing your knees toward the floor with your elbows. If you want more of a stretch| extend your arms out in front of you.
  • Stay here for 10 breaths.

Check out these details on how to do Butterfly Pose.

| Seated Straddle

Seated Straddle is an active pose| but it will also prep your body for sleep:

  • From Butterfly Pose| allow your legs to straighten out into a straddle position with three to four feet between your heels.
  • Make sure your toes and knees are pointing straight up. Sit with a tall spine or slowly fold forward at your hips| pressing your belly button and chest forward to prevent your back from rounding.
  • Either support the weight of your torso with your hands on your legs or feet| or rest them out in front of you.
  • Hold for 10 breaths.

Read here for a variation that targets one hamstring at a time.

| Head to Knee Pose A

Head to Knee Pose A gives your sides an amazing stretch. This is my favorite pose to practice before bed:

  • Come up slowly from Seated Straddle| and bring your both your legs straight out in front of you. Shake them out for a moment.
  • Bend your right knee| and place the sole of your foot against your inner thigh| pulling your heel as close to your body as you can.
  • Inhale to sit up tall| and exhale as you fold your torso over your left leg. Rest your hands on the floor on either side of your leg| place them on your shin| or wrap your hands around your left foot.
  • Stay here for 10 breaths| sit up| and repeat this pose on the left side.

Check out these tips on how to get more out of Head to Knee Pose A.

| Bridge Pose

Bridge Pose is an ideal inversion to try out before bed:

  • From Head to Knee Pose A| lie flat on your back with your arms along the sides of your body| with your palms facing down. Bend your knees| placing your heels as close as you can to your bum.
  • With your palms and feet pressing firmly into the ground| lift your hips up. Keep your palms on the mat or clasp your hands together below your pelvis| extending through your arms. Or you can also bend your elbows and rest your hands on your lower back. If your feet are close enough| you can also hold your ankles.
  • Stay here for 10 deep breaths| lifting your hips as high as you can.

If you want more details on how to do Bridge Pose| keep reading.

| Legs Up the Wall

Legs Up the Wall will instill a sense of calmness in your whole body| and it will also relieve aches and pains from a sore lower back or tight hamstrings:

  • Once you’ve come out of Bridge Pose| sit up and place a folded bolster| blanket| or pillow against a wall.
  • Sit down as close as you can to the wall| next to the blanket. Lie down on your back| place your feet on the wall with your knees bent| and scoot your body over so that your bottom and lower back are on the blanket.
  • Sit with your bottom touching the wall| and then place your feet straight up| resting your heels on the wall. You can keep your arms by your sides| or by your head (this position will stretch your shoulders).
  • Close you eyes and allow your entire body to relax| feeling gravity pulling you down as the wall and blanket support you.
  • Hold for 30 seconds| then roll your body over to one side with your knees bent| and rest your head on the inside of your arm| staying like this in fetal position for a minute or so. Then you can roll up onto your knees and come to stand up.

Learn more about Legs Up the Wall here.

| Lying Spinal Twist

Right before taking a rest| increase side-to-side spinal flexibility with this reclined twist:

  • Lie on your back| bending the knees into the chest.
  • Extend your arms out in cactus position with your elbows at right angles| palms facing up.
  • Slowly lower both knees to the left. Rest them on the ground and turn your head to the right.
  • Hold here for at least five breaths| feeling your spine lengthen and twist. You may even hear some “”cracks.””
  • Use your abs to lift your knees back to center. Slowly lower both knees to the right| and look over your left shoulder.
  • After five breaths| release| and head into your final pose.

| Savasana

Take rest in Corpse Pose before climbing into bed:

  • Lie on your back and close your eyes. In order to relax and open your body fully| extend your arms a few inches away from the body| with the palms facing up. Put about 15 to 20 inches between your heels| allowing your feet to fall open with the toes pointing out. Actively shrug your shoulder blades down toward your hips. Lengthen through the spine as much as possible| relaxing your lower back toward the floor.
  • After you’ve found a comfortable position| stay here for as long as you want| around 10 minutes or more| if your schedule allows for it. If you’re short on time| remain in Savasana at least until your heart rate slows down and your breath returns to its natural| soothing rhythm.

Having trouble relaxing? Here are four tips for sinking into Corpse Pose.

Sore Neck? Here’s How to Feel Better Instantly

Sore Neck? Here’s How to Feel Better Instantly

Whether you slept in a funky position or have been staring tensely at your computer for hours on end, a crick in the neck is not only annoying, it can cause headaches and upper back pain. After a long, hot shower to loosen the muscles, try a few of these stretches for a little relief.

| Seated Neck Release

This gentle stretch targets the sides of your neck.

  • Sit on the floor in a cross-legged position or in a chair with your feet flat on the ground.
  • Extend your right arm next to your right knee or along the right side of the chair. Place your left hand on the top of your head and slowly tilt your head to the left. Apply gentle pressure with your hand to increase the stretch.
  • To feel a deeper stretch, you can hold onto your right knee or the seat of the chair. This stabilizes the torso and allows you to isolate the stretch on the side of your neck.
  • Hold on this side for 30 seconds, then slowly lift your head up and repeat this stretch on the other side.

| Seated Clasping Neck Stretch

Use your hands to offer a deep stretch for the back of your neck and your upper back.

  • Sit comfortably in a chair or on the floor.
  • Clasp your hands and bring both palms to the back of your head. Sitting with a tall spine, ground your hips firmly into your seat.
  • From here, begin to gently press your hands down toward your thighs, tucking your chin into your chest. As you press down, use the heels of your palms to pull your head away from your shoulders. This will intensify the stretch even more.
  • Hold here for at least 30 seconds, and then slowly lift your head up and release your hands.

| Behind the Back Neck Stretch

This standing stretch can be done anywhere, and will offer a deep stretch in the sides of your neck.

  • Stand with your feet hip distance apart, arms by your sides.
  • Reach both hands behind your backside, and hold onto your left wrist with your right hand. Use your right hand to gently straighten your left arm and pull it away from you slightly.
  • To increase the stretch in your neck, slowly lower your right ear toward your shoulder.
  • Stay here for 30 seconds and then switch sides.

| Grounded Tipover Tuck

Here’s a relaxing stretch for your neck and shoulders that can also help relieve headaches and drowsiness.

  • Start in Child’s Pose with your shins and forehead on the floor. Stay here for a few breaths, working on lengthening your spine as you relax your chest to your thighs. When you’re ready, interlace your hands behind you in a double fist. If you can, press the heels of your palms together to increase the stretch in your shoulders. Then lift your hands as high as you can.
  • Inhale to shift your weight forward and lift your hips off your heels. Come to rest on the top of your head and extend your hands as close to the floor as you can. Stay here for 10 seconds and then lower your hips back to your heels. Stay here for 10 seconds, and then lift your hips up again. Continue this cycle five or more times, then release into Child’s Pose with your arms on either side of your legs.

| Seated Heart Opener

Stretch through the front of your neck, chest, and shoulders with this relaxing heart opener.

  • Begin sitting on the heels as if coming into Reclining Hero pose.
  • Lean back and place your palms flat on the floor about eight to 10 inches behind you so your fingertips are pointing away.
  • Press your hands firmly into the ground to lift the chest high, arching your back and pushing your hips into your heels. To increase the stretch, lower your head behind you, stretching through your throat and the front of your chest even more.
  • Stay for 30 seconds, then lift your head and torso up.

| Bridge

Here’s a classic yoga pose that allows you to control how much you stretch the back of your neck by how high the hips are lifted.

  • Begin lying flat on your back with your arms along the sides of your body, with your palms facing down.
  • Bend your knees and place your feet flat on the floor. Walk your heels as close as you can to your bum, keeping them hip-width apart. Make sure both feet are parallel.
  • With your palms and feet pressing firmly into the ground, lift your hips off the floor.
  • Stay here, or clasp your hands together below your pelvis, extending through your arms. Rock your weight from side to side to bring the shoulder blades closer together.
  • Stay here for 30 seconds, continuing to lift the hips high.
  • To release this stretch, gently lower your booty back to the ground. Then stretch through your lower back by hugging your knees into your chest.

Sore Neck? Here’s How to Feel Better Instantly

Sore Neck? Here’s How to Feel Better Instantly

Whether you slept in a funky position or have been staring tensely at your computer for hours on end| a crick in the neck is not only annoying| it can cause headaches and upper back pain. After a long| hot shower to loosen the muscles| try a few of these stretches for a little relief.

| Seated Neck Release

This gentle stretch targets the sides of your neck.

  • Sit on the floor in a cross-legged position or in a chair with your feet flat on the ground.
  • Extend your right arm next to your right knee or along the right side of the chair. Place your left hand on the top of your head and slowly tilt your head to the left. Apply gentle pressure with your hand to increase the stretch.
  • To feel a deeper stretch| you can hold onto your right knee or the seat of the chair. This stabilizes the torso and allows you to isolate the stretch on the side of your neck.
  • Hold on this side for 30 seconds| then slowly lift your head up and repeat this stretch on the other side.

| Seated Clasping Neck Stretch

Use your hands to offer a deep stretch for the back of your neck and your upper back.

  • Sit comfortably in a chair or on the floor.
  • Clasp your hands and bring both palms to the back of your head. Sitting with a tall spine| ground your hips firmly into your seat.
  • From here| begin to gently press your hands down toward your thighs| tucking your chin into your chest. As you press down| use the heels of your palms to pull your head away from your shoulders. This will intensify the stretch even more.
  • Hold here for at least 30 seconds| and then slowly lift your head up and release your hands.

| Behind the Back Neck Stretch

This standing stretch can be done anywhere| and will offer a deep stretch in the sides of your neck.

  • Stand with your feet hip distance apart| arms by your sides.
  • Reach both hands behind your backside| and hold onto your left wrist with your right hand. Use your right hand to gently straighten your left arm and pull it away from you slightly.
  • To increase the stretch in your neck| slowly lower your right ear toward your shoulder.
  • Stay here for 30 seconds and then switch sides.

| Grounded Tipover Tuck

Here’s a relaxing stretch for your neck and shoulders that can also help relieve headaches and drowsiness.

  • Start in Child’s Pose with your shins and forehead on the floor. Stay here for a few breaths| working on lengthening your spine as you relax your chest to your thighs. When you’re ready| interlace your hands behind you in a double fist. If you can| press the heels of your palms together to increase the stretch in your shoulders. Then lift your hands as high as you can.
  • Inhale to shift your weight forward and lift your hips off your heels. Come to rest on the top of your head and extend your hands as close to the floor as you can. Stay here for 10 seconds and then lower your hips back to your heels. Stay here for 10 seconds| and then lift your hips up again. Continue this cycle five or more times| then release into Child’s Pose with your arms on either side of your legs.

| Seated Heart Opener

Stretch through the front of your neck| chest| and shoulders with this relaxing heart opener.

  • Begin sitting on the heels as if coming into Reclining Hero pose.
  • Lean back and place your palms flat on the floor about eight to 10 inches behind you so your fingertips are pointing away.
  • Press your hands firmly into the ground to lift the chest high| arching your back and pushing your hips into your heels. To increase the stretch| lower your head behind you| stretching through your throat and the front of your chest even more.
  • Stay for 30 seconds| then lift your head and torso up.

| Bridge

Here’s a classic yoga pose that allows you to control how much you stretch the back of your neck by how high the hips are lifted.

  • Begin lying flat on your back with your arms along the sides of your body| with your palms facing down.
  • Bend your knees and place your feet flat on the floor. Walk your heels as close as you can to your bum| keeping them hip-width apart. Make sure both feet are parallel.
  • With your palms and feet pressing firmly into the ground| lift your hips off the floor.
  • Stay here| or clasp your hands together below your pelvis| extending through your arms. Rock your weight from side to side to bring the shoulder blades closer together.
  • Stay here for 30 seconds| continuing to lift the hips high.
  • To release this stretch| gently lower your booty back to the ground. Then stretch through your lower back by hugging your knees into your chest.

Always Wanted to Be Able to Do Lotus Pose? This Will Get You There

Lotus = yoga, right? This is such an iconic pose, but it’s also one of the hardest! If you wonder how people can sit so calmly meditating with their legs tied in a pretzel, here are some tricks for opening up your hips so you too can do Lotus with ease (well, without pain, anyway).

Sanskrit Name: PadmasanaEnglish Translation: LotusAlso Called: Pretzel
Begin sitting on your mat and come into Butterfly with the soles of the feet together. Stay here for five breaths.If you need a little more help opening the hips, do Double Pigeon, stacking your shins with your left knee on top of the right ankle. Hold here for another five.Pull the left heel all the way into the right hip (or as close to your hip as you can) and extend your right leg on the floor in front of you. Fold forward over your right leg in Half Lotus for five breaths.Sit up and bend your right knee, and if you can, use your hands to pull the right heel into your left hip, coming into Lotus. If that’s not happening, just tuck your right foot under your left thigh.Touch your thumb and index finger together, and extend your other three fingers down toward the floor. Tuck your chin in slightly toward your chest and gaze softly at your nose.Use your abdominal muscles to keep the spine strong and tall. Relax your shoulders away from your ears, and concentrate on breathing for 10 deep breaths.Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Louisa Larson

Always Wanted to Be Able to Do Lotus Pose? This Will Get You There

Lotus = yoga| right? This is such an iconic pose| but it’s also one of the hardest! If you wonder how people can sit so calmly meditating with their legs tied in a pretzel| here are some tricks for opening up your hips so you too can do Lotus with ease (well| without pain| anyway).

Sanskrit Name: PadmasanaEnglish Translation: LotusAlso Called: Pretzel
Begin sitting on your mat and come into Butterfly with the soles of the feet together. Stay here for five breaths.If you need a little more help opening the hips| do Double Pigeon| stacking your shins with your left knee on top of the right ankle. Hold here for another five.Pull the left heel all the way into the right hip (or as close to your hip as you can) and extend your right leg on the floor in front of you. Fold forward over your right leg in Half Lotus for five breaths.Sit up and bend your right knee| and if you can| use your hands to pull the right heel into your left hip| coming into Lotus. If that’s not happening| just tuck your right foot under your left thigh.Touch your thumb and index finger together| and extend your other three fingers down toward the floor. Tuck your chin in slightly toward your chest and gaze softly at your nose.Use your abdominal muscles to keep the spine strong and tall. Relax your shoulders away from your ears| and concentrate on breathing for 10 deep breaths.Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Louisa Larson

5 Have-an-Awesome-Morning Stretches

5 Have-an-Awesome-Morning Stretches

Instead of hitting the snooze button in the morning| take the extra 10 minutes to stretch. It’s a great way to energize the morning and ease away any stress or tension from the previous day or a funky sleeping position. Try this easy stretching sequence when you wake up to get your blood flowing and your body primed for the day.

| Upward Stretch

Greet the morning by raising your arms towards the sky; it’s a great way to get the blood flowing and wake up the body. Lace your fingers together and raise your hands above your head| palms facing upward. Elongate your spine and feel the stretch in your ribcage and arms. Hold for a count of 10| and then incorporate a sitting side stretch into the sequence to target your torso.

| Neck and Shoulder Stretch

Doing neck and shoulder stretches in the morning can ease tension that can happen while sleeping. To stretch the muscles on the right side of your neck| turn your left ear over to your left shoulder and hold for 20 seconds. Repeat on the other side to stretch out your left side. Relax for a moment and then roll your shoulders to the back| and then to the front. Then lift them up to your ears| tensing the muscles| and allow them to drop completely. Repeat this entire sequence three times.

| Reclining Spinal Twist

A spinal twist is a great way to relieve stress in your lower back. Hold the pose for at least 30 seconds on each side and don’t be alarmed if you hear some “cracks”” in your spine when you twist into the pose. Don’t force anything here; just feel your spinal column wringing itself out after a good night’s sleep.

| Lying Side Quad Stretch

Most people are used to stretching their quads while standing up| but it’s also something you can do while lying down. To really maximize your quad stretch| squeeze your butt while active in the position. Since quads are one of the most overworked muscles in the body| make sure to stretch them every day.

| Hamstring Stretch

Nothing beats the feeling of this hamstring stretch| especially since you don’t have to worry about falling over! Make sure that when you do this stretch your pelvis is square (keep your hips centered and flat). Think of it as a way to wake up your legs| rather than helping you make it into the splits. Circle your ankles a few times in each direction| too.

9 Relaxing Stretches You Can Do in Bed

9 Relaxing Stretches You Can Do in Bed

Stretching has a way of melting away stress and worry, but there’s no need to unroll your yoga mat. Here are nine stretches you can do in your pajamas and your bed u2014 either before you go to sleep or once your alarm goes off u2014 or both! Do all nine if you have time, or just pick a few. Either way, you’ll feel more relaxed, whether you’re heading to the land of nod or waking with the sun.

| Spinal Twist

Here’s a stretch that seems like it was made to do in bed. It will target your lower back.

  • Lie on your back in the middle of your bed. Bend both knees into the chest, and then cross them over to the left side of your body. You can even let your knees hang slightly over the edge of the bed for a deeper stretch.
  • Extend your arms in T position, and gaze to the right.
  • Stay like this for 30 seconds or more, feeling your spine lengthen and twist. You may even hear some cracks.
  • Use your abs to lift your knees back to center, and repeat on the other side.

| Knee to Chest Back Stretch

You’ll love this simple lower back stretch.

  • Lie on your back with your legs extended.
  • Gently bend your left knee into your chest. Clasp your hands in front of your shin and gently pull down to increase the stretch. Release any tension in your shoulders and neck.
  • Keep your right leg relaxed in a comfortable position.
  • Hold for 30 seconds and then repeat with the right knee bent.

| Reclining Hamstring Stretch

Here’s a relaxing way to stretch one hamstring at a time.

  • Lie on your back. Raise your left leg as high as you can, keeping your pelvis flat on the ground. Hold your lower thigh and encourage the leg to move toward your head. Flex your bottom foot to stretch your calf too.
  • Hold for 30 seconds, then switch sides.

| Lying Side Quad Stretch

This relaxing stretch will target your quads, hip flexors, and shoulders.

  • Lie on your left side. Bend your left elbow and prop your head up with your left hand.
  • Bend your right knee and hold on to the top of your foot with your right hand. Pull your heel toward your bum. If you find it tough to balance, bend your bottom knee as well.
  • Hold for 30 seconds, pressing your hips slightly forward to increase the stretch in the front of your thigh.
  • Release the stretch, roll over onto your right side and stretch your left quad.

| Half Happy Baby

This variation on the yoga pose Happy Baby lengthens the lower back and opens up always-tight hips.

  • Lie on your back with your legs extended.
  • Gently bend your left knee and hold on to the sole of your foot with both hands. Gently press your knee toward the bed so it’s next to your torso and just below your shoulder. Your back and head should remain resting on the bed.
  • Keep your right leg relaxed in a comfortable position.
  • Hold for 30 seconds and then repeat with the right leg.

| Happy Baby

Here’s more hip and lower back love!

  • Lie on your back, bend both knees and hold on to the outside edges of your feet.
  • Gently use your arm muscles to pull your knees toward the floor beside your chest. Relax your shoulders and your head, staying here for 30 seconds.

| Cobra

This gentle stretch lengthens the muscles in your abs, chest, and neck; it also increases flexibility in your spine.

  • Roll over onto your belly and extend your arms out in front of you. If you’re tall, you can hang your feet over the end of the bed.
  • Keeping your legs and pelvis grounded, slowly begin to walk your hands toward your chest. As your torso lifts off the bed, keep a slight bend in your elbows. Walk your hands in until you feel a nice stretch in your abs. Relax your shoulders away from your ears and lengthen your neck. If it feels OK, lower your head back between your shoulder blades, and you’ll feel a nice stretch in your chest and neck.
  • Stay here for 30 seconds and then lower your torso back to the bed.

| Fish

You’ll not only stretch the muscles in your torso and feel your spine elongate, but you’ll also feel this position bring length to your neck, chest, and shoulders.

  • Lie on your back with your legs extended.
  • Lift the head and upper back off the bed and prop your torso up with your elbows.
  • Relax your head back, opening through the throat.
  • Hold this position for 30 seconds.

    | Butterfly

    Here’s a great pose to end with that will stretch out the hips and lower back.

    • Sit with both knees bent, soles of the feet touching.
    • Fold forward as far as you want, resting the hands on your ankles or on the bed in front of your feet.
    • Enjoy this stretch for 30 seconds.

    9 Relaxing Stretches You Can Do in Bed

    9 Relaxing Stretches You Can Do in Bed

    Stretching has a way of melting away stress and worry| but there’s no need to unroll your yoga mat. Here are nine stretches you can do in your pajamas and your bed u2014 either before you go to sleep or once your alarm goes off u2014 or both! Do all nine if you have time| or just pick a few. Either way| you’ll feel more relaxed| whether you’re heading to the land of nod or waking with the sun.

    | Spinal Twist

    Here’s a stretch that seems like it was made to do in bed. It will target your lower back.

    • Lie on your back in the middle of your bed. Bend both knees into the chest| and then cross them over to the left side of your body. You can even let your knees hang slightly over the edge of the bed for a deeper stretch.
    • Extend your arms in T position| and gaze to the right.
    • Stay like this for 30 seconds or more| feeling your spine lengthen and twist. You may even hear some cracks.
    • Use your abs to lift your knees back to center| and repeat on the other side.

    | Knee to Chest Back Stretch

    You’ll love this simple lower back stretch.

    • Lie on your back with your legs extended.
    • Gently bend your left knee into your chest. Clasp your hands in front of your shin and gently pull down to increase the stretch. Release any tension in your shoulders and neck.
    • Keep your right leg relaxed in a comfortable position.
    • Hold for 30 seconds and then repeat with the right knee bent.

    | Reclining Hamstring Stretch

    Here’s a relaxing way to stretch one hamstring at a time.

    • Lie on your back. Raise your left leg as high as you can| keeping your pelvis flat on the ground. Hold your lower thigh and encourage the leg to move toward your head. Flex your bottom foot to stretch your calf too.
    • Hold for 30 seconds| then switch sides.

    | Lying Side Quad Stretch

    This relaxing stretch will target your quads| hip flexors| and shoulders.

    • Lie on your left side. Bend your left elbow and prop your head up with your left hand.
    • Bend your right knee and hold on to the top of your foot with your right hand. Pull your heel toward your bum. If you find it tough to balance| bend your bottom knee as well.
    • Hold for 30 seconds| pressing your hips slightly forward to increase the stretch in the front of your thigh.
    • Release the stretch| roll over onto your right side and stretch your left quad.

    | Half Happy Baby

    This variation on the yoga pose Happy Baby lengthens the lower back and opens up always-tight hips.

    • Lie on your back with your legs extended.
    • Gently bend your left knee and hold on to the sole of your foot with both hands. Gently press your knee toward the bed so it’s next to your torso and just below your shoulder. Your back and head should remain resting on the bed.
    • Keep your right leg relaxed in a comfortable position.
    • Hold for 30 seconds and then repeat with the right leg.

    | Happy Baby

    Here’s more hip and lower back love!

    • Lie on your back| bend both knees and hold on to the outside edges of your feet.
    • Gently use your arm muscles to pull your knees toward the floor beside your chest. Relax your shoulders and your head| staying here for 30 seconds.

    | Cobra

    This gentle stretch lengthens the muscles in your abs| chest| and neck; it also increases flexibility in your spine.

    • Roll over onto your belly and extend your arms out in front of you. If you’re tall| you can hang your feet over the end of the bed.
    • Keeping your legs and pelvis grounded| slowly begin to walk your hands toward your chest. As your torso lifts off the bed| keep a slight bend in your elbows. Walk your hands in until you feel a nice stretch in your abs. Relax your shoulders away from your ears and lengthen your neck. If it feels OK| lower your head back between your shoulder blades| and you’ll feel a nice stretch in your chest and neck.
    • Stay here for 30 seconds and then lower your torso back to the bed.

    | Fish

    You’ll not only stretch the muscles in your torso and feel your spine elongate| but you’ll also feel this position bring length to your neck| chest| and shoulders.

    • Lie on your back with your legs extended.
    • Lift the head and upper back off the bed and prop your torso up with your elbows.
    • Relax your head back| opening through the throat.
    • Hold this position for 30 seconds.

      | Butterfly

      Here’s a great pose to end with that will stretch out the hips and lower back.

      • Sit with both knees bent| soles of the feet touching.
      • Fold forward as far as you want| resting the hands on your ankles or on the bed in front of your feet.
      • Enjoy this stretch for 30 seconds.