Muscle relief with Montie, Part 3
Take a stretch break
Need a quick break? Our lead massage therapist, Montie Christodoulou, put together a set of stretches that will help alleviate even the most-tense muscles. Tap into the power of a stretch break and relax with a little limb-bending magic. View the full series here.
This stretches the shoulders, middle back, abdomen, and the muscles along the spine.
Put your hands and knees in box/table pose. Make sure your shoulders are directly above your wrists and your hips are right above your knees. Spread fingers of both hands wide. Inhale and reach your tailbone upward toward the ceiling. Let your spine arch and your belly drop toward the floor. Relax your gaze straight ahead or upward toward the ceiling. Make sure your shoulders are strong; keep them engaged and away from your ears. Try to hold this pose for several breaths. To come out, exhale and bring your body to a neutral position. Note: You may use a folded towel or blanket to protect your knees from discomfort.
This also stretches the shoulders, middle back, and muscles along the spine.
Put your hands and knees in box/table pose. Make sure your shoulders are directly above your wrists and your hips are right above your knees. Exhale and tilt your tailbone/pelvis under to allow your spine to round. Bring your belly button in toward your spine; keep your shoulders engaged and press your hands firmly into the mat. Try to hold for several breaths. To come out, inhale and bring your body to a neutral position. Note: You may use a folded towel or blanket to protect your knees from discomfort.
Half spinal twist
Strengthens and deeply stretches muscles along the spine, neck, shoulders, core, and hips. Sit with your legs outstretched in front of you. Bend your left leg and place your foot on the floor outside of your right knee or thigh. Put your left-hand fingertips on the floor behind your hips and your right elbow against the outside of your left knee. Inhale, allow your spine to be long, and sit tall. Exhale and begin to gently and slowly twist your spine to the left. Draw your left shoulder back and turn your head to the left to twist your entire spine.
Keep both sit bones on the floor. Lift with each inhalation; twist with each exhalation. Hold this position for as long as comfortable. To come out, release your head first, then your shoulders, and last the abdominal area to return to the starting position with legs outstretched in front. Reverse your position to the right and repeat. Note: You can place a pillow under your hips if your lower back tends to round. For a more gentle twist, hug your top knee with your arm rather than crossing your elbow over it.