Mindfulness Tips for Relaxation and Stress Relief
Start by bringing your hands together at heart center and interlacing your fingers. Press your palms forward, creating a gentle stretch in your chest. Release and reach your palms up towards the ceiling, taking a side stretch to the right and then to the left. Come back to center and interlace your fingers again, this time bending both elbows and keeping your forearms behind your head. Sit up tall and switch sides, feeling the stretch on the opposite side of your body.
Release your hands and reach your right hand out from your side, fingertips barely touching the mat. Lower your left ear to your left shoulder, feeling a stretch in your neck. If you'd like to add on, take your left hand to the back of your head and add a little weight for a deeper stretch. Gently turn your head down towards your left knee, feeling a stretch in the side of your neck. Release and repeat on the other side.
Extend your legs straight out in front of you and flex your toes back towards your face. Take a deep inhale to lengthen through your spine and exhale to hinge forward at your hips, targeting your hamstrings. Remember to keep a slight bend in your knees if needed. With each breath, allow yourself to go a little deeper into the stretch, millimeter by millimeter.
After your forward fold, come to lie down on your back in a fetal position, knees pulled into your chest. Take a moment to reset your whole back and let your shoulders relax. From here, move into a twist by extending your left arm up to the ceiling and then opening up into a big twist, dropping your left arm back behind you. Hook your right hand onto your left thigh and breathe into the twist, feeling your torso lengthen with each inhale and relax with each exhale. Repeat on the other side.
Finish your practice with a few moments of relaxation in Shavasana. Extend your legs down long on your mat, let your feet fall open, and relax your whole body. Close your eyes and focus on your breath, allowing yourself to fully let go and be present in this moment. Remember to take these techniques with you throughout your day to find moments of peace and calm.