The Best Stretches for Stress-Relief - The Flexible Chef

The Best Stretches for Stress-Relief

SHIFT YOUR PERSPECTIVE IN JUST FOUR MINUTES

Mindfulness movement remains paramount for optimal physical and mental freedom. Let’s dive deeper into why making time for yourself and self care can provide deep relief from tension, and let’s shine a light on the importance of daily movement.

If you watched episode five of my brand digital tv show series, The Flexible Life, you probably saw how much of myself I saw in my new beautiful new-found friend, Pamela Smith. On the surface, she appeared happy, but I could sense a tenderness about her and she seemed to be holding onto tension and emotional baggage. Don’t we all!! 

All the time that Pamela had spent caring for others in her daily life was draining her own tank. Although she was incredibly grateful for her role as caregiver, Pamela wanted to figure out a way to organize her time to make space and time for herself. Have you ever heard the saying, “you can’t pour from an empty cup”? That’s exactly what was going on here with lovely Pamela.

The Zig-Zag Framework

I taught her my favorite tool of all, how to live a more balanced lifestyle with my Zig-Zag Method framework of living life. It couldn’t solve all her problems, but it served as a way to help Pamela understand how to live in a way that was more aligned with her values and to ultimately give her more fulfillment in her life.

With a long-term strategy in place to live in a healthy way, I knew that she also needed a physical reset for some more immediate relief.

Four-Minute Stretches For Stress-Relief

The first thing I had Pamela do was get outside. I always remind people to not to underestimate the power of getting fresh air to lift the mood and shift that perspective! Outside, I began with the stability ball to help Pamela with a really nice chest opener.

I had her sit on the stability ball and, using her hands on the ball for support, slowly lean back on the ball while scooting her feet forward for more stability. Once she let her head and arms fall while breathing in and out a few times, I could see the shift in her mood. A basic supported backbend in this way opens your chest, gives you a sense of freedom and encourages deeper breathing. For Pamela, it served as the perfect reset, and when you watch the episode you’ll see how emotionally stirred she was in the moment. So powerful!

Simple Supported Inversions

Next, while laying on her yoga mat, I had her move her bum as close as she could to the fence and lift her legs up the wall in a supported inversion.

An inversion is simply where the heart is higher than the head (which is my favorite pastime – as you can see from episode three with the Shokeen family!), and it allows for lots of blood flow throughout your body. When you come out of the pose, you’re washed with a renewed perspective, as if you’ve actively participated in surrendering.

This passive inversion I did with Pamela is a really nice way to rejuvenate yourself after a long day. I recommend spending at least four (and up to ten) minutes in this relaxing pose to feel its full effect.

After doing these stress-relief stretches just once, Pamela was determined to incorporate them into her daily routine.

If you are looking for simple and effective way to make time for yourself to rejuvenate during the rush of a busy day, carve out 10-15 minutes for self care like this. Play some music for additional ambiance and, if you’re feeling enthusiastic, try some some of these other daily stretches

Watch the entire episode here to see how exactly I get Pamela to experience a powerful shift and how much of a difference simple stretches can make in just one day.

Keep stretching and stay fabulous,

Nealy

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