Thursday, August 9, 2012

relax before bed with these 5 simple moves

Many people have a hard time shutting off their brain in the evening but these five moves from Fitness will allow you to seek out a more restful sleep.

Upside Down Relaxation (2 minutes) 
- Sit facing a wall (or your headboard) with your butt about 6 inches away from it.
- Lie back and extend your legs up the wall.
- If this is too intense a stretch for your hamstrings, slide your butt farther away from the wall.
- If it's not enough, scoot closer.
- Let your arms rest by your sides, palms facing up, and breathe gently, feeling the stretch in the backs of your legs.

Winding Down Twist (1 minute) 
- Sit cross-legged on the bed and exhale as you place your right hand on your left knee and left hand on the bed behind your tailbone.
- Gently twist your torso to the left.
- Allow your gaze to follow, looking over your left shoulder. Breathe deeply, then return to center and repeat on opposite side.

Nighttime Goddess Stretch (2 minutes) 

- Lie on your back with knees bent.
- Place the soles of your feet together, then let your knees fall open, forming a diamond shape with your legs.
- Rest your arms on the bed.
- If you feel any strain, elevate your legs by placing a pillow underneath each knee.

Child's Pose (2 minutes) 
- Sit up comfortably on your heels.
- Roll your torso forward, bringing your forehead to rest on the bed in front of you.
- Lower your chest as close to your knees as you comfortably can, extending your arms in front of you.
- Hold the pose and breathe.
Rock-a-Bye Roll (2 minutes) 
- Lying on your back, hug knees in to chest.
- Cross your ankles and wrap both arms around your shins with clasped hands.
- Inhale and rock your body up to sit; exhale as you roll back.
- Continue for 1 minute, then roll back, extend arms and legs, and drift off to sleep.

Several of these are moves that I can be seen doing while cooling down from a cardio workout so why not do them when trying to "cool down" from the day. Sweet dreams!

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