Bedtime Stretches To Help You Sleep
by Kit Rich
Published Jun 30, 2013
It's important to have a routine for your body before you go to bed. And while your nightly ritual probably involves washing your face and brushing your teeth, more often than not, you probably ignore everything from the neck down—despite the fact that it's been working for you all day. Sitting at a desk for hours can cause the spine can roll forward and make the hips get really tight; this routine can help to counteract that. All four moves, which focus on releasing the spine and hips and opening the chest, are great to practice before sleep. Take a few minutes every night to work through them in sequential order, then hit the hay.
Sitting tall, extend your right leg forward and bend your left knee. Bring your left arm behind you, lift the chest high, and extend your right arm up to the sky. Now bring your right elbow to the outside of your left knee, twisting the spine. Breathe deeply and mindfully. With every exhale, try to twist a little deeper. Grow taller and lift your heart toward the sky with every breath.
Hold for 30 seconds, then switch sides.
Sit down with your knees bent and feet firmly planted on the floor, hip-width apart. Place your hands behind you, shoulder-width apart, and fingers facing in toward one another. On a deep exhale, lift your hips to the sky, and tilt your head back. Close your eyes if you feel comfortable and breath deeply. As you inhale and exhale, focus on the center of your chest and breathe into the heart area.
Hold for 30 seconds, then repeat 2 more times.
Sit on the floor with your legs crossed. Take notice of which leg is in front of the other one. Lift your arms to the sky and sit up tall. On a deep exhale, drop your torso forward and bring your hands and head to the floor. Breathe deeply and relax into any area that feels tense.
Hold for 10 full, deep breaths, then switch legs so that the other leg is in front. Repeat.
Lastly, sit quietly for one minute and recap your day. Focus on your breath while you do this. Pick one thing that made you happy today, and go to bed with that in mind.
Kit Rich is Los Angeles-based fitness trainer with endless exercise and nutritional know-how. Hollywood's hottest stars are addicted to Kit's unique, multi-disciplined approach that combines cardio, yoga, Pilates, and weight training. Kit's clients are immediately taken by her funny and honest approach to health and fitness. She treats her clients as she treats herself, "with a hard challenge, sensibility, sensitively, and a good laugh." Follow Kit on Twitter @kitrichfitness.