Get all ready for bed: brush your teeth, wash your face, put on your sleepwear, prepare your lunch and gym bag to take with you in the morning, get the pets/kids set, but don't get in bed yet...
Clear and prepare your chosen space for stretching. Dim the lights, please. Maybe light a candle or the incense. Put on some soothing music, if you like. Pandora radio "Yoga" station is playing here.
Perform following stretches for 10-30 seconds or whatever feels good. May take you longer than 10 minutes to use this guide when you first try it. You will develop your own rhythm as you keep it up.
#1 Come down to the floor, roll onto your back, hug your knees to your chest and rock and roll on your sacrum. Do this as long as you like. Breathe and close your eyes. Let your mind go.
#2 With your knees still into your chest, open your arms wide and let your bent legs fall over to one side, melt and don't force anything. Make it feel really good and breathe. Enjoy a gentle twist.
If your breathing restricts in any of these stretches at all, back off until you can breathe with ease. At no time should you force the stretches, feel pain or exert effort. Wind down, don't work.
Repeat on other side. Let your head position be whatever feels best. In yoga, the instruction is to look in the opposite direction your knees are facing. But, don't force it that way. Gentle please.
#3 Figure four stretch: bring one ankle to opposite knee and hug that knee into your chest. Enjoy this stretch for several breaths.
Press your palm into the side of the knee to deepen the stretch, if you like.
Move into #4 Happy Baby Stretch. Enjoy it. Smile :)
Rock up to a seated position. #5 Bend one leg in and take the opposite foot across it to rest on the floor. Twist over the elevated knee. Be sure to keep your spine reaching long and tall.
After repeating #5 on the other side, untwist, go to #6 hamstring stretch: extend one leg straight out, bend the other to bring foot in. Fall forward over the extended leg. Repeat on the other side.
#7 Butterfly stretch. Bend both knees and bring your feet in until the soles are touching.
Fold over your feet if that will feel good. Or do this stretch lying on your back and let gravity do the work to let your knees open while you keep your soles together and just breathe.
Extend your arms out, as an option.
#8 Double hamstring. Walk your hands up slowly until you are seated and extend both of your legs out in front of you, stretch over. Relax and breathe deeply. Don't create any discomfort in low back.
You really only need to reach your hands to touch your legs wherever they fall and curl your toes back to get this one done. Only if it feels good, you can reach your toes to pull them back more.
Alternative: do #8 on your back, just lift your legs straight and toes pointing to the ceiling. This is very relaxing and will stretch the hams. You can reach up to hold your calves or feet to deepen.
#9 Pigeon stretch: swing one leg under you, bend the knee, extend the other leg straight back and fall over bent knee. Repeat on other side.
You can stay upright instead of folding over. This is a hip stretch like the figure four. If it doesn't feel good, don't do it.
#10 Cat/cow. Transition to hands and knees, alternate arching and rounding your back as you breathe slowly and deeply with the movement.
#11 Thread the needle: take the right hand behind left, bring your right shoulder and head to the floor, press into the floor with the left palm to support the twist. Keep the left elbow 90 degrees.
Repeat threading the needle on the other side, then sit back on your heels and push into #12 Child's Pose. Breathe and feel your lungs rising out of your back. Stay here as long as you like.
#13 Walk your hands over to one side and then the other. Tuck them behind you and turn your head to one side. (Move much more slowly and take more breaths than I do here for the video demonstration ;)
#14 Come up slowly to seated knees, then up to knees and extend one foot forward. Lean into a stretch for the front of the thigh. Repeat on the other side. Move slowly. And breathe. Ahhh.
#15 From knees or standing, reach one arm up at a time and stretch your sides.
#16 Stretch your triceps, right and left.
#17 Clasp hands, stretch back and down to open the chest. If this is not available to you, clasp a towel or shirt to create more space between your hands and shoulders so you can do this one gently.
#18 Clasp hands in front of you, palms facing, and round your shoulders. Rock side to side to deepen the stretch.
Take whatever other stretches your body is asking for. Listen. Indulge. Savor. Look forward to your stretching ritual each night. Getting into this healthy habit will create quality sleep long-term.
Before bed is the best time to stretch. Crawl into bed. Turn out the lights and enjoy a peaceful, restful sleep with your mind quiet and muscles in an elongated state. Good night; dream sweet. ✨⭐🌙
You can request a one-one Love-Your-Body Strategy Session with me over the phone at StarYouCoaching.com ✨💕✨.