Just four days of not doing any yoga and I can feel tightness in my hip muscles when I went for my yoga class today. I have been going for classes, about five times a week since Beyoga’s opening and my regular practice has been wonderful in relieving my muscle tightness. But I realize that there are times like last week where I would not be able to go to classes due to work commitments. I managed to find some ordinary stretching which can relieve tension in only 10 to 15 minutes a day which we can do in addition to going for yoga classes.
Here are four common situations in which you can add stretches to your day. To get the best results, hold each stretch for a full 30 seconds without moving and breathe normally.
Sitting in a Chair: Here's how to stretch when you are seated, whether you're waiting in a parked car or working at your desk. Sit with your spine long and tall, turn your torso to face the back of your chair, and grab the top part of your chair (just below the headrest in your car). Keep your legs still and use your arms to gently twist your torso so your chest is moving toward the back of the seat. Repeat on the opposite side. This move will stretch your upper back and shoulders.
Talking on the Phone: Do this stretch every time you answer the telephone. Stand up and put your right heel on a sturdy bench, box, or stair about one foot tall. Hold on to your desk or a handrail with your right or left hand. Slowly lean forward until you feel a stretch in your hamstring at the back of your upper thigh, and reach for your foot with your free hand. Switch legs and repeat.
Waiting for a Ride: Stretch this way while you're waiting for the bus or your carpool. Walk to the curb or a set of stairs, place one foot firmly on the curb or the first step, and hang the heel of the other foot off the edge to stretch your calf. Repeat the stretch on the other foot.
Standing at the Kitchen Sink: This stretch will loosen your shoulders, your lower back, and the back of your legs. Stand facing your sink and place your hands over the edge. Gripping the sink, bend forward and walk back a few steps until your body is in the shape of an L, with your back parallel to the ground. Keep your knees straight and let your head hang down.