Our theme for this journey continues, inviting you to live a more active lifestyle but also to spark balance and manifest more happiness in your daily life. Today I invite you to connect with yourself. We all have read articles about the importance of practicing mindfulness and self-care. However, the commitment to sit, stretch, and meditate can be daunting and it is usually ignored. That is why we decided to include a day of stretching and yoga inspired flows in every week of our journey – to remind you of the benefits and importance of carving out time to stretch, meditate and bring you back into the present moment.

A little goes a long way.

This is Day 27 – Time to connect with yourself!

Commit to 30 days of being healthier and being a better you. Ignore the distractions and the frustrations. Be patient, the results will come. JUST DON’T GIVE UP! For my more advanced members, try to repeat the series until you burnout. Also, feel free to mix and match with some of our previous videos. There are no rules!

Get empowered, beat the gym, and let’s have some fun! If you want to, use our hashtag #BeatTheGym, let’s hold each other high and accountable and let’s celebrate one another’s milestones.

If you are interested in continuing your journey with LIVE virtual classes and beating the gym from home. Get your fix from anywhere with some of the best trainers and award-winning classes delivered to your device. Sign up here!

The Moves

Seated Forward Bend – This is one of my favorite poses to relieve stress and also helps to warm up the body for deeper stretches. To start sit with your legs extended in front of you and reach to your heels. If you can’t reach, bend your knees slightly. Eventually you will be able to straighten the legs as your flexibility increases.

Figure Four Piriformis Stretch – This is one of my favorite piriformis muscle stretches to do. Begin by lying flat on your back and bending your knees. Then cross your legs by placing your left ankle over your right knee. Place your left hand on your left knee and gently push it away from you. Hold this. Now, grab the back of your right knee with your right hand, and gently pull towards your chest. Hold and then switch legs.

Frog Stretch – You should feel this stretch in your groin and inner thigh muscles. Start on hands and knees, and bring your knees as far apart as possible while supporting yourself on your forearms. Lay the inside of your feet against the ground and do not let your feet come together. Then rock back and forth in that position.

Across the Body Shoulder Stretch – Start by standing tall. Grab one arm above your elbow with the opposite hand, and pull across your body towards your chest and hold. Then repeat on the other side.

Kneeling Forward Bend with Shoulder Opener – Begin by kneeling on the ground with your head tall and your back straight, then interlace your fingers and put your palms together behind your back. Next, fold over at the hip with the spine long. Follow by lifting your arms and elbows straight and move the hands forward towards your upper back.

Overhead Shoulder Side Stretch – Start standing tall. Bring one arm above your head and drop your forearm behind you with your bicep close to your ear, rest your hand on your back in between your shoulder blades. With the other hand, grab your elbow and pull down gently.

Wild Thing Pose – This pose pretty much will stretch your entire body, it’s a combination of a backbend, hip opener and core strengthener. Assume a side plank position, then step the top foot back behind you and place it on the ground and allow your body to curl into a backbend. Extend your top arm and allow the head and neck to hang softly and lift your hips. Then repeat on the other side.

Cat-Cow Pose – This is a great move to stretch your spine, loosen your hips and shoulders and relieve stress and tension. First, come to all fours with your hands right underneath your shoulders and your hips right above your knees. Inhale, lift your chest, arch your back, drop your belly and look up. Then, exhale, round your back, drop your head and bring your chin close to your chest. Remember to breathe.

Cobra Stretch – To start, assume the plank position, then sink your hips back down to neutral plank position and lower your hips to the ground. Push into the ground with your palms and arch your back by pulling your shoulder blades together and trying to stick out your chest.

Child’s Pose – This is one of the simplest and most relaxing poses. Kneel on the ground with your heels underneath your hips, and your arms extended in front of you.

Downward Facing Dog Pose – This stretch is critical for a healthy back and neck, especially in light of so many of our daily postures and chores that demand a forward fold of the torso. To start, assume the plank position, and hike your hips, forming a upside down “V” shape with your body.

Lunge Elbow to Instep – Step forward with your right leg and slowly lower your body until your front knee is bent 90 degrees. Keeping your legs in the lunge position and your back straight, bend forward and try to reach as far as you can and touch the ground with your left elbow. Then alternate sides.

Spinal Twist Lunge – This exercises mobilizes your groin area, stretches your chest, and activates your core. First, step forward with your right leg and slowly lower your body until your front knee is bent 90 degrees. Your rear knee should nearly touch the floor. Keep your left hand near your right foot and then rotate to open your torso and reach over the head with your right arm until it is straight. 

Low Lunge Quad Stretch – Step forward with your right leg and slowly lower your body until your front knee is bent 90 degrees. This time, your rear knee should touch the floor. Keeping your legs in the lunge position and your back straight, reach with your left hand to grab your rear foot. Slowly release to come back to the lunge position, then switch sides.

Sumo Squat Stretch – You should feel this stretch in your groin and inner thigh muscles. First step your feet wider than shoulder-width and turn your toes slightly outward. Slowly squat down, and try to get as low as you can. Place your elbows on the inside of your knees and press into your legs to assist the opening. Draw your belly to the spine, and keep your torso straight.

Wide Legged Forward Bend – This is a simple but effective stretch that lengthens the spine and stretches the hamstrings, calves, hips and lower back. Start with your head high and your back flat. Then step the legs 3-4 feet apart, exhale forward bringing the palms to the floor as far as you can. Try to bring your forehead down towards the floor.

Bent-Over Lateral Raise – This is a great exercise for the deltoids. Start by standing straight, then bend over at the hips until your torso is almost parallel to the ground. Keep your chest out, back flat and knees slightly bent, then raise your hands up and out to the sides until your arms are almost parallel to the ground and at the same level of your shoulders. Activate your deltoids by holding for a few seconds. Then slowly lower your hands back to the starting position.

Interlaced Palm Forward Stretch – Interlace your fingers, then straighten your arms in front of you. Your palms should be facing away from you. Feel the stretch in your arms and through your shoulder blades.

Neck & Back Release – Neck pain along with lower back pain is one of the most common types of pain amongst my clients. But with a little stretching you can lessen the pain and loosen a tense back. These moves consist of forward, backward, left and right tilts assisted by your hands. Remember to gently apply pressure with your fingertips in these moves.

Wide Legged Forward Bend Twist – Begin by assuming the same position as for the wide legged forward bend exercise we did before. From here, walk your fingertips to the left side and try to reach for your foot. At the same time, slowly bring the left hand up, fingertips pointing towards the sky.

Revolved Chair Pose – Start with your feet together, then bend your knees slightly and press your palms together in prayer hands at the center of your chest. Then turn your torso to the left, placing the right elbow to the outside of your left knee. Press your right arm against your thigh and turn your gaze to the sky.

Another day down, another day closer to your goals!

Written by: Tony Thomas

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