There's lots of stress in the hospitality industry. Stretching is a great way to de-stress and reduce tension after a long day on your feet.
Here's a great sequence that will help you start to release all the tension that builds up in your body after working so hard. It only takes 30 minutes to feel great!
You can do this sequence after your shift, or at anytime that you are feeling too tired for a more active exercise routine.
Sit in a cross legged position. Close your eyes. Take a deep breath. It is important to concentrate on your breathing. Feel your body, all of your aches and pains. Notice your mind, is it calm? Is it racing? Don't do anything just feel it. Make the intention to stay within the moment and focus on your breathing. Relax and let go.
1. Foot massage
Start with your right foot. Give it a good rub. Massage the bottom of your foot as well as your toes. Interlace your fingers between your toes for a minute or so while making circles with the ankle. Repeat with the other foot.
2. Legs on the wall pose
You've heard of putting your feet up after a long day? Here's a yoga version. Put a mat up against the wall. Sit with one hip against the wall and swing your legs up onto the wall. Now your buttock are touching the wall. Your legs are up the wall, and you are lying flat on your mat.
Remain in position for at least 5 minutes. You can set a timer and just relax into the stretch. Lie with your hands on your belly and just breath.
3. Supine Butterfly
Come down off the wall slowly. Lie on your back on your mat. Bring your feet together and let your knees relax and drop to the ground. Bring your hands back to your stomach. Take deep breaths in count to 5 on each inhale and exhale. Any time you lose focus just forgive yourself and bring the focus back to the breath. Relax and let go. Do this for 5 minutes.
4. Eye of the needle pose
Gently turn your feet flat to the mat. Lift both legs bent with calves parallel to the floor. Cross one leg over the other ankle to knee or thigh. Pull the leg higher to increase the stretch. Hold for a minute and then switch legs.
Bridge pose will active your legs and release tension in the spine. Bend your legs with feet flat to the floor hip distance apart and as close to your hips as possible. Inhale, push your feet down and raise your hips up. Exhale. Slowly roll the spine back down. Repeat a few times staying with your breath.
6. Supine Twist
Staying on your back draw knees to chest. Stretch your arms out to the side at shoulder height. Inhale. As you exhale allow your knees to move to the right side. Let your head turn to the left and look at your hand. Hold for 5 breaths and then move to the other hand.
7. Sphinx Pose
Release tension in the lower back with this pose. Roll onto your stomach. Raise up on your forearms. Elbows almost beneath your shoulders. Push up but don't over do it. It won't do you any good to over stretch your back. Hold this pose for up to 3 minutes, or about 20 long deep breaths.
8. Child’s Pose
Gently bring yourself up onto your knees. Lean forward forehead to the mat and relax into child's pose. Take a breath and just allow yourself to sink into the pose. Relax here for 5 minutes.
Finally lie down on your back and just relax. Let yourself sink into the floor for a few minutes. When you feel ready get up have a drink of water and take it easy.
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