Too busy to fit in a full class? Lockdown got you juggling? Kat Farrants invites you to sneak in stretches and micro movements into your day and whilst you’re at it – include moments of mindfulness.
Sometimes life is just too busy to get a chance to roll out our yoga mat. Sneak in stretches or a micro-move to improve the quality of your day. Try some of these and you’ll find you are re-energised in no time at all.
Reframe your daily to-dos as daily movement challenges
- In the Kitchen: Waiting for the kettle to boil or just taking a sip on your cuppa? Do you have a high kitchen counter? Why not try a high lunge or a hamstring stretch?
- Stretches during your daily exercise: I might try a very sneaky version of tree pose so that nobody can see. Just focus on the rotation in the hip and balance between your two hip bones, as well as focusing on your feet and weight bearing and this way you don’t need to raise your leg towards your knee, you can do a very quiet, sneaky modification of tree that nobody knows your doing! Or it’s simple to drop into a high lunge or why now interlace your fingers behind your back and open up your front body?
- Doing up shoelaces: This is a classic time for a hamstring stretch. Do up your shoelaces by keeping your front foot (the one you’re tying up!) straight, foot pointed towards you and the back leg can be bent. A perfect sneaky stretch!
- Zoom breaks: Take breaks to work on your laptop in squat pose. At first you might need to prop up your heels using blocks, but in time this will become a comfy working pose. I do a lot of my work in squat!
- In the shower: Try hula hooping your hips! A wonderfully sensuous way to wake up to the day and get some movement and blood flowing too.
- Cleaning your teeth: I use the instability of my one handedness to focus on balances. Perhaps just standing and doing some leg strengthening. Stand on one leg and take the other leg out to the side, do 60 small repetition pulses to the side with that leg straight and it will strengthen weak hips and glutes. Then repeat on the other side!
Reimagine your Space
7. Text Break: When I’m just scrolling away on my phone, I might take the chance to give myself a side stretch when I’m cross legged. Then I can open my hips by sitting cross legged, and also open the side body and the space between the ribs. This can really help with deep breathing, which calms the nervous system and the side body stretches are often neglected.
8. Unable to get out or get away during lockdown: Just close your eyes and transport yourself away by doing a sneaky mindfulness practice of focusing on the breath on the tip of your nostrils. Or, why not use the time to do some box breathing? Breath in for four, hold for four, breath out for four, hold for four and repeat.
9. The Great Outdoors:When I’m out dog walking, I use the lead to take my arms behind my back and open my chest and shoulders. I do this whilst walking, and to increase the trickiness of it, I then take the dog lead still behind my back and hold it with my arms outstretched to then stretch up and over my head. Fabulous shoulder and chest opening!!
10. Working on the Move: Phone calls to take? What about taking these whilst walking. Just keep on the move as much as you can. No need to take a seat for our work, keep mobile and move more, as much as you can!
Over to you
What do you do to sneak in some stretches and micro moves every day? We would love to hear from you. Head on over to our Movers Group and share your favourite ways of adding movement into your day. These do not need to be making big shapes, in fact the simpler the better. What do you do to feel better, however big or small, it’s the effect that counts! And if you’re looking for a quick practice at your desk as a work break, how about this from Kate Walker: Stretch at Your Desk?
About Kat Farrants:
Movement for Modern Life’s fabulous founder Kat Farrants lives her yoga. Kat’s own yoga practice informs how she develops MFML. Kat wrote this post using inspiration from the small steps she takes to move into a happier, healthier and more sustainable life. Please do join her on this journey and explore with us your happiest, healthiest, most sustainable life.
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