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  • Writer's pictureSwan Wellness

Stretch, Breathe & Be Mindful

Combining the benefits of stretching, deep breathing, and mindfulness, this flow sequence is great for your mind, body, and spirit. Bringing attention to your breathing and awareness to the sensations of your body while you stretch can reduce your stress, lower your heart rate and blood pressure, and improve your mood. This flow combines three simple yoga poses: Mountain pose, Crescent Moon, and Cactus Arms.

The Mountain pose in yoga might seem like you are just standing still. But when done with mindful intention, the pose improves posture, grounded-ness, stability, and confidence. Standing Crescent Moon pose stretches the sides of the body and improves core body strength, balance, and concentration. Cactus Arms pose elongates the spine and stretches the chest muscles. Putting these three poses together with mindful breathing increases relaxation, reduces stress, and can improve your overall health and sense of well-being.

  1. Stand tall with your feet either hip-width apart (or bring them to touch for an added balance challenge), arms at your sides, and your weight even on both feet.

  2. Inhale deeply as you bring your arms overhead, hands to touch.

  3. Exhale slowly as you lean to the right, bending at the waist and stretching the left side body.

  4. Inhale and return to center.

  5. Exhale and lean to the left, bending at the waist and stretching the right side body.

  6. Inhale and return to center.

  7. Exhale and cactus arms by bending your elbows out wide to create a 90-degree angle with your arms. Your wrists and elbows should be in line and your elbows and shoulders should be in line. Palms are open and fingers are spread wide.

  8. Inhale as you return your arms overhead bringing your palms to touch.

  9. Exhale and lower your arms to your sides.

  10. Repeat.

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