Perform these poses in the order presented whenever possible, holding each for at least 30 seconds, or about 10 breaths. Bell recommends setting aside time in the morning to practice, so you can create energy for the day. If you're short on time, choose the pose that best addresses your needs. If you're doing the entire sequence, add 10 minutes of corpse pose (savasana) when you finish. Ã¢â‚¬Å“When you relax deeply, your body can calm your nervous system and integrate the benefits of the physical practice you just completed,Ã¢â‚¬Â Bell says. If you tend to fall asleep and need to say awake, set your cell phone alarm to ensure you don't go out for the count.
Eases tight hamstrings, calves, and back muscles. Bonus: Can be performed anywhere—in an airport, hotel room, or on the side of your rental car.
Stand facing a wall, about 3 feet away from it, with feet directly under your hips. Press your hands into the wall between belly- and chest-height (so your spine is in a neutral position). With feet and hands shoulder-width apart, bend forward from your hips bringing your torso is almost parallel to the floor.
Gazing at the floor, slowly walk your hands back up the wall with your arms staight, until you feel a stretch in your hamstrings and back muscles. At this point, your back should form a diagonal line.
Relieves back pain and improves circulation by stretching your sides. "We're either moving up and down or back and forth in our usual daily activities, so working muscles that never get stretched can release back tension and improve circulation in that usually untargeted area," Bell says.
Stand about 3 feet from the wall, still facing it after half dog. With hands on the wall, step your left leg about 1.5 feet forward toward the wall and right leg about 1.5 feet back, so your legs are about 3 feet apart. Looking down at the floor, press your hands firmly into the wall, keeping arms straight and stretching your hamstring and calf muscles. Leave your left hand on the wall and drop your right hand to left thigh. From your belly button up, twist your torso to the left, allowing your right hand to slide down your leg as necessary. Switch sides.
Strengthens glutes, thighs, and core—large muscle groups which, when worked, automatically get fat burning faster.
Place a hotel blanket or towel on the floor and lie on your back with your knees bent, feet flat about 6 to 10 inches from your rear, and arms relaxed at your sides. Contract your abs and press your hips to the ceiling until you form a flat diagonal line from your knees to your shoulders. Roll your shoulders under your back to press up further, clasping your hands beneath you to make a platform.
When youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re stable in bridge, extend your right leg toward the ceiling. Hold, then lower, and repeat with the left leg. Do this move two to three times on each side.
Relieves anxiety and stress along with back pain. Ã¢â‚¬Â¨Ã¢â‚¬Â¨
Sit cross-legged on the floor with arms at your sides. Gently twist to the right side, using your hands on the floor to leverage your body further. Hold and then repeat to the left side.
Airport modification: If youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re sitting in a chair, place your feet hip-width apart, and use the armrests for leverage.
Calms nerves by literally letting blood flow to your head. Added bonus: Releases tight hamstrings and lower-back muscles.Ã¢â‚¬Â¨Ã¢â‚¬Â¨
Sit on the floor with legs extended hip-width apart and knees slightly bent. Close your eyes. Fold your torso forward from your hips, reaching toward your feet. Go as far as you can comfortably, breathing easily. As you exhale and feel your muscles release, allow yourself to bend closer to your legs.
Airport modification: Sit in a chair if necessary with legs extended hip-width apart, feet flat on the floor.