Article by Cara Bradley | Found on Mindful.org
Many of us respond to shorter days and colder weather by spending more time at our desks, or curled up on the couch—but these habits can leave us feeling stagnant. That’s why it’s important during the winter to give your spine some extra care. This 3-minute practice offers 4 exercises to stretch and strengthen the spine. If you find yourself feeling tired with the imminent approach of winter, doing this quick practice throughout the day can refresh your energy and focus. Moving from your spine gets your blood flowing, warms you up, and creates a conscious connection to your breath.
3-Minute Mindful Movement Practice to Nourish Your Spine
1) Dynamic mountain
To start, separate your feet hip-width apart. Inhale and reach both your arms forward and overhead. As you exhale, reach your arms out to the sides and down. Repeat this movement for 3 breaths.
2) Downhill skier stretch
Inhale and reach up again. As you exhale, bend your knees slightly and place your hands on your knees like a baseball player. Take a deep breath in and out. Then, keep your knees bent as you reach your arms back behind you. Hold this for another breath in and out. As you inhale again, sweep your arms forward and up into a small backbend. Repeat for for 3 breaths.
3) Side sways
Bring your arms overhead as you inhale. Exhale and sway to your right, reaching over your head with your left hand. Inhale and come back to the center, and as you exhale, reach your right hand over to the left. Inhale and reach both of your arms up together. Repeat this for 3 breaths.
4) Standing twists
Once more, sweep your arms overhead as you breathe in. Exhale and twist to the right, reaching the left arm forward and the right arm backward. Bring both arms down to touch your legs. Inhale and bring your arms all the way up. Repeat for 3 breaths. To finish, keep your arms overhead, stretch as high as you can, and breathe into the stretch. Finally, release your arms down to your sides.
Grounded in the belief we are all unique beings, we begin each new client with a meticulous bio-mechanical evaluation, assessing each joint in its relationship to the movement of the body as a whole. Our therapists are skilled at reading the unique story your body tells, and treating everything from the bottom of your foot to the top of your head.
Bodywise Physical Therapy is located in Portland, Oregon. The Bodywise approach is wholistic, individualized, and can benefit people of all fitness levels. While Bodywise has always specialized in general orthopedics, spine rehabilitation, and sports medicine, they have evolved into a truly wholistic practice integrating Hands-on treatments with Mindfulness, Pilates, Trauma Release Exercise, Womens Health and Lymphedema.