We live in a world of to-do lists and Google calendars and it becomes more difficult every day to wind down once the day is over. Some people get into the habit of bringing work home. Possibly, for some, this can’t be avoided, but at some point your body and mind must get the rest it needs or your performance at work or at school is sure to suffer.
There are so many elaborate rituals that people have created to get their minds to slow down from the day’s rat race. Some routines work, and other routines are just unreliable; such as calm music, turning the television off, or meditation. The creator of Yoga Tune Up, yoga expert and author Jill Miller, has come up with a stretch that only takes two minutes, and if done correctly right before bed, works to guide you peacefully into dream time.
It doesn’t matter if your work is a stay-at-home mom running around all day or an administrator tied to a desk and phone for twelve hours; our bodies are full of tension and stress. Stress affects not just the health of the mind but also the health of the body as well and is a major cause of insomnia. Jill Miller has created a way to stretch yourself to sleep, that requires no exercise machines, just your willingness and an exercise mat for comfort. A small block of foam is suggested as well, which you can find at a craft store.
The hip area holds a lot of the body’s tension and stress so this exercise targets those areas. You will be stretching both hip joints for one minute on both sides.
1 Lie on your back on your exercise mat and tuck the small block of foam underneath your lower back for protection. Your lower back and the upper portion of your buttocks should be resting on the foam, or you can use a book instead. Your feet should be lightly pressed against a wall in front of you.
2. Your upper back, head, and shoulders should be relaxed.
3. Grab with both hands, your right leg with the right knee bent and bring it towards your face. Hold this pose at a comfortable position, and you should actually feel the stretch in your opposite hip joint and upper thigh. As you bend one leg, the opposite leg’s hip joint and muscles should benefit from the exercise as it lies straight with the foot slightly pressed against the wall.
4. After holding this stretch for a minute, then switch sides and perform the same movements with your left leg where your right hip joint and leg should feel the stretch.
Author of The Roll Model, Jill Miller does not promise anyone a miracle drug with this two-minute stretch, but instead offers you a simple and effective exercise that if done on a regular basis, will calm your mind and release tension from your body. The two-minute stretch was designed as a stretch to be incorporated into your nighttime routine and not just done when you get bouts of insomnia due to stress. In order for the stretch to work, it must become a part of your bedtime ritual