Take time to slow down, listen and attend to deeper needs right when they arise…
This post comes from our friend at modelFIT, Rosalia Chann.
As technology continues to push us ever further into a we-need-it-now mindset, the ability to keep our body, mind and spirits in tune is an ever-increasing challenge. With the focus everywhere but on ourselves, where does that leave us in our quest to heal from within?
Taking the time to slow down, listen and learn allows you to recognize and attend to deeper needs right when they arise, at which point our self love naturally heightens. Self care empowers and creates balance and success within and throughout the rest of our lives.
As is true for so many of us, I learned how to slow down the hard way. I began dancing at the age of 5 and nurtured a successful career as a professional contemporary ballet dancer, doing everything to the extreme — with little self care — for 20 years. And then, I found fitness, for which I was so eager that I experimented with every workout program known to man. I continued to embrace a ‘no pain, no gain’ mentality which proved unfavorable. I was not doing right by my body and ended up hurting myself in more ways than one.
It wasn’t until modelFIT came into my life that I began to take ownership of my wellbeing, to slow down and address my own deeper needs, all the while continuing my education through the Gray Institute — where I learned how to care for my body through working out efficiently and effectively, and not abrasively. That experience, in addition to a few other life lessons, opened my life to places that I had never imagined.
It is an honor to share my education, knowledge and experience with you all in hopes that this information will enhance your lives as well, starting with these six stretches. Focusing on full body movement, this sequence can be done anywhere, by anyone and at any time. These stretches are authentic to everyday life and get the body moving in all three planes of motion, increasing mobility (flexibility, range of motion) and balancing repetitive motion from sitting and daily activities/sports such as running. Other benefits include increased blood flow to muscles and joints, enhanced muscular coordination, increased circulation, increased energy levels and injury prevention.
Consider using these movements as part of a morning stretch routine, taking a break from sitting at a desk, during travel, before running or sports practice, or as a pre-gym warm-up.. Get moving, move often and share it with anyone who may benefit.
First, learn the routine. Then, have fun and get creative with how to incorporate it into your lifestyle routine.
Take smaller steps with slow and controlled motions to get started, and reach through the fingertips to feel the ultimate stretch. Make sure that you are keeping your joints loose and breathing through each motion. Complete 10 reps of each. If you feel a restriction on a particular movement, you may need to do more reps to open it up.
Move 1 – Forward Step Mindfulness Tip:
Keep both toes forward and be aware of excessive arching in the lower back. You will feel the stretch through the front of the hip, the chest and shoulders as the arms reach up overhead.
Move 2 – Rear Step Mindfulness Tip:
Make sure that both feet are pointing forward. Arms start extended at chest height. Take a step back and make sure that the heel is sealed all the way down. The arms reaching back will help to feel a hamstring stretch.
Move 3 – Same Side Lateral Mindfulness Tip:
Arms directly overhead. Both feet pointing forward. Example: If the right leg is stepping than the arms will reach up and over to the left. The knee of the stepping leg is bent. You will feel a stretch on the outside of the hip and through your right side (lats).
Move 4 – Opposite Side Lateral Mindfulness Tip:
Arms directly overhead. Both feet pointing forward. Example: If the right foot is stepping over the left, than the arms will reach up and over to the right. This will stretch the IT Band (commonly tight with runners), outer hip, and into the left side (lats).
Move 5 – Same Side Rotational Mindfulness Tip:
Arms begin at chest height with both feet facing forward. Example: Keep the left toe forward and take a small step with the right foot. Eyes follow hands. You will feel your inner/outer thighs and hips open as well as the upper back and spine.
Move 6 – Opposite Side Rotation Mindfulness Tip:
Arms begin at chest height with both feet facing forward. Example: Keep the left toe forward and hands at chest height – shoulders down. Eyes follow hands. You will feel the outside of the left hip and into the spine.
+ Share your routine and progress with us via social media… using #movementisfree, #getrealwithrosie and #fueledbyselfcare.
Thank you to Studio26 in NY for sharing your beautiful space with us.
*These movements are shared in part by Gray Institute® and 3DMAPS®.
Images by Alex Cramer.