Mindful

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.

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.

This mindfulness practice provides additional information related to a feature article titled, “Winter Got You Down? Move Around!”, which appeared in the February 2018 issue of Mindful magazine.

Mindful Movement to Beat the Afternoon Slump

Try This Movement Practice Before You Meditate

Cara Bradley

Cara Bradley, cscs, eryt, is the author of the Amazon bestseller On The Verge: Wake Up, Show Up, and Shine. She’s an innovative leader in bodymind training. A teacher for over three decades, Cara is the founder of Verge BodyMind Center in suburban Philadelphia and works with CEOs, corporations, universities, and sports teams including Villanova University football and basketball. www.carabradley.net

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