Fitness & Yoga
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5 Simple Stretches for Winter (In)Activity

Whether you’re participating in winter sports, Netflix marathons, or in OT at your desk, stretching can benefit your well-being!  It only takes a few minutes to refresh your mind, relax your body, and prevent injuries.

*Hold each posture for at least 30 seconds or five breaths (2 count inhale – pause – 2 count exhale – pause)*

Clasping hands behind the back

–          This movement increases the range of motion in the shoulders and stretches across the chest.

How to:

–          Clasp your hands (palms together) or interlace your fingers (palms apart) behind your lower back

–          Relax the neck and shoulder to increase the stretch across the chest; keep chin parallel to the floor

–          Lift the hands to intensify the stretch

–          Modification: hold a cloth between the hands if your shoulders are tight and you cannot clasp your hands

Eagle (garudasana) arms

–          Stretches the muscles in the upper back, especially between the shoulder blades

How to:

–          Stack elbows in front of your chest and lift the hands up & away from the face; lower the shoulders away from the ears

–          Modification: grasp opposite shoulders if you cannot stack your elbows

Low lunges

–          Opens up the front of the hip and thigh

low lunge

How to:

–          Take a large step backwards with one foot and lower the back knee to the floor

–          For safe alignment, ensure that the forward knee is positioned directly above the forward ankle

–          Modification: use fingertips on the floor or a piece of furniture to assist with balance

Assisted half forward fold, half forward fold, or forward fold

–          When done correctly (by tilting the top of the pelvis forward instead of rounding the lower back), it stretches the hamstrings

–          Inversions bring the head below the heart to increase blood flow to the head

How to:

–          Keep a slight bend in your knees as you fold forward, placing your hands on furniture, fingertips on the floor, or tucking the forehead to the shins

–          Locking the knees may result in lower back strain, so make sure you are supported and keep the knees slightly bent

–          Modification: Choose assisted half forward fold (head above the heart) if you have high blood pressure that is not under control

Yoga squat

–          Stretches the calves, shins, inner thighs

–          Increases the range of motion in hips, knees and ankles

–          Strengthens balance

How to:

–          Position feet wider than hip width, toes turned slightly outward.  Lower hips into a squat and bring hands to the floor for balance or palms together in front of the chest

–          As you become more flexible, you can keep your chest upright instead of rounding forward

–          For safe alignment, make sure that the knees and toes point in the same direction

–          Modification: place books or a folded blanket under the heels if they do not reach the ground

This entry was posted in: Fitness & Yoga


I’m a independent philosophy scholar, writer, and business school graduate. I believe each one of us has a purpose and my mission is to blog about things that will help you discover yours! I’m inspired by my friends, my colleagues, the beauty of nature, Western philosophy and Eastern wisdom.

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