In 2013, a study found that regular yoga improved the quality of sleep for people receiving treatment for their cancer.
Child’s Pose was one of the positions that were included in this research .
Start off in a kneeling position on your mat. Knees should be at hip distance apart – feet together behind you.
Inhale deeply as you exhale.
Lay your torso over your thighs. As you do this, press your butt onto your heels with your arms reaching forward. As you are doing this, lengthen your neck and spine by moving your ribs away from your tail bone. Move the crown of your head away from your shoulders.
Now rest your forehead on the mat.
Rest your forehead on the mat, holding for three full breaths.
What health benefits are there?
It helps to open up the back and shoulders.
It helps to stretch your stiff, sore, and tired limbs.
Child’s pose stretching soothes the entire body, and your shoulders, ankles, and thighs will benefit the most.
It boosts your circulation.
It aids digestion.
Child’s Pose stimulates blood flow to your head, helping oxygen reach all the corners of your body.
You might want to lock your office door, but if your body is feeling achy and tight, drop to the floor and do a Child’s Pose just for a minute and see how loosened up you feel.
This stretching exercise  is very aptly named because that’s what it mimics, the kick of the donkey!
It is superb for isolating the glute muscle called the gluteus maximus.
But it also works the core and shoulders.
Start in the all-fours position. Your knees will be under your hips, your wrists under your shoulders – with your core engaged.
With your knee bent and your right foot flexed, kick your right leg up toward the ceiling – then pause at the top. If your lower back gets sore with arching, make sure your spine is at a neutral position.
Now return your right knee to the floor. That’s one rep.
Perform five of these in a slow and controlled rep on each leg, repeating on the other side.
What health benefits are there?
They are ideal for toning and stability.
They work your shoulder muscles and core.
This exercise is outstanding for the desk-job person because it helps to stretch the hip in the opposite direction of how you hold the hip when you sit. So the movement kind of counteracts all the sedentary sitting in the chair.
The down dog to runner’s lunge  is a stretch that works the inner thighs, the hip flexors, hamstrings, and quadriceps.
In yoga, this exercise is known as the crescent lunge.
It is a very common warm-up stretch in yoga sequences. It is not only for runners though, or for the yogis.
You reap the benefits by adapting this lunge into your pre-workout warmups.
You start on your knees and hands. Your hands are stacked under your shoulders. Your knees are stacked under your hips.
Then spread your hands wide, pressing your thumb and index finger into the floor.
Now lift your tailbone, pressing your butt up and back, whilst drawing your hips toward the ceiling. Keep your legs straight as best you can, pressing your heels gently toward the floor. The head needs to be between the arms, facing the knees. Your back should be flat.
Pause for a moment, shifting your weight forward into a plank, stepping your right foot outside your right hand. (watch video)
Raise your torso so you assume a low lunge position, squeezing your glutes so the stretch is increased in your back leg’s hip. That completes one rep. Do three slow and controlled reps before switching sides.
What health benefits are there?
The stretches stretch out the calves, ankles, quads, hamstrings, and the groin – a great warm-up to get a full body-workout.
The stretches improve flexibility and balance. The Down dog to runners lunge improves mental strength because it works on the consciousness of the mind.
They also help to relieve chronic pain in the hips, legs, lower back, and relieve the pain of the sciatica nerve.
Improves awareness and concentration.
Organs and stimulation: Down dog to runners lunge puts just slight pressure on the abdominal organs and actually stimulates them. Blood circulation is increased.
The National Strength and Conditioning Association  recommends that athletes and fitness enthusiasts should do pre-workout warming stretches prior to their main workout session.
It is because it prepares the muscles – it takes them through wider ranges of motions, warming up the body.
This is apparently way more than what static stretching provides.
It is thought that if you do static stretch before your workout routine, you might even reduce your strength, explosiveness, and power for the routine afterward.
Pre-workout stretches take muscles through a wider range of motion.
They warm up the body more than static stretching will ever do.
Plus, doing static stretches before a workout may even reduce your strength, power, and explosiveness for the coming routine.
Marcia Denis, who is a physical therapist and certified yoga teacher, says that no matter whether you are a strength athlete, a runner, or whatever, warm-ups are very important.
They are necessary to prime the body for movement.
They also give you the opportunity to check out how you cope and how you are, both physically and mentally.
That preparation will help to prevent injury and help you to get in tune with any pre-existing strains, aches, and pains.
You are prepared for the workout that’s coming up.
So for example, if your shoulder was feeling all tight and aching from the way you slept the night before, then you might want to add in some of these gentle pre-working-out stretches to that specific area.
That will increase your mobility even before you get started.
Pre-workout warm-up stretches ease you into a movement to prepare you for whatever routine you have planned.
These stretches focus on the full body movements that work on your glutes, core, spine, hamstring, hip flexors, shoulders, and back.
Warm-ups are actually designed to be easy.
They are not meant to be like a strenuous workout.
So if during your stretching exercises you feel your heart rate is increasing at a rapid pace, or you are getting out of breath, just taper down on the intensity.
The thing is, warm-ups shouldn’t be stressful and wear out your muscles so that you feel exhausted.
They should be easy and specifically aimed at the main movements you had in mind for your workout.
Do the stretches at a comfy pace, and modify them if you want, keeping the movements fluid and smooth – because ‘stretching exercises promote flexibility, so you can move fluidly.’
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