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Gentle, precise micro movement does wonders for moving through your day.

It doesn’t take yoga acrobatics to feel better in your body. (Although if that’s your thing, go for it!) You can achieve wonders through gentle movement and precise micro movements when you combine them with your directed attention and the intention to ease restrictions and increase range of motion, improve your flexibility and coordination, and rediscover your innate capacity for graceful, efficient movement. How you move in your body impacts how you move in your life. Begin with a feel-good flow today using these gentle moves.

  • Perform each movement for at least one minute and building up to additional minutes, moving slowly and deliberately and breathing mindfully.
  • Be conscious of how you move in and out of the stretches

FLOW

Reclining Windshield Wiper Exploration

  • Recline on your back with your feet hip-width apart, knees bent and arms relaxed.
  • Flex your feet, keeping them stiff, and begin to drop your knees to the side, moving with conscious control. Slowly raise your knees to center and let them drop to the other side.
  • Keep your pelvis and spine and neck still and maintain an active core.
  • Progressively add more range of motion as the body opens into the movements.
  • Take deep breaths throughout the movement as you alternate sides.

Reclining Butterfly Play

  • Recline on your back with the soles of your feet pressed together, arms relaxed and knees bent and dropped open to the sides.
  • Keep your pelvis and spine and neck still and maintain an active core.
  • Begin articulating movements of your feet and ankles, progressively picking up the heels and the ball of each foot individually and then both feet together.
  • Move on to straightening your legs by letting your feet glide on the floor, first one and then the other. Then straighten your legs together, extending from your hips to lengthen the spine.
  • Take deep breaths throughout the movement.

Arm Play

  • Recline on your back, legs stretched out and arms relaxed at your sides.
  • Lift one arm toward the ceiling, straight over your shoulder. Reach to the ceiling, lifting your shoulder blade off the floor, then shrug your shoulder toward your ear. Release your arm back to the floor.
  • Keep your pelvis and spine and neck still and maintain an active core.
  • Repeat with your other arm, and then repeat with both arms together.
  • Take deep breaths throughout the movement.

Moving Parallelogram Arm Circles

  • Recline on your back, legs stretched out and arms relaxed at your sides.
  • Lift your arms to the ceiling, straight over your shoulders, and fold your arms so that your hands are holding the opposite elbow joint.
  • Rock your arms side to side, allowing the weight of your arms to pull them down toward the ground, and slightly press into your arms in order to stimulate your shoulder joint.
  • Keeping your arms folded, create a circular motion with your arms around your head, keeping your neck and spine neutral. Then release your arms to the floor.
  • Take deep breaths throughout the movement.

Crunch Fold

  • Recline on your back with your arms and legs stretched out and muscles engaged.
  • Exhale and contract your abdominals to pull your shoulders and hips toward each other until your elbows and knees touch.
  • With great control, slowly extend your body back to the floor to return to the start position and repeat the movement.
  • Take deep breaths throughout the movement.

Arm Circles With Variation and Twists

  • Recline on your back with your feet hip-width apart, knees bent and arms relaxed.
  • As you drop your knees to one side, roll your entire body to that side, stacking your shoulders, hips, knees and arms.
  • Progressively begin to make sweeps with your arms, moving beyond the arm and circling around the body. Maintain full contact with the floor.
  • When your range of motion has increased, pull your body across to your other side and repeat the movement on that side. Alternate sides for a few repetitions.
  • Keep your pelvis and spine and neck neutral, your head relaxed on the ground at all times, and maintain an active core.
  • Take deep breaths throughout the movement.

Child Pose Rock and Shift

  • Start on your hands and knees, arms shoulder-width apart, fingers spread wide and knees pressed firmly together.
  • Keep your core engaged and neck and spine long.
  • With controlled motion, shift your weight to rock forward and backward, creating mobility in your back, shoulders and hip muscles.
  • Next, rock forward and back at a diagonal, sitting to the side on one hip and then progressively moving through a circular motion with your hips.
  • Repeat to the other side, circling in the opposite direction. Finish in Child’s Pose.
  • Take deep breaths throughout the movement.

Tabletop With Side-Body Activation

  • Start on your hands and knees, arms shoulder-width apart, fingers spread wide and knees pressed firmly together.
  • Keep your pelvis and spine and neck still and maintain an active core.
  • Moving from the side of your core, pull your hip and shoulder toward each other and allow your neck and ankle to follow, slowly increasing your range of motion with each repetition.
  • Return to start and repeat on the other side.
  • Take deep breaths throughout the movement.

Tabletop Knee Slides to Pigeon Sit

  • Start on your hands and knees, arms shoulder-width apart, fingers spread wide and knees hip-width apart.
  • Keep your pelvis and spine and neck still and maintain an active core.
  • Moving slowly at a comfortable range of motion, pull one knee forward between your hands and stretch your other leg behind you.
  • Sit into a modified stretch with your hip off to the side and your shinbone pulled slightly forward. Lean forward toward your knee to stretch your hip, thigh and back.
  • Bend your back knee, sliding it toward your side for support, and lift your torso up. Then return to fold forward and stretch your back leg long behind you.
  • Use your hands to support your body and press up and rotate to turn your torso and body around to a tall seated position, with both legs extended straight.  Rotate back to the folded hip stretch and repeat a few times until the movement is fluid.
  • Return to the start position and repeat on the other side. Work toward linking the movement to either side so that you are alternating sides with each repetition.
  • Take deep breaths throughout the movement.

Sitting Sweeping Reach and Neck Play

  • Begin seated on the floor, knees bent with one shin in front and the other leg comfortably bent behind your hips. Elevate your hips on a pillow if you have discomfort in your hips, knees or back.
  • Keep your pelvis and spine and neck still and maintain an active core.
  • Using one hand for balance, sweep your back hand along the floor in front and diagonally up to the ceiling in an arc.
  • Push off your base hand and lift your hips up and forward to stretch the front and sides of your body.
  • Repeat a few times, increasing the range of motion with each repetition.
  • Return to the start, switch legs and repeat on the other side.
  • Take deep breaths throughout the movement.

Spiral to Stand

  • Start seated in a comfortable cross-legged position, with your left leg crossed behind your right leg.
  • Place your left hand just behind your left hip, arms straight, and create a firm connection from your hand to your shoulder.
  • Push off your base hand and lift to spiral your hips and unwind your body around to face the back until your feet are planted flat, both hands are touching the ground, and your hips and shoulders are squared off.
  • Keep your pelvis and spine and neck still and maintain an active core.
  • Roll up to stand, moving slowly until you’re fully erect and your head is neutral.
  • Roll down until your left hand can reach in front across your body to support your landing, and spiral your hips to return to your starting position.
  • Repeat a few times and then switch sides.
  • Take deep breaths throughout the movement.

Photo credit: Danil Nevsky, Stocksy

Videos: Tom Casey, box24studio.com
Hair and Make-up: Katie Nash, katienashbeauty.com

Model: Meagan McCrary

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