Zen Your Z's: 3 Stretches to Try Every Night

Zen Your Z's: 3 Stretches to Try Every Night

Ready, set, release

We don't need to tell you all the awesome benefits of stretching, but add this to the running list: it'll probably help you get a good night's sleep. Not only will stretching before bed ease soreness from past workouts and loosen you up (especially if you sit at a desk for 8+ hours a day), it'll also bring your awareness to the body, so you can slow down from the day and reconnect with your breath. Want to give it a go? Add these 3 essential stretches to your nighttime routine.

Neck stretches

Our favorite way to release built-up tension in the neck and shoulders is by giving the area a good stretch. Bring your right hand to the left side of your face and gently pull it over to the right side, finding the sweet spot where it feels just right. Hold this for 5 seconds and repeat on the other side. Interlace your hands behind your head and gently pull your head forward and down, then do the same at the back. Now make a few circles with your head in each direction, massaging out all the knots.

Cow face pose (arms)

Give your shoulders some extra love with this awesome stretch and opener. Bring your right hand overhead and reach it behind your back and take your left hand under and back, reaching toward the right hand. Clasp your hands together and give them a slight pull, keeping your spine straight and your heart open. Stay here for 7-10 seconds, then switch arms. If you can't reach for your hand, use a strap and pull in opposite directions.

Side body stretches

This is the kind of stretch you don't know you need until you try it, especially if you tend to slouch, sit in your hips, or stay seated for long periods of time. Stretch out your side body by placing your right hand on the floor beside you, reaching it as far out to the right as you can while staying grounded and taking your left hand up and over to the right. Stay here for 7-10 seconds and switch sides.

Want to wind down your night with some yoga? Check out these video series on Alo Moves: Yoga Nidra: Clear Energy with Caley Alyssa, Let Go with Briohny Smyth and Restore and Rejuvenate with Carling Harps.