Hi everyone! Who has not ever come home from their day of sitting, standing, lifting, walking – whatever your day usually entails – and not noticed how tired your legs are? We all have encountered that at one time or another.
This is derived from an article I wrote in 1989 – way back when I used to teach yoga and even before I became a licensed bodyworker! Have fun, and look forward to being reacquainted with your legs:
To refresh tired, heavy-feeling or just plain “beat” legs, try these 3 easy stretches when you get home at night. Be sure that you wear loose, non-binding clothing, and all of the stretches should be done only to the point of feeling a “nice” stretch – no pain or stain! Repeat each of the first three stretches two or three times on each side, alternating sides. The last one should be held as long as comfortable. For a strap, use your imagination – old neckties work well, karate belts are super, a soft piece of rope, a towel, etc.
- HAMSTRING STRETCH – Lie on the floor, pick up your right foot and bend right knee until you can reach your foot with your hands. Place a strap around the ball of your foot. Holding the strap in your right hand, slowly attempt to straighten your leg, working into a hamstring stretch (hamstrings are located on the back of your thigh and you should feel the stretch in the middle of the back of your thigh – if you are feeling it near your buttocks or your knee, you are overstretching – back off the stretch). Keep left leg long and straight on the floor. Maintain this gentle stretch for several breaths, then bend your right knee and lower the leg to the floor. Repeat on the left side.
- INNER HIP/LEG STRETCH – Place the strap on the right foot as described in #1 above. After straightening your leg, rotate the entire leg (from the hip) towards the right. Holding the strap in your right hand with your elbow supported on the floor, place your left hand on the left hip bone (this brings awareness to that area), keeping the left leg straight. Slowly lower the right leg out towards the floor until a gentle stretch is felt on the inside of your right thigh. Strive to keep the left hip on the floor. After several breaths, raise your leg back up, bend your knee and lengthen back to your starting position. Repeat on the left leg.
- OUTER HIP STRETCH – (NOTE: DO NOT DO THIS STRETCH IF YOU HAVE A HIP WITH A PREDISPOSITION TO DISLOCATE, OR A PROSTHETIC HIP UNLESS UNDER THE GUIDANCE OF A QUALIFIED PROFESSIONAL) Place strap on the foot as above and straighten your leg. Rotate entire leg (from the hop) towards the left (i.e., pointing across your body – the opposite of the rotation in #2 above). Hold the strap in your left hand and slowly bring your right leg across body until you feel a gentle stretch along the outer hip and leg. Hold for a few breaths and repeat on the other leg. Strive to keep both hips down, and not roll your raised leg hip over. (Note: leg will not go as far across your body as it did out to the side in #2 above – this is normal and as it should be.
Look forward to upcoming tips on Releasing Stress in the Office Quickly!
Sue is a Master Life Coach specializing in working with groups to release past trauma and move them forward in life. Sue has nearly 30 years of experience as a bodyworker working with mind-body connections, including visualization and dialogue along with hands-on bodywork, to release emotional trauma in the body and mind. She has worked with infants, children, adults and families in individual and group settings. Sue is known locally as, “the therapist’s therapist.” Her first book is titled, "Muscle Energy Technique Made Easy for Healthcare Professionals".