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21 Day Challenge - Day 5

Cat Cows - This is one of my go-to exercises for a sore back.  Breathe deeply on these stretches.  Big inhale on the Cow pose as you expand your belly towards the floor and look to the sky.  Then transition to Cat pose with a large exhale while bringing your chin towards your chest as you pull your belly button towards your spine. Repeat this 5 times for each move.  Transition between cat and cow on each breath. Sun Salutations - These will warm up your whole body.  Again, each movement is a breath but if you haven't done these before, just do the motion and the breath will come with practice.  Start standing tall, lift arms over head, fold forward and reach toward the ground, come half way up to a flat back, and fold again on your exhale.  Then place your hands on the ground and jump or step back to a plank. Lower yourself to the ground and then push yourself forward to cobra and look to the sky. Tuck your toes under and push your hips up and back (downward dog). Feel free to hold downward dog for a few breaths.  I like to pedal my feet out in the first few. When ready, step or jump your feet toward your hands and come up to flat back. Exhale in your forward fold and then inhale as you stand tall again and reach for the sky.  This can seem a bit complicated if you have never done yoga before.  Don't worry about getting all the steps right.  It doesn't need to be perfect.   World's Greatest Stretch - seriously!  I love this stretch.  It feels good all over. Start in a lunge and place your opposite hand next to your front foot.  Work to straighten your back leg as you reach your free hand to the sky and look up.  Hold this stretch longer than you think.  Aim for 5 full breaths each side.  Feel your body go deeper into the stretch on each exhale. So good!   Spine Twisters - I always imagine I'm ringing out my body like a dishrag when I do this one. It's a great stretch for your hips and spine.  Lying on your back, bring one knee towards your chest and then place your opposite hand on the outside of your knee.  Gently pull it across your body and you look the opposite direction towards your outstretched arm.  Hold each stretch for 3-5 full breaths. ​ The video shows a few bonus moves - happy baby and some tuck and rolls.  Feel free to add in your own favorite stretches during the 21 minutes.

Thank you all for being here! I'm so proud of you all! ​~Melanie ​ Videos showing Day 5 exercises

Sun Salutations Modifications Video


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