HOW TO: Seated Side Stretch

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This gentle pose is simple, but will give you a wonderful stretch along the upper side body.  Many stretching warm-ups forget to have you stretch and open up the side body which can make it more difficult to move and can cause aches and pains throughout the body.  This pose can also be done right before bed to help relax the mind and improve your quality of sleep.

Instructions:
Begin in a comfortable seated position on your yoga mat.

Inhale and lift both arms overhead.

As you exhale bring your right hand to the mat on your right side and begin to lean your upper body to the right.

Keep your sitting bones rooted to the ground and if you can, lower down onto your right forearm.

Reach up alongside your ear with your left arm, keeping your chest open and lifted.

Hold for several breaths.

To come out inhale to lift your arms back up overhead and as you exhale come to the other side.

Benefits:
Deeply stretches and opens the side core muscles and shoulders

Lengthens the side body

Improves breathing by opening up the lungs and stretching the muscles along the rib cage

Gently stretches the hips, knees, and ankles

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