7 Stretches For Emotional Wellbeing

Photo: Courtesy of Heidi Roman.
I stretch mainly to keep my body healthy and to stave off knee pain after a run. But I also stretch because it feels good emotionally. It's a way to shake off stress or lift my spirits or take my mind off something that's nagging at me.
That instinct is a natural one, and a powerful one. Some people — myself included — believe that stretching feels so nurturing not just because it gets the blood pumping, but because our bodies hold on to old traumas and negative emotions. The right pose can release some of that, freeing our minds and spirits.
"When we take the time to listen to our body and to hold it in our own power, our tissue unearths countless histories and endless resiliency to keep us healing, expanding, and growing," says Toni Melaas, the CEO of Hatch NYC, an international wellness concierge business, a partner at stretch studio Outer Reach, and a professional dancer.
Given the events of this past year, most of us could probably use a good stretch. With that in mind, Melaas designed a series of seven poses that are especially good at balancing emotional wellbeing.
Slip into something comfortable, find a quiet spot, light a candle or some incense, and let Melaas guide you through this ultra-healing sequence. (Prefer video? Melaas filmed herself performing these stretches too.)

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