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The Relaxing Post-Workout Stretch One Instructor Swears By

ooking for a stretch that will ease your mind, body and SOUL after tapping it back in an intense cardio party —or a long day at work? NYC instructor LOUISE GASSMAN shares her favorite stretch, Legs Up The Wall, and why this easy inverted pose is her go-to for relaxing joints, hamstrings, headaches and more…

Why She Loves It
The Legs Up The Wall post has so many benefits! It reduces anxiety, arthritis, headaches and insomnia, and improves digestive problems and varicose veins. In addition, inverted poses like this can ease menstrual cramps, PMS and menopausal symptoms and — most importantly right after clipping in — relieve tired and cramped legs while gently stretching your hamstrings and the back of your neck. Plus, it just feels really, really good to zone out and limber up!

How To Do It
1. Lie on the floor in a fetal position with your butt as close to the wall as you can get it.
2. Slowly roll onto your back and extend your legs straight up the wall.
3. Walk your butt closer to the wall if you can. If you have very tight hamstrings, bend your knees gently.
Pro Tip: I like to have my arms in "touchdown" position — extended straight out of the shoulder having a 90 degree bend in the elbow, palms facing up.
4. Lift your head gently off the floor and tuck the your chin to the chest then extend your the back of the neck as you replace your the head on the floor.
5. Soften your eyes and sink heavily into the floor.
6. Stay in the pose for 1 to 15 minutes. While you’re holding this position, it might be a good time to incorporate a meditation or spend some time thinking of the things you’re grateful for (we are still in New Year’s resolution mode, after all!).
7. To come out of the pose, reverse how you got into it.
8. Slowly bend your knees and roll over on to your side, curling up into a fetal position.
9. Linger for a few breaths and then press up until seated.

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Article by Louise Gassman
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