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Purr-fect Stretches

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When you're rushing around trying to get everything done and you're so stressed out that your shoulders are hunched up and you've forgotten to breathe.

When you're rushing around trying to get everything done and you're so stressed out that your shoulders are hunched up and you've forgotten to breathe-

Stop. Think like a cat. Have you ever noticed how calm and tranquil cats can be, especially after a good stretch? They are masters in the art of relaxation. Take a minute or two for yourself and do the same.

Remember, cats would never in a million years do anything that would actually hurt, so do only what feels good to your body.

  1. Start by taking a deep breath and scrunching your shoulders up to your ears. Hold for a count of three. Then exhale and press shoulders right down so that they won't go any further. That's where your shoulders are supposed to be! Stretch your neck up as high as it will go, as though you've just seen a bird out the window.

  2. Standing with back straight, raise your arms and stretch them up as high as they will reach. Stretch your fingers out and splay your hands as if you're about to claw the furniture. Claw with one arm, then the other. Satisfying, isn't it? You can add more to the stretch by standing on tiptoes to stretch out your calf muscles.

  3. Slowly exhale and roll downwards, letting your arms hang towards the floor. Keep legs relaxed and slightly bent. Let your head hang down. Breathe. Let your upper body go loose and imagine all your troubles draining out your fingertips. Now roll up slowly, inhaling as you go, one vertebrae at a time.

  4. On hands and knees, take a deep breath and exhale as you slowly round your back, keeping your head down, chin to chest. Hold for a count of three, then inhale, gently arching your back the other way, head up to look at the ceiling.

  5. Resting on your haunches, lean over and stretch your arms out in front of you, hands flat on the floor, head down. Now pull back so you can feel the tingle of your awakening circulation through your arms and back. A classic cat stretch.
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