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Mood-boosting stretches

It’s well known that stretching can make us happier. Suzanne Wylde, founder of movingstretch.com, talks us through three blissful moves

by Psychologies

These stretches are great for mood because they open up the body. When we do them, we give ourselves a chance to feel more hopeful and ‘expanded’, changing our frame of mind through our bodies, instead of our minds.

Stretching makes us feel more alive, freeing up energy for inspiration and motivation.

1. Kneeling quad stretch

Kneel with your hands on your heels and sit on your heels with your shoulders forward. Tense the front of your hips, abdomen and chest as you sit up, pushing your hips forward and your shoulders back, always keeping your hands on your heels.

Do 7-10 stretches in a set. You may find it more comfortable with something under your knees to cushion them.

2. Overhead shoulder and chest stretch

Grip a yoga strap, belt, or towel above your head firmly in both hands. Your arms should form a ‘V’. With your hands continuously pulling apart from each other to create tension, move your hands back behind you, keeping your elbows straight.

When you have gone as far back as you can comfortably reach, return to the starting position to complete one repetition. Do 5-7 repetitions in a set.

3. Sideways reach

Standing with your feet shoulder-width apart, rest one hand on your hip. Raise your other hand above your head, keeping it slightly bent and out to the side. Tensing the muscles of that side, push your arm over your head as you lean to one side.

For more from Suzanne Wylde, visit movingstretch.com and more on wellness in our dedicated section. 

Photograph: iStock

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