STRETCHING THE BAR: TAKING CARE OF FUTURE YOU
Day to day life as a bar professional can be tough on your body so it’s important to stay healthy and look after your wellbeing. Bar professional and wellbeing expert Camille Vidal gives simple tips and stretches that be easily incorporated into any routine.
STRETCH YOURSELF BEFORE YOU WRECK YOURSELF
Stretching, even for a few minutes a day, can have a considerable impact on your wellbeing. Whether you stretch in the morning or the evening it really doesn’t matter. Regardless of time of day, this series of poses will help alleviate those aches and pains and avoid long-term pain or issues.
STRETCH 1: SEATED TRIANGLE
The seated triangle is a great hip opener and helps to release some of the tension we carry in this particular part of the body, so I would urge you to give this one a go.
- Sit comfortably, spine lengthening through the crown of the head, bring the soles of the feet together and let the knees fall out to the sides.
- To open more use your hand to press on the inner edges to open the feet like a book and gently press your elbows in the inner thighs.
- Stay there for 5 breathes
To get out of the pose, place your hands on the outside of the knees to help gently close the legs back into a resting position
STRETCH 2: SEATED COW – CAT
Similar to the seated cat this is a gentle flow incorporating movement with breath work and is great for working into your lower back. If your feeling stressed or anxious give this one a try and feel the tension ebb away restoring a sense of calm.
- Sit cross-legged and comfortably placing hands on the knees.
- Inhale through the nose, broaden your collarbones, open the chest, shine the heart forward creating gentle flection in the spine.
- Moving from seated cow, exhale round the back, dome the upper, press your hands on your knees as you breathe into the back body, lengthening and extending the spine.
Repeat 5 times with the breathing technique (inhale cow – exhale cat)
STRETCH 3: SIDE STRETCH
The side stretch is one you can do anywhere, on the go or at home. This stretch is good for making more space in your body and improving flexibility in your spine and it’s very simple to do.
- Sit cross-legged and comfortably placing your hands on your knees.
- Place one hand next to your hip, bringing your other arm up and over your head. Let the elbow of the grounded arm lean to that side.
- Inhale and exhale through the nose. Feel the stretch on your side rib cage.
STRETCH 4: SEATED TWIST
A twist is well known for its digestive benefits but if you suffer from backache, you’ll find this movement a real reliever. Be sure to stretch your upper body and breath into each pose to feel the full benefit.
- Place right hand on opposite knee and left hand behind you comfortably. Inhale lengthens your spine sit tall. Exhale twist from your middle back
- Stay for 3 breathes and switch sides.
STRETCH 5: LEG RAISE
The leg raise is a great stretch to add into your routine. It’s calming, grounding and energising all at the same time!
- Shimmy your hips as close to the wall as possible
- Extend your legs along the wall. Your body will be in an L shape, you can cactus your arms or extend in a T shape.
- Flex your feet for a more active pose or just relax!
- Breathe and stay as long as you want
Check out this video for a guided practice to each pose.
NAIL YOUR ROUTINE
Having the same habit and ritual that you follow is important, it brings structure to your lifestyle and will train your brain and your body for what to expect next. At bedtime for example, routine is key, perhaps you could unwind with a herbal tea, read a book, take a bath – just take time to slow down and let your body know it’s time to switch off.
It’s important to remember to step back and take a few minutes to do nothing. Allow yourself to switch off, check-in with your body and understand your feelings.
- Make stretching everyday a priority to alleviate aches and strains.
- Not all stretches are for creating calm; some stretches invigorate and provide the energy you need.
- If done consistently and over a prolonged time, stretching will improve blood pressure, posture and flexibility
- Having a good routine can bring structure to your lifestyle and help prepare your body and mind for whatever comes next.
- To be at your best, switch off, take a step back and check-in with your physical and emotional wellbeing.
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