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5 Stretching Moves to Relax You This Instant

  • Aaah Right Now

    When you really -- we mean really -- need to relax, you want to feel calm right away. And, as lovely as a trip to the spa might be, we can't all afford a professional massage. The fast and simple solution? This five-minute stretching routine from Blogilates founder and YouTube fitness star Cassey Ho. Her Pilates-based moves soothe the spots where many of us feel stiffness and tension -- the hips, shoulders, and back -- and you don't have to twist yourself into a pretzel to get relief. Find a quiet spot, put on some calming music, and get ready to feel amazing.

  • Half Rainbow

    Sit in a cross-legged position with your back straight and shoulders relaxed. Rest your right elbow next to your thigh, then raise your left arm over your head and reach as far as you can to the right. Hold for 30 seconds, then switch sides.

  • Child's Reach

    Kneel on the floor with back straight. Inhale, then exhale as you reach forward and rest your palms on the floor. Bring your left arm under your chest and extend it along the floor, palm facing up. Hold for 30 seconds, then switch sides.

  • Spine Twist

    Sit with your legs straight and your feet flexed and hip-width apart. Extend your arms in front of you and rest palms on opposite elbows. Inhale, then exhale as you twist to the right. Hold for 5 seconds, then twist to the left. Repeat 10 times.

  • Cradle Cross Stretch

    Lie on your back with your knees bent and your left leg crossed over your right leg. Hold your feet and gently pull your heels toward your shoulders until you feel the stretch in your left glute. Hold for 30 seconds, then switch sides.

  • Seated Glute Stretch

    Sit with your legs straight and your palms on the floor about a foot behind you, fingers facing away from your body. Bend your left knee at a 45-degree angle and place your right ankle on your left knee; you should feel the stretch in your right glute. For a deeper stretch, bring your left heel closer to your butt. Hold for 30 seconds, then switch sides.