Hanna Somatics Cat Stretch

The Cat Stretch - Done Daily

This seies of movements can be done everyday, to remind your brain to keep flexible and free from discomfort.

The best time to do them is when you wake up in the morning, but they can be done any time of the day. Enjoy!

Like all Somatic Exercises, these movements should be done slowly, gently, and with maximum awareness. Do them in a free and esay manner.

1. Arch & Flatten: Lying on your back [with knees bent], arch and flatten your lower back, inhaling while going up and exhaling while going down. Repeat 5 times over 30 seconds.  


2. Arch & Curl: Lying on your back with knees bent and both hands interlaced behind your head, lift your head while exhaling and flattening your back. Lower your head while inhaling and arching your back. Repeat 5 times over 30 seconds.  


3. Back Lift: Lying on your stomach with your left cheek on the back of your right hand, lift your head, hand, and right elbow while simultaneously lifting your left leg. Do this 2 times, and then do the same for the other side of your body. Inhale slowly while lifting; exhale slowly while coming down.  


 4. Diagonal Arch & Curl: Lying on your back with [knees bent and] your left knee held by your left hand, lift your head and right elbow to your left knee while exhaling and flattening your back. As your head comes down, inhale, arching your back up. Repeat 3 times. Do the same for the other side of your body 3 times.



5. Side Curl: Lying on your left side, rest your head on your left arm, bend your knees so that your legs are 90 degrees to your torso, and bend 90 degrees at the knees. Reach your right arm over the top of your head, placing your hand near your left ear.
As you inhale, slowly lift your right foot towards the ceiling, keeping your knees together. At the same time, use your right arm to help lift your head. Think about rolling the pelvis under the armpit (though this won’t actually happen!), focusing attention on the muscles of the waist and ribcage. As you exhale, slowly lower the foot and head down. Repeat 3 times, turn over and repeat on opposite side.



6. Washcloth: Lying on your back with your knees bent, roll your arms in opposite directions on the floor, alternately dropping your knees each time to the side of the arm rolling down the floor. Turn your head in the direction opposite your knees to make a full spinal twist. Move slowly and lazily, so as to enjoy the stretch. Repeat 6 times over 30 seconds.


7. Inversion/Eversion: Lying on your back, twist your right foot, leg, and hip in and out 5 times, being sure to lift and arch each side of your back alternately without lifting your shoulders. Do the same with your left side. Move both legs simultaneously in alternating bow-legged/knock-kneed positions 5 times, then together in skiing motions 5 times.


8. Seated Rotation: Sitting with your right hand on your left shoulder and with both knees bent and facing left, rotate your trunk to the left 3 times. Holding your trunk motionless at full left turn, turn your head to the right and back 3 times. Turn both your head and your trunk in alternate directions 3 times for the full spinal twist. Still holding your trunk to the left, lift your face to the ceiling while dropping your eyes to the floor and vice versa 3 times. Do the same for the other side of your body. This will take about 60 seconds.


* The exercise instruction and advice provided are in no way intended as a substitute for medical consultation*

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