Today’s stretches with the help of little Elfie are all great for people with pelvic floor problems, those who suffer with period pain, and those who want to increase their chances of fertility (by increasing blood flow to the pelvic organs).

Legs up against wall Look! Elfie’s up to more stretching today.

He tells me this is like the best 5 minutes any elf or human will ever spend in this position ever.

If you suffer with back pain, have pelvic floor problems or have chronic period pain, you need to try this!

Scooch up towards a wall or other flat surface with a pillow under your head. Pop your hands on your pelvis, and make sure your 2 hip bones and pubic bone are level ie your lower back shouldn’t be pressed flat against the floor.

Bear in mind your human butt may be nowhere near the wall, so modify accordingly, maintaining your pelvic position. Have fun!

 

Psoas release

If you suffer with hip, groin, pelvic or back pain, the psoas release is one MUST-DO exercise for you.

The psoas is a pesky muscle, Elfie tells me, and if it’s in a shortened, stressed state from lots of sitting and lots of bad postural habits, it’ll make posture worse and cause pain.

Prop yours-elf up on 3-4 pillows/towels, with these resting just under your shoulder blades, and no further down the back and maybe another for your head. Allow your rib cage at the front of your body to relax down towards the pelvis below.

You shouldn’t need to use muscles to hold the ribs in a ‘down position’, so if this occurs, Elfie tells me you need to be propped up higher under those shoulder blades.

Relax into this position for several minutes, focus on your breathing and make sure you hold your pelvis is neutral with the 2 hip bones and pubic bone level.

 

Strap stretch

 

Elfie informs me that many humans ‘live in their quads’, meaning they give all of the work to their thighs when doing every day movements and exercises, and never give their glutes or hamstrings a chance.
To start, wrap a scarf or towel around the ankle (don’t just grab the top of the foot with your hand, ok?). Then, Elfie’s asked me to get you to take your awareness into your pelvic and lower back positioning (he’s ever so bossy, you know).

He tells me it’s important that both of your hip bones AND your pubic bone stay pressed against the floor underneath you, because many people arch their lower back (which is unsafe for elves, as well as humans), which puts pressure on the lumbar discs. So, watch your technique.

You may find with those few modifications on alignment that the flexibility you thought you had in your quads…isn’t actually there…

 

Welcome to a new blog series of great stretches for the festive season, with the help of little Elfie!

First up we have a stretch and a tip that are really great for making sure you’re breathing correctly.

Cresent Stretch This one’s great for opening up the sides of your human body to enable you to breathe more optimally.

Elfie notes that you find may doing this in standing easier, particularly if you lift your ribs AND your shoulders are up around your elf ears when you do it on the floor.

So, with the left leg crossed over the right, and the right hand holding the left wrist, you drop the ribs down at the front of your body, relax the shoulders away from your Big Ears, and flex the spine to the right.

Are your hands way out in front of your body, not right up over your head? Yep! That’s some chronic upper body tension your holding there! They’re Elfie’s words not mine…

 

Christmas Jumper

Elfie’s been hard at work here at MockridgeHQ, so he’s been rewarded with a NEW Christmas jumper!

Problem is, it’s a bit short in the sleeve, really tight at the neck, and more cropped than he’d have liked at the waist band. Eek!

In elf and human alignment nerd circles, it’s the perfect combination of ‘festive fun’ and ‘body cast’.

‘What’s a body cast?’ Elfie hears you ask… Well, it’s usually an article of clothing that’s too tight, needs constant adjustment and restricts the body’s ability to move and breathe freely eg skinny jeans, underwire bras, tight short skirts and belts are all good examples of body casts.

If you’re wearing something that’s like this right now, or planning to tonight, Elfie’s here with a message to ask you to maybe reconsider your clothing choices…

I also highly recommend watching this video from Katy Bowman, at the Restorative Exercise Institute:


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