01/11/2016 04:54 EST | Updated 01/11/2016 05:00 EST

True North Fitness Guide: Nighttime Stretches

After a long day of rushing to meetings, sitting at your desk, making and taking calls and solving everyone's problems, it can be difficult to unwind at the end of the day. It's likely that your brain is still racing and that your body is exhausted.

Now is the time to bring the two back together. Give your muscles the relaxation they so desperately need, and your mind the peace it requires for you to have a restful night’s sleep before the business begins again tomorrow with these evening stretches:

  • Sleeping Swan (or pigeon pose)
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    Begin on all fours, hands shoulder-width apart and knees beneath your hips. Bring your right knee forward between your hands and rest it next to your right wrist. Your right heel should be beneath or close to your left hip. Stretch your left leg straight back behind you. Keep your hips facing forward. Hold your body in an upright position for 10 counts, and then reach your body forward and feel it relax into the floor. Hold for 20 seconds and repeat with the left leg forward.
  • Happy Baby
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    The very name of this exercise makes me happy! Lying on your back, lift your legs and bring your knees toward you. Reach your arms between your knees to grasp your big toes or the outsides of your feet. Let your knees fall down to the sides wider than your shoulders, and breathe deeply for 20 seconds. Rock gently from side to side to help release your back.
  • Evening Bridge
    Dollar Photo Club
    Lying on your back with your arms to the side (palms facing the floor), bend your knees so that your feet are on the floor, hip distance apart, and your toes are pointing forward. Take a deep breath and gently lift your hips toward the ceiling, keeping your body in a straight line. Hold for about 15 to 20 seconds and repeat.
  • Legs-Up-the-Wall Pose
    Dollar Photo Club
    Lying on your back with your glutes against the wall, stretch your feet and legs up against the wall. Take a deep breath and simply relax. You can rest your hands and arms wherever feel comfortable. You will love this restorative pose if you are on your feet all day. Remain in this pose for as long as you need.

This simple routine will help you unwind and prepare you for a great night's sleep.

Be sure to check out our earlier posts for energy-boosting morning stretches and afternoon stretches as well. As a busy professional, you need to optimize your time. At the cost of a couple of minutes throughout your day, these simple stretches will give you a much-needed boost.

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Morning, Afternoon And Evening Stretches