Faith CoLab: Tapestry of Faith: Hindsight, Humor, and Hope: An Adult Program

Activity 1: Stretching

Activity time: 10 minutes

Lead the group in these exercises, adapted from the book Five Minute Massage by Robert Thé, demonstrating as you lead. Begin with a new exercise for the arms and then add one from Workshop 4. Remind participants to do them only if they are physically able to do so:

Exercise 1: Interlock the fingers of both of your hands. Turn them palm out and stretch your arms in front of you. With your body facing forward, slowly move your interlocked hands, palm out to the right. Take two slow deep breaths. Then, repeat, moving your hands and arms to the left.Now, slowly bring your arms back to the center and relax them.

Gently squeeze the muscles along each arm with your opposite hand. Move from shoulder to wrist on the inside of your arm, remembering to breathe. Then turn your hand facing up and massage the back of your upper and lower arm. Take a deep breath and give each arm a gentle rub as you finish.

Exercise 2: Take a deep breath and slowly raise up your shoulders as high as your ears. Then, as you slowly breathe out, release your shoulders to fall back to their original position. Do this three times, releasing any tension you might be holding in your shoulders.

Next, circle with your right shoulder backward and around, keeping the circle small at first and then slowly expanding the motion until the whole area moves freely. Try changing direction, circling the shoulder forward. Repeat with your left shoulder.

Now, try moving your shoulders together in the same direction, making different sized circles. Move your shoulders gently up and down to finish.