Venus Williams Wants You to Let Go of Any Tension in This 35-Minute Stress-Relieving Stretch

As you might have seen on your social media feeds, Venus Williams is hosting Instagram Live workouts in a series that she calls #CoachVenus. You can check out some of the sessions on her page as well as on the designated #CoachVenus highlight. There was an arms and legs burnout session with former Miss Universe Olivia Culpo, an abs and butt workout with Olympic gymnast Nastia Liukin, and dance cardio with trainer Anna Kaiser. In one of Williams’s recent Lives, she went solo and shared a stretching and breath-work class with moves and techniques she’s used on and off the tennis court.

On the day that Williams had this Instagram Live, she matched all donations raised — over $1,400, as she revealed at the end of the video — for the Equal Justice Initiative, a nonprofit combating racial and economic inequality. She said that she wanted to bring this tension-relieving session to her audience because “it’s been very challenging times,” pointing to the continued COVID-19 pandemic as well as the fight for racial justice that has escalated in recent weeks.

You can find the full session above if you need a little bit of stress relief. Williams will walk you through some rapid and deep breaths, along with standing, seated, and supine stretches. You’ll get into the sides of the body, hamstrings, quads, chest, back, hips, and more. Williams said that her tight muscles come from years of being a “gladiator on the court” — she’s won seven Grand Slam singles titles and 16 Grand Slam doubles titles — so these stretches are especially helpful for her. Make sure, though, that you’re not overdoing it. “If you have a part of your body that is not happy, or you’ve injured, be kind to it,” Williams advised. “Don’t force it.”

You’ll end the 35-minute session with quick visualization, where you imagine getting rid of tension that has built up. “Anything that we experience is temporary, especially any negativity,” Williams said. “And when we have negative moments it is within our power to change them, so we take the power into our hands and we do something about our lives, and it also means that we have the power to let things go.”

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