OK, it’s beautiful out there! Perfect for getting out for a run or leisurely bike ride. As the weather gets warmer so too will our physical activity. Which is why you need to be doing yoga. Regularly. If you want to continue being active while still smiling and enjoying a fluidity to your movement, yoga (or any form of stretching) is soooo important in getting you there. Even if you can only fit in 5 minutes and if you need a distraction ( like watching your favourite TV show) JUST DO IT!!
The next time you come back from a walk, run, hike or bike ride, make sure you get in a pose for the quads, hamstrings and at least one hip-opener. Here are my top 3. You have time for 3, right? 😉
Standing Forward Bend: From standing with feet hip-width apart, place hands on hips and lengthen the spine. Hinging forward from hips, bring upper torso as far down as possible without rounding the spine. Engage the abs. Place hands at shins or to the floor. Keep legs as straight as possible (but if pain in back of knees or in low back, keep a soft bend in knees). Contract the quads to deepen the stretch in the hamstrings. Hold for 5 – 10 breath cycles.
Shin Up the Wall: Starting in a kneeling position with back facing the wall, bend right leg and place shin and top of foot at wall. Let knee drop to the floor (right at the wall or a few inches away) and step left foot forward. Start with hands in front and on the floor. Slowly try to bring the hips upright to align with upper body and press hands gently onto the left thigh. Hold for 5 – 10 breaths, then alternate sides. If there is knee discomfort, use a folded blanket or towel to support the knee that is against the wall.
IMPORTANT: To come out of this pose, take hands to floor, release the front leg knee to the floor and slide the other knee away from the wall.
Bound Angle at the Wall: From seated position with sitting bones approx. 6 inches away from wall and the upper back and back of head at the wall. Bring bottoms of feet together and allow knees to fall towards the floor. While pressing upper body into wall, press hips away from wall (focus on moving sacrum forward).
OR make it a restorative pose and hang out in solitude for 5 – 10 minutes in this variation…
Supportive Supine Bound Angle: Place bolster (or sofa cushion) a few inches behind your back, with a folded blanket at the back of the bolster to support the head and rolled blankets on either side of hips. Place soles of feet together, heels toward pelvis and allow inner groin to soften as much as possible while dropping outer thighs towards the floor.
This pose does double duty in opening up the chest too as you allow the arms to hang out on either side of the body with the palms facing up.
If you’re looking to make yoga a regular part of your weekly routine, check out the classes I’m teaching within the Durham region.