Stretching as part of ANY fitness regime is terrifically undersold. Whether you exercise lightly a few days a week to seek some balance in your life or run, cycle, lift or live in group fitness classes, stretching
should be the foundation for them all. WHY? Here are a few reason.
A few good reasons for Yoga
The most immediate and obvious reason is to relieve stiff and sore muscles. You can have muscle discomfort or pain from a tough workout to being sedentary, like sitting in the car all day or slammed into a plane seat. Stretching is so much better for you than popping an Advil or Tylenol to alleviate your discomfort. From there, stretching can increase your range of motion. Muscles, bones, joint, soft tissue; all of it is connected. More range of motion and you will have fewer injuries and will have better progress to your goals. AND, let’s not forget about the mental element to good health. Stretching, or good yoga, can dramatically help with any mental stress or fatigue.
Some simple Poses for everyone
Let’s take the stretching right into some Yoga poses to help you both physically and mentally.
A Standing Side Bend– With your feet together, stand tall, both arms reaching overhead, and inhale.Then exhale lowering one arm down your side, reaching the opposite arm over your head. Come back to
center and repeat on the other side.
The Downward Dog– Starting in a kneeling position, hand directly under your shoulders, push your body off the floor leaving just your hands and feet on the floor.
Up Dog, the Cobra– Lying on the floor, face down, lift your head, arms and your feet off the floor, balancing on your trunk or core.
Crescent Lunge– In a standing position, step one foot back, wider than your shoulders. Then reach both arms straight overhead and bend the opposite knee to 90 degrees. Hold this pose and then switch sides.
The Cat– Starting again on your hands and knees, begin by lowering your head and tucking your tailbone so you get a nice curve in your spine.
The Cow-Again starting on your hands and knees, now you are going to lift your heart and tailbone so you back gently curves downward. Look upward, stay relaxed and breath. Let it happen naturally.
The Pigeon– Begin in a plank position. Tighten your core and pull one knee toward that hand, keeping the opposite leg long and straight. Relax your weight through the middle of your hips. Repeating on the other side, this is a terrific stretch for the hips!
Happy Baby– Start by lying on your back, then grab your toes and draw them towards your shoulders. Relax and breathe!
Yogi Squat– Begin on your feet, crouching down, put your hands in a prayer position and press your elbows against your inner thighs.
The Windshield Wiper– Start by lying on your back with your knees bent. Rotate both knees to one side and look the opposite way. Then come back to center and repeat.
Give these Yoga poses a chance and it won’ be long and you’ll feel better with many of your movements, no matter how strenuous they may be.