Three Yoga Moves to Mobilise You
Think you can't do YOGA? Well here are 3 moves to start you on your way!
These three moves will get you mobilised and feeling ready to tackle the day, a workout and maybe even the confidence to get into a yoga class.
Let's start with the mother of all yoga moves; the famous downward dog. If you have already been to a yoga class you probably heard the teacher say , “this is your rest posture, just enjoy a moment here.” All you will be thinking is "ARGH THIS IS REALLY HORRIBLE GET ME OUTTA HERE!!"
The truth is downward dog does not lie. It exposes all your mobility shortcomings all at once. Tight hamstrings, calves and glutes, check. Impinged shoulder, and compressed sub-scapula, yep got those. Shortened biceps, ok fine, you got me!!! The bottom line is you have to master this basic move to open up your body from all the damage you have done to it through sport, inactivity, life, whatever...and it is never too late.
But it is going to hurt for a week or two doing it. But the good news is if you keep at this every day for a couple weeks straight your body will respond, open up and sooner than you imagine it will feel more and more like an enjoyable stretch rather than sheer hell. And remember not to eat big before yoga - try an empty stomach or a small nutrient rich snack like a Pulsin Protein Bar to fuel your practice!
Here is how:
- Start in a high plank with feet shoulder width and hands directly under the shoulders.
- Stick your butt in the air and look at your feet.
- Press the hands into the floor like you are pushing it away and try to pull the elbows towards each other.
- Tilt your butt in the air.
- Press your heels into the floor.
- Now run through all those parts again and do them all at the same time.
- Hold for 10 long even breaths, or half that time in two sets.
Next up is the crescent lunge which is a natural follow after a downward dog. It takes what you just did and brings the back into even greater extension and begins the same process in the hip. This looks so easy, but so much of our day is spent lazily hunched over that slouched actually becomes the standard comfortable position for the back - and undoing this damage feels wholly unnatural in the beginning. Get over it and make the effort here to not be the hunchback of Notre Dame at age 45!
Here is how:
- From downward dog bring one leg high in the air and swing that high leg in between your hands. If you don’t make it all the way don’t worry!
- Drop your other knee down and make that back foot flat.
- Now adjust your front foot so it is directly under your knee.
- Lastly extend your arms up as high as you can.
- Hold for 10 long deep breaths and try to bring your hands back and hips more forward each time.
- Go back into downward dog for couple breaths and repeat on the other leg.
Last up the forward fold. Again seriously , how hard can THAT be?? Hard is the answer if you have been neglecting your flexibility. Being in a fold is the compliment to the crescent lunge extension and puts your back in deep flexion. Plus it attempts to take the initial stretch you felt in downward dog in the lower back, glutes, hamstrings and calves and go even further with it.
Here is how:
- Again starting in downward dog walk or hop your feet to in between your hands.
- Take a big inhale and roll up the spine lifting the hands to the ceiling.
- Then take a big exhale and bring your fingers as close to the ground as possible. If you can touch the ground great!
- If not, don’t fret, lust grab the back of your calves firmly and pull your face closer to your knees.
- While you are drawing your face closer to your knees, try and lift your butt up and squeeze your quadriceps.
- Hold this for 10 long breaths trying to go deeper with each breath.
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