"Yoga"na wanna try these stretches
Downward facing dog
To do this stretch, start on your hands and knees with your hands aligned with your shoulders and knees aligned with your hips. Stretch your fingers out wide and gently lift your knees from the ground. Straighten your legs, but do not lock your knees. Straighten your back so that your body resembles the shape of an upside-down “v”. Relax your head so that you are looking bet ween your legs. Do not worry about your heels touching the ground as it is better that the angle of your body is wider. This stretch will specifically engage your hamstrings, calves, shoulders and spine.
Upward facing dog
For this stretch, start by laying on your stomach, face down. Place hands so that the top of your hand is in line with the bottom of your chest. Straighten out your arms and expand your chest upwards. Look straight ahead of you or slightly tilt your head upwards. This stretch will open up your chest and shoulders while stretching your abs and hips.
For this pose start in a kneeling position and slowly lean back so that you are sitting on your heels. Make sure that your knees are approximately hip length apart and that your big toes are touching. Gently bring your stomach to your thighs, reaching forward to the ground with your arms. Make sure your glutes are still touching the heels of your feet. If this is too difficult, place a blanket between your calves and thighs. This stretch will relax your back and neck and engage your hips, hamstrings and ankles.
For this stretch, start in a kneeling position with your knees hip-width apart. Lean back, pointing your chest upwards and support yourself by reaching your hands to touch your heels. If you cannot reach your heels, curl your toes in so that it’s easier to reach your heels. You should be able to feel this stretch all throughout the front of your body.
Seated forward fold
For this stretch, start by sitting on the ground with your legs straight in front of you. Slowly bring your torso to your thighs and hold onto your feet. If you cannot reach your toes then just go as far as you can without hurting yourself. This is an excellent stretch for your hamstrings.
Cat-cow alternating pose
For this pose, start on your hands and knees. Make sure your hands are in line with your shoulders and your knees are in line with your hips. Relax your back so that your torso arches in a “u” shape and you are looking forward. Alternate by lifting your back towards the ceiling, creating an upside-down “u” shape and tucking your head in so that you are looking at your navel.
For this stretch, sit with the soles of your feet together and your knees bent outwards. Bring your feet as close to your body without it being uncomfortable. Holding your feet together with your hands, slowly lean forward so that your chest meets your feet. If this is too difficult just lean forward until you feel the stretch in your inner thighs, glutes and hamstrings. You can also place a blanket underneath your glutes.
Seated neck release
For this stretch, sit cross legged with your right hand resting on the ground beside you, arm straight. Lift your left arm over your head and gently put pressure on the right side of your head with your hand so that it tilts left. Hold for 30 seconds before repeating on the opposite side.
Credit: Melissa Novacaska
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