Aching for a stretch

As with most fulfilling journeys, the yoga path is fraught with twists and turns (quite literally). And when aches and pains come a’knocking, know that it’s no more than a reminder of your body’s incredible potential.
Nursing sore post-yoga muscles? More (gentle) yoga might provide respite. Here are some of my favourite stretches to ease minor back and hamstring blues:
Adhomukha Shvanasana (Downward-facing dog): Great for relieving tightness in the shoulders, upper back, hamstrings and calves. Plus, there’s the added benefit of improved blood circulation through the body, since your heart is above your head in this pose (hold for 5-10 breaths).
Upavistha Konasana (Wide seated forward bend): I like to gently ease myself into this pose to get some therapeutic blood flow to the insides and back of my thighs. This pose also strengthens the spine for better posture and injury prevention (hold for 5-10 breaths).
Balasana (Child’s pose): A gentle, relaxing back stretch for any occasion. I find it especially helpful when my mind needs a breather.
Click here for more therapeutic poses, and here for some perspective on the benefits of stretching.
And finally, don’t forget to breathe. Focus on each Ujjayi breath. Feel tension dissolve with every exhalation and yourself becoming stronger with every inhalation…
Hui Yan
200Hr YTT (Nov)

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