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myles golden
July 17, 2014
Post-Workout Yoga Stretch

Post-Workout Yoga Stretch

This simple sequence of postures stretches the hamstrings, quads, lower back and hips.   It’s the perfect way to follow-up a run, bike or other workout.   Take 10-15 deep breaths through the nose in each pose. The inhale creates space and length while the exhale takes you deeper into the stretch.

Start in downward-dog:

downwarddog

  • Start on all fours
  • Lift the knees as you press equally into the hands, bringing the body into an inverted V position
  • Press your chest gently toward the thighs and let the head relax
  • Bend the knees if it’s difficult to press your chest back.
  • Rock from heel to heel loosening up the hamstrings.

Step one foot forward between the hands and release the back knee down into a low lunge:

lowlunge

  • Ease the hips forward to stretch the hip flexor of the back leg
  • Lengthen the spine and rest softly on the fingertips

Reach your arms up to the sky:

extended-lunge (1)

  • Press into the front foot so that you don’t collapse your weight forward
  • Reach up through the arms, spreading the fingers and drawing the arms slightly behind the ears
  • Lift from the heart as the hips ease toward the earth

Place the fingertips alongside the front foot and straighten the front leg into half-splits:

half-splits

  • Align the hips over the back knee
  • Place the hands under the shoulders and lengthen the spine
  • Pull the front toes toward you and gently engage the quad of the front leg
  • Fold over the front leg without rounding the spine, lengthening forward from the heart

End with Pigeon Pose:

extended-pigeon

  • Step the foot across the mat and rest the shin down onto the earth
  • Lift up onto the fingertips and square the hips toward the earth
  • Lengthen the spine and lift the heart while softening the shoulders away from the ears

For the last five breaths, fold forward over the front leg:

pigeon-pose

  • Skip pigeon pose if it is uncomfortable on the front knee

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