Stuck inside today due to snow? Still recovering from your race weekend? Feeling knotty?
Try these yoga moves to help speed recovery.
Take your time with each pose. Take deep breaths in and inhale for a count of 4-6 and exhale for a count of 4-6. Try to stay in each pose for at least a cycle of 5 breaths.
Downward Dog: This pose stretches hamstrings, calves, and foot arches. Begin on your hands and knees. Align your wrists under your shoulders and your knees under your hips. Spread your fingers and press into your palms. Tuck your toes and lift your knees off the floor. Gently try to straighten your legs and raise your hips into an inverted V. Breathe deeply for 5 breaths. As your muscles loosen, try to straighten your legs more and sink your heels toward your mat.
Low Lunge: This pose stretches the hip flexors. From Downward Dog, step your right foot forward between your hands. Lower your left knee and, keeping the right knee in place, slide the left one back. Turn the top of your left foot to the floor and lift your torso upright. Then sweep your arms out to the sides and up overhead. Drop your tailbone toward the floor and look up. Hold for 5 breaths, release, and repeat on the other side.
Easy Forward Bend: Forward bends are great for calming the mind. Sit on the floor with your legs extended in front of you. Inhale as you reach your arms out to the side, then above your head. While exhaling, bend forward from the hip. Reach and hold onto your shins, ankles or toes.
Bridge Pose: a beginning restorative backbend. Lie on your back, bend your legs and put your feet at hip-width apart. Keep your arms beside your body, palms facing down. Press your feet into the floor, draw the tailbone toward the pubic bone, holding buttocks off the floor. Roll shoulders back and beneath your pelvis. Keep thighs and feet parallel.
Reclining Pigeon Pose: this pose can relieve tension and tightness in the hips. Lie on your back with your knees bent and your thighs parallel and hip-distance apart. Cross your left ankle over your right thigh. Reach your left arm through the space between your thighs and reach your right arm around the outside of your right thigh. Clasp your hands below your right knee and flex your left foot. If your head comes off your mat, place a pillow or block behind your head. Hold for 5 breaths and repeat on the other leg.
Legs on the Wall Pose: this move is thought to rejuvenate the entire body. Begin by sitting with your left side against the wall. Turn your body and bring your legs up onto the wall. Lower your back to the floor and lie down. Rest your shoulders and head on the floor. Move your buttocks towards the wall. Let your arms rest open at your sides, palms up.
Corpse Pose: a great posture to relax and rejuvenate the mind and body. Lie down on your back. Allow legs to separate feet about hip-distance apart. Allow arms to relax on either side of body, palms up.