Today, in partnership with my yoga teacher Marisa Wolfe, I would like to share a couple of my all-time favourite yoga poses with you here on the blog. These poses are fantastic for an all-over body stretch, for relaxation, and for stress reduction. I always feel both energized and relaxed after practicing these.
Disclaimer: Before beginning any exercise program always get the “okay” from your doctor.
1) Wide-Legged Standing Forward Fold
Standing with your legs wide apart, bring the inside edges of your feet toward parallel with one another. If your toes need to turn out slightly for the happiness of your knees, that’s okay. Keeping your weight even on the inside and outside edges of your feet, hinge from your hips. Keep your back straight as long as you can for the deepest stretch. Round your back only if your spine is healthy and only when you can no longer hinge at your hips. Experimenting with different arm positions here can really help to open your upper back. This pose is great for stretching the back body and also affects the outer lower legs (Peronius muscles) that are very hard to get to – Marisa @ All Yoga All The Time
Wide-Legged Standing Forward Fold – A great runner’s stretch for the legs and whole body
For Plow Pose, lie on your back, arms by sides. Use your belly muscles to bring your knees over your shoulders, then draw your elbows as close together as you can and support your back with your palms. Drawing chest toward chin, reach your legs toward straight and hinge at your hips to bring your toes toward the floor. Keep your spine long and resist the urge to soften into this pose. Your strength is what helps to protect your neck. This pose should never be done if you have any issues with their cervical vertebrae and your neck should never feel pressed against the floor. Treating your healthy neck with respect, this pose can be a great stretch for your entire back body, a huge core strengthener, and some say is helpful for your thyroid. All inversions are contraindicated for those with heart and untreated blood pressure issues – Marisa @ All Yoga All The Time
Plow – Incredibly intense pose for the upper back, neck, and legs: Take it slowly and carefully (Not recommended unless you have spent plenty of time warming up and you have a healthy spine and are in general good health)
Note: All postures and information on the blog have been discussed in consultation with my yoga teacher, Marisa Wolfe. Please always see a professional teacher, as well as a doctor or physical therapist, to come up with the right exercise plan to suit your needs.
Thank you to Marisa for her invaluable contribution and collaboration.
Bridget @ Hot Tea, Travel, and Thyme x