After posting that straight up yoga wasn’t working for me anymore (my exercise routine needed more fire!), I branched out into an array of fitness classes. While each has succeeded in amping up my heart rate and providing ample opportunity for a solid sweat, there’s one thing missing in most of these sessions — stretching.
Okay, maybe there’s two minutes tacked onto the end for a basic standing forward bend, but it’s never enough! And not because my body craves yoga…all bodies need a sufficient stretch incorporated into their exercise. It’s how we prevent injury as well as keeping the muscles lengthened.
In my home practice, I always throw down my mat to go through a series of moves – both flowing and static — that finish off the workout. Usually I just improvise along with what my body needs, but often I return to these same stretches because they feel so right!
They’re easy enough to do on your own, and make the perfect complement to the gym, a run, or even as its own thing. Your body will feel better because of it!
Here’s A Simple Stretch Routine For Before, After, Or As Your Workout
- Begin by standing tall, feet flat on the floor hips width distance apart, arms down by your sides in Mountain.
- Reach your arms up by the ears then roll them forward in a circle keeping the arms long. Do both directions a few times.
- Then interlace your fingers behind the back, open up across the chest, and fold forward continuing to reach your interlaced hands behind your back – like this.
- Now don’t move anything except bend the knees. (Your chest keeps lifting while your interlaced hands keep reaching behind you.)
- Next straighten the legs, and let the clasped hands reach even further behind the back, maybe over the head- like this again. Do this sequence a few more times.
- Come back to Mountain.
- Move through Surya Namaskar A.
- Do your version of sun salutations a couple times then add Extended Side Angle on the right side.
- Now roll your extended arm forward a few times then backwards a few times to open up the shoulder.
- Next lengthen the front leg (into Parsvottanasana),and relax your head towards your knee.
- Bend the front knee into a low lunge – hold this position for a few breaths – then straighten the leg again and hold it for a few breaths. Do this bend and straighten activity several times.
- Then step back into Mountain, and repeat the sun salutations into low lunge sequence on the other side.
- Repeat 3 more times, both sides.
Feel free to use this as a template to encourage your own improvisation. The goal is to follow your body’s lead to whatever feels good.
Put on a playlist –like this– for extra motivation.
And make sure to conclude your exercise routine with a few minutes of seated meditation…it’s the perfect way to seal in the connection of mind, body and soul.
Are you motivated to include some stretching in your exercise routine?
Discover which practice is right for you by signing up here!
Youtube: elysha living
Follow my blog with Bloglovin
Nice sequence Elysha xo