This article is in continuation of the previous two articles I shared on yoga, asanas (read Part 1 here) and the small things which make a huge difference (read here). I have broken down the article in 3 parts so that it doesn’t get too overwhelming. My collaboration with Radhika has been great so far and we plan to do more exciting stuff together in future. Yes, I do have loud and clear intentions of turning her into a runner 🙂 Here’s the list of asanas –
Forward Fold (Uttanasana) for Hamstrings
Stand straight with feet shoulder-width apart, and your knees loose, not locked. While you exhale, hinge at your waist and bend forward, reaching toward the floor. Don’t worry if you can’t reach all the way to the floor at first; just stop wherever your hamstrings feel a comfortable stretch. Bend your knees if it feels comfortable. Try pressing your abdomens to your thighs. Repeat the pose five to seven times. On the last bend hold the position for 5 to 10 breaths.
Benefits: Stretches out the hamstrings and IT band
Straighten the left leg, and extend the left arm out as far as you can past the left toes. Lower the right hand to the floor in front of the right shin (rest it on a block if you need to). Shift weight back onto the heels, stacking the shoulders, extending your upper arm straight up.\ Hold like this for five deep breaths. Repeat on the other side.
Benefits: Triangle Pose stretches the hamstrings and inner thighs. It allows you to open up your sides.
The Upward Facing Dog for Shoulders
Start lying flat on the floor with your palms facedown by the middle of your ribs. While drawing your legs together and pressing the tops of your feet into the floor, use the strength of your back, not your hands, to lift your chest off the floor. Leave your legs extended straight out at first. Hold the position for 5 to 10 breaths, and repeat as needed.
Benefits: Up Dog opens the hip flexors and stretches the whole front of the body. Opens up the chest and shoulders, which can help expand breathing.
Reverse Child’s Pose for quads
Sit on your legs and gently bend backward. Let your hands reach the floor and place you head. Please do this stretch as slowly as possible, do not rush. Use a block or a towel for the head. Hold it for 5 breaths and then gently tuck your head out and raise your self
Benefits: stretches the quads and hip flexors.
Hope this helps. Will be posting the part 3 soon enough. You can check Radhika’s blog at http://www.yogasini.com.
Posting the picture with the man who patiently clicks me for several of my articles. Can’t thank you enough Arun Bharadwaj.