Stretch Your Legs
So, we have our handy yoga strap, that helps inflexible people such as myself. If you’re flexible, you don’t need it. You can also use a towel if you don’t have a yoga strap, a long towel rolled up. So, we’re going to come down to the mat to start. Stretch the hip flexors. Most people are tight in their hip flexors, and chances are if you’ve done any cardio, you were using your legs, so that’s a good thing.
So, we’re just going to lean forward, tuck the pelvis under, make sure you feel a nice stretch through the hip flexor, if you take yoga, you see that all the time. You can lift your hands up. You can put your hands on your knee, whatever’s comfortable. Hold this for about thirty seconds, and you’re just going to switch sides, the same thing. So, just making sure that you’re tucking that pelvis under and getting the stretch in the hip flexor.
Since we’re on the floor already, stretch out the hamstrings, everyone knows that you can touch your toes, but what they don’t know is that you can make it a little bit easier by using your yoga strap or your towel. You want to make sure that your body is nice and tall, leaning forward from the chest. Don’t round the spine, because then you’re kind of cheating, right? You can pull on your towel or your yoga strap, and bring your body a little bit closer, feel a nice stretch.
If you’re really super tight, you can even bend your legs a little, but ideally, no, just use your yoga strap or your towel, leaning forward. Stretch out the inside of the thighs, this is called the butterfly. Put your feet out in front, cross your elbows down on your knees, and lean forward gently. If you were super flexible, you could get your head to your toes. I can’t do that, but if you can, go for it.
Remember, with stretching, never bounce, and never push yourself beyond the point at which you feel comfortable. You should not feel pain in stretching. A little bit of discomfort if you’re tight, but never any pain. So, just be careful. One of my favorite stretches, bring the right foot to the inside of the left thigh, sitting up nice and straight, and leaning over.
And you get a nice stretch through the inner thigh, you also get a nice stretch down the back, going into the gluteus medius on the opposite side. And, with stretching, you just want to breathe gently into the stretch. Hold the stretch for at least twenty seconds to allow the muscle to lengthen, and then relax into that length.