Flexibility Test - Provocative Yoga
Yoga Workout:. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t0jzDNxG_Xg . .. [wobreakdown] .. . Pose 1: Downward Dog: - Straighten your elbows - Lift your sitting bones - Align you upper arms with your ears - Keep spine long - Reach through your heals * If your hamstrings are "tight," and your low back rounds, bend your knees a little. And, don't worry about your heals touching the floor...they can hover:) Just think of reaching...it will happen:) * For this "fit test" or "flex test," notice if you feel tightness in your shoulders / hamstrings, or, if perhaps your collapsing into your lower back or shoulders Pose 2: Pigeon: - If you need to, support your front hip with a blanket or small pillow (so that you can relax / be comfortable). In other words, prop the pose so that there is no space between your hip and the floor. - Try to keep your hips square, with your extended leg thigh resting on the floor. - Fold forward, can you bring your forehead to rest on the floor? * For this "fit test" or "flex test," take note of whether or not your front hip touches the floor. Did you need to use a prop? (it can often be different from side to side too, so note this:) * Also notice if you are able to keep your hips square, or if for example, your extended leg hip is drawing back. Notice how far forward you can fold over your front thigh / leg, if you are far from the floor, you could put another pillow / blanket across your lap. Remember, the idea is to relax into these postures, to connect with the breath, and essentially... to take your breath to the places you want to release. Don't push, instead, allow the tension to melt into your mat. * Knee injury? Careful. Make sure the knees don't complain! Pose 3: Dangling: - This is an intense stretch for the back of the legs and a gentle release for the lower spine - If you have a "bad back" (first of all it's not "bad", but you know what I mean), anyway, just bend your knees:) * For this fit test, notice how much you have to bend your knees in the pose, a lot or just slightly? As you increase your flexibility, straighten your legs more. * Notice too how far you are "dangling" from the floor, are your hands dangling above your knees, at your knees, at your ankles? * Breathe normally, try for 2 minutes at a time. * High blood pressure? Avoid. Low blood pressure? Come out of the pose very slowly. Pose 4: Standing Back Bend: - Bring your arms up over your head, interlace your fingers, release your index fingers, cross your thumbs. - Squeeze your inner thighs (firm your legs). Squeeze / contract your glutes ( this offers support for your lower back). - Relax your head back, take a deep Inhale, and then stretch up out of your waist / low spine. Breathing normally (in and out through the nose), start to reach back (draw your arms back with your ears as much as you can). * Notice, for this test, how far back down your wall you can see. Are you comfortable dropping your head back? Are you breathing normally? If not, you are going back too far. Are you able to keep your legs strong? If not, your going back to far:) Don't worry about depth, breathe, and keep lifting out of your low spine while pulling your arms back (this way you will be backward-bending with your whole spine, not just using the most flexible part / collapsing). .. .
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