Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Yoga Pose of the Day: Runner's Lunge

This morning during the Kathie Lee and Hoda hour of the Today show, there was a segment called "High Heel Yoga," detailing good stretches for your hip flexors, calves, achilles tendon, and the rest of your legs. The segment is funny enough just to watch Willie Geist do yoga, but the stretches are nothing to laugh at, and everyone should include them in their daily routine, especially after a long day of being on your feet.

Here's the link to the segment:

I'll go over the Runner's Lunge, or Ardha Mandalasana. This is a great stretch for your hip flexors, groins, and your calves, and you can incorporate it into your dynamic stretches before you exercise as well as afterwards.

1-Start in Standing Forward Bend, or Uttanasana.

2-Begin to bend your knees and take a deep inhalation as you step your left foot back and place it at the edge of your mat. You know that you have placed your left foot in the right place if your right knee is directly over your right ankle, forming a 90 degree angle.

4-As you exhale, lay your torso across your right leg, creating length through your spine and pushing through your left ankle to create length in your left leg. Keep your pelvis in line, your hips even.

5-As you straighten your left leg and lift your left thigh to the ceiling, sink into your right leg. Push your left heel down to the floor. You may look forward, or, if your neck feels strain, look towards the ground.

6-Hold the pose for five deep breaths.

7-On your next exhalation, step your right leg back to your left foot and come into Downward Dog. Take a deep inhalation.

8-On your next exhalation, step your left leg forward and repeat the lunge, this time with your left leg forward and your right leg extended back.

9-After you have completed your five breaths with your left leg forward, step your right leg forward, coming back to Standing Forwards Bend, and then come up into Mountain Pose.


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