Athletic Stretching Exercises
As preparation for the yoga postures you can begin by doing a few simple stretching (stretch and flex) exercises to loosen the body. The stretching exercises can also be used for cooling down, after exercising, to calm the body down again. During the stretching exercises, ask the students to focus their attention on the muscles that are stretched. When the muscles are fully stretched, they will feel some slight tension. This tension will decrease as they hold the posture. During these exercises, remind the students to keep up a gentle breathing rhythm. They should not hold their breaths. Have them hold each pose for a few seconds so that they can really feel what each exercise does to the body. Encourage them to use their breathing as much as possible to keep the body relaxed during these stretching exercises.
Most of us have had basic stretching exercises drilled into us since grade school gym class. Bend down and touch your toes, reach to the right, reach to the left, roll your head from front to side to side. The difference between this type of stretching and yoga is that yoga stretches are specifically designed not only to lengthen your muscles, but also to stabilize your joints, stimulate your organs, balance your endocrine system, and strengthen your muscles as you hold the stretch. It's still a good idea to do basic stretches before engaging in strenuous exercise, such as running or swimming, but if you also add yoga to your fitness program, stretching will soon be a breeze.
Urban Yoga is an approach to yoga that you may see offered in a class setting by your local gym or yoga studio. This nomenclature for a style of yoga first started to appear around the beginning of the 1980s, and has become even more widespread since then. While there is not necessarily one particular style of Urban Yoga, in general Urban Yoga refers to an eclectic blend of traditional hatha yoga postures combined with other activities that you may find offered in a gym setting. This may include aerobics choreographed to music in a high-energy spin-off. Another style may incorporate yoga practices with body-strengthening exercises. A more relaxing approach may emphasize breathing techniques, stretching exercises, and restorative poses to complement a more traditional weightlifting workout. Whatever the ingredients, Urban Yoga can appeal to men who want to de-stress by combining the traditional benefits of hatha yoga with a gym-environment workout. If you see a class in Urban Yoga...
Setu bandha sarvangasana, or Bridge Pose, is a particularly enjoyable and relaxing backward bending exercise. It gives a good stretch to the chest, neck, and spine, and helps to open the pelvis, groin, and hip area. It brings a fresh supply of richly oxygenated blood to the legs and lungs, rejuvenating tired legs and helping to relieve chest problems such as congestion and breathing disorders.
4-) Maintain the contraction of the ilopsoas to fix the pelvis in anteversion. Then contact the quadriceps to straighten the knees and draw the hamstrings out to full stretch completing the pose. 4-) Maintain the contraction of the ilopsoas to fix the pelvis in anteversion. Then contact the quadriceps to straighten the knees and draw the hamstrings out to full stretch completing the pose.
PASCHIMOTTANASANA (BACK STRETCHING POSE) means 'the back', or 'posterior' it also means 'the west'. The word utthan means 'to stretch'. Therefore, the usual English name of this asana is 'the back stretching pose'. The word utthan is also akin to the word 'tan', which makes up part of the word tantra (the mother system of yoga). In this context, it is not physical stretching that is implied, but stretching or expansion of awareness. The word paschima still means the back, but has greater significance if it is taken to mean the sushumna nadi. This nadi is the most important psychic pathway in the body. During higher states of awareness, prana ascends this nadi from the bottom of the back (perineum) to the head (sahasrara). In fact, it is said that the experience of higher awareness cannot take place unless prana flows within this nadi. So this asana has a very elevated meaning. It means the asana which expands awareness by unleashing pranic currents which flow upwards within the...
You can easily custom-tailor a yoga program to meet your specific needs. As an overall recommendation, be sure to include stretching before and after your physical activity. Try to include stretches that address the entire body. You can choose from among the yoga exercises provided in A Complete Yoga Practice Session for Men. For instance, performing a round of Sun Salutations will provide a stretch for the entire body. You could also choose a complete stretching program by choosing to perform one yoga exercise from each of the major categories of yoga postures for instance, you could choose one forward bending exercise from among Standing Forward Bend (Fig. YPS.ld, page 116), Seated Forward Bend
Bob Anderson, Stretching 20th Anniversary Revised Edition (Shelter Publications, 2000). This is a sound basic manual on stretching that has been translated into 16 languages with millions of copies sold around the world. The author does an excellent job of introducing the theory behind stretching and detailing how you can develop a complete stretching program to accompany your particular athletic activity. Stretching routines are provided for more than 20 sports-specific activities, including such popular categories as running, tennis, racquetball, cycling, swimming, golf, weight training, and more.
Arm stretching exercises are an excellent way to warm up your arms in preparation for a yoga session. You can perform these exercises to improve the circulation in your upper body, particularly your arms, hands, fingers and the area around your heart. These exercises can also relieve tension from your shoulders and neck and even release tension from your mind. The steps below illustrate two arm stretching exercises. As you perform the first exercise, your entire body should feel balanced. You should also focus on how
Neck stretching exercises are useful for warming up your neck and relaxing your neck, head and face. You may also find that neck stretches can relieve mental tension or stress that you may be experiencing. How can I provide a good stretch to the side of my neck Shoulder stretching exercises are useful for relieving tightness in your upper back, shoulders and neck. You may also find that shoulder stretches can relieve stress and help clear your mind. Regular practice of shoulder stretches can increase the range of motion in your shoulders. You can perform shoulder stretches in a seated pose, such as Easy Pose. You can also perform shoulder stretches in a standing pose, such as Mountain Pose, or while sitting in a chair.
Fish Pose is a calming pose that provides a good stretch for your neck and upper back. You can also use this pose to increase the flexibility of your spine and release tension in your back. This pose is also beneficial for opening your chest to facilitate deep breathing, which is especially useful for asthmatics.
Exhale, raise the head and trunk from the floor, bend the left arm at the elbow and pull the left leg towards the head without bending it at the knee. Pull the leg down, lift the head and trunk up together and rest the chin on the left knee. (Plate 130) Stay in this position for about 20 seconds, keeping the right leg fully stretched straight along the floor while breathing normally.
Inclined Plane Pose is an energizing pose that strengthens your entire body, with an emphasis on strengthening your upper body. This pose provides a good stretch to the front of your body, which helps to open your chest and improve the flexibility of your shoulders. You can also use this pose to relieve tension in your neck and shoulders.
Static Stretching Static stretching is the most common technique used in hatha yoga. There are two categories of static stretching. The first is active static stretching. This involves contracting antagonist muscles to stretch a target muscle. Contracting the quadriceps, iliopsoas and biceps during the forward bend paschimottanasana is a form of active static stretching of the hamstrings. Contracting antagonist muscles in active static stretching results in a phenomenon called reciprocalinhibition. During reciprocal inhibition, the central nervous system signals the target muscle to relax. Passive static stretching occurs when we relax into a stretch, using only the force of body weight (or an externally applied weight) to stretch muscles. The restorative pose setubandha is an example of passive static stretching of the iliopsoas muscle. Yoga practitioners use facilitated stretching to deepen their postures. This type of stretching involves contracting the muscle being stretched...
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