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.
• Find a space where you can lean against the wall.
• Stand a short distance from the wall.
• Place your right hand on your left hand and push against the wall with arms bent.
• Bend the front knee and push it against the wall.
• Stretch the other leg, keeping your foot flat on the floor.
• Bend your hips forward while still keeping the back leg stretched.
• Stop and feel the difference between your left and right calves.
• Repeat the exercise with the other leg.
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