Whoop, Friday! And I filmed a video, so double whoop! This was a requested video from my lovely friends over at TrueStart Coffee who are a Bristol based company. Many of their customers are athletes - runners, swimmers, athletes and cyclists - not 'cyclers' as I said in the video, you can actually see the look on my face as I realise this isn't an actual word but can't think of what word I meant to say, pah! So anyway, if you are an athlete of any kind or even just someone who runs, swims, cycles for fun then you should find this video helpful.
The video focuses on stretching out and releasing the following areas through yoga -
One of my favourite poses is single pigeon pose, it just seems to hit all the right spots. This pose will help to release tension in the hip flexors, psoas and thighs. Tip - Stay longer in the pose for a deeper stretch which will target the deeper muscle fascia. Another great pose for the hips is a low lunge.
Runners stretch or half splits targets the hamstrings which is great for anyone who runs on a regular basis as the hamstrings can tighten up a lot. This pose will help to release, create space and develop flexibility. Downward facing dog is a pose which you can come into before or after your training session, it's a great release for the lower back as it works on lengthening the spine. If you find that your legs or low back feels particularly tight in this pose then widen your feet about as wide as your yoga mat, breathe deeply and release down through the chest towards the floor.
Related - Yoga for Runners.
Twists or any kind always feel great for the shoulders and they are pretty single to come into. A half cow-faced arms or tricep stretch is a really nice stretch to come into to open up the chest and shoulders.
Related - Yoga for Shoulders.
A forward fold with the ankles crossed is a great one for targeting the IT Band, just remember to be really mindful in this pose. Keep the feet closer for less of a stretch or if this feels enough already. If you do need a little bit more then widen the feet.
Just remember that stretching not only enables your body to recover faster and helps to prevent injury but yoga - focusing on your breath and coming into the present moment - decreases stress and anxiety levels that you might have before a big game, race or event.