Timeless Fitness Tips...
Yoga stretches can wake up a tired body, especially if you have been sitting too long.
Poses that open the chest, such as back bends, are especially invigorating, because they expand breathing capacity and stimulate the nervous system. Other poses, in which the head is lower than the heart, boost energy by sending blood to the brain.
Try the Puppy Dog
Stand facing a wall and place your hands against the wall at about hip height. Walk backward until your back is parallel with the floor and your body creates a box with the wall and floor. Relax your head and press your palms into the wall with your fingers spread wide and your middle fingers pointing toward the ceiling. Soften your knees, extend your tailbone up. Take a few deep breaths as you focus on lengthening your spine, then release.
On a mat: Get into a "dog" position on hands and knees. Stretch your upper torso downward, keeping your butt in place. Stretch to the point it feels good, never to pain. Using your arm muscles, slowly come back up. Repeat, breathing deeply.
Puppy Dog Yoga Move:
Yoga mat cleanser: A mat is important in yoga and it's also important to clean your mat regularily. We have an all-natural formula to suggest: Mix 12 drops sweet orange essential oil, 6 drops essential oil and 6 drops lavender with 4 ounces of purified water in a spray bottle. Shake the bottle and mist over your mat. Wipe clean with a soft towel before and after each use.
There are two other methods, ballistic, and proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF). Ballistic is "bouncing" and PNF - well, let's just say it's best done by a very select few who are experienced in it; we'll leave it at that and focus on the safest method, static.
Benefits of Static Stretching
Static Stretching provides these benefits:
- Increases blood flow.
- Increases muscle elasticity.
- Increases range of motion.
- Improves flexibility.
- Eases movement.
- Helps loosen muscles in the arms, shoulders, back, chest, stomach, thighs, buttocks and calves.
- Aids in prevention of injury and muscle strain.
- Can improve performance.
General Stretching Guidelines:
- Start stretching slowly.
- Don't bounce while stretching.
- Avoid violent movements.
- Hold the stretched position.
- Don't overdo.
- Stretch 5 to 15 minutes before (warm-up) and after (cool-down) exercising.