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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Yoga for Life: King Pigeon

Today’s yoga pose is great for stretching out tight hips and hamstrings. This pose is great for those who participate in a lot of kick boxing, running, or the workouts posted at HbC. You don’t have to be a runner to benefit from this pose though. You just need open floor space and a few minutes to your self. With that in mind, you will want to read the entire post before you get started.

1. Start in Plank position.

2. From here, move your right ankle across your torso until it is as close to your wrist as you can bring it. Remember to push your body as far as you can, without feeling any pain. Remember, yoga is about how your body moves and how your body feels. It is not a competition between people or even within you. It is about this moment and taking the opportunity to choose to do something good for the only body you will ever have. Please choose the variation that is best for you that doesn't cause any pain.

3. Point the left set of toes straight back behind you, and place your hands on the ground in front of you. Lift up through your chest to create a small back bend and pull the shoulder blades down and back as you lift through your chest. This will bring your spinal extensors and oblique muscles into play as well. Relax your shoulders towards the ground as you lift your chin to be parallel with the ground.

4. Hold this for 5 slow, controlled breaths. Don’t forget the slow part. Breaths start and end at your nose, inhaling to fill your chest and using your muscles to exhale completely. This will fill your lungs with fresh air and empty them of air that is full of carbon dioxide. This process replaces the old air and will rejuvenate and invigorate.

5. Return to Plank pose by bringing your right foot back to meet the left. Now move your left foot up to meet your right ankle and begin the process again.

Notes: Do not collapse into this pose. It takes a little longer for the muscle groups to relax into this pose, as they are such large muscles. In the mean time, the pelvic floor, hamstrings and gluts should eccentrically distribute your weight through the pose.

This pose also involves the Sciatic Nerve, so if you have Sciatica, you may want to check with your health care provider before jumping into it.

Nameste (The inner light in me salutes the inner light in you)!

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