Sunday, January 22, 2012

Yoga and the Autonomic system

This great article will help me bring yoga to more places!!! Let the research begin.  If any of you out there in Internet land know of any yoga research.. let me know.  There is a journal, but other then that, there isn't much!

On a lighter note, had a wonderful gentle yoga class this evening with one of my favorite teachers.  So relaxing.  And this week I definitely experienced some nice hamstring stretches.

So - if your hamstrings are tight, forward folds are definitely a nice thing to do.  However, it's even better when you're lying on your back.  Perhaps do it one leg at a time:

1.  Lay down on the ground.  Feel the points of your body on the floor.
2.  Relax your back into the floor by engaging your abdominal muscles and releasing your lower back to the floor.
3.  Hug your left knee into your chest while keeping your right leg extended.
4.  Place a strap (belt, whatever you got) around the arch of your left foot and gently extend your leg to the ceiling.
5.  While keeping a micro-bend in the knee, on an inhale gently guide your left foot towards your face.  Be gentle, you're not really pulling, but you definitely want to feel a slight pressure.  You don't want to wrench your foot towards your face, you want to feel a nice stretch on the hamstrings, and maybe along the whole back of the leg.  Use your breath to gently ease into the stretch.  Let the strap or belt hold your leg, and let gravity do the work.  If you're feeling it, you're doing it.
6.   Take 10 deep breaths.
7.  To gently get out of this pose. Gently bend your knee and let the strap go.
8.  Hug your knee into your chest once more.  Point and flex your left foot, go around in circles, do whatever helps to relax the foot.
9.  Gently bring your left leg down to meet the right.  Notice the changes or heaviness you might feel in the left leg.
10.  Repeat with the right leg.

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