Many people view a yoga practice as a stretching session. And while yoga is a great way to stretch and strengthen the muscles, it also can be used to mobilize and invigorate the fascia and tissues before or after a workout.
Below, Tiffany Cruikshank, creator of Yoga Medicine, is sharing a three-move yoga flow that will strengthen and mobilize the muscles and the fascia before a workout if you’re stiff or tight, or as a cool-down after an intense workout to clear out the tissues.
Short on time? Flow through this sequence three or four times for a quick movement session and get on with your day!
Low Lunge to Standing Leg
- On a non-slip surface, plant one foot in front of you, knee bent to come into a high crescent lunge. Back leg is straight, stand on the ball of your back foot, heel lifted.
- Steady the lumbar spine by bracing your abdominals.
- Inhale your arms up overhead, as you exhale, hinge your torso forward halfway.
- Inhale and press through your front foot to come up, sweeping your arms overhead. Exhale and hinge forward again, bringing your arms down behind you.
- Continue on the inhale and exhale. After 10 reps, repeat on the opposite side.
- If you want more, as you hinge forward, straighten your front leg until you feel a stretch in your hamstrings. Bend your front knee as you come up on the inhale.
Extended Side Angle to Revolved Lunge
- In your crescent-lunge position, bring your hands close to the ground.
- Push down through your front foot to turn on your glutes, and pull your belly back to come off your thigh.
- Bring your left hand by your front right ankle and your right hand up to the ceiling.
- Rotate through your torso to open up toward your back leg, spinning your back leg down and rotating on an axis to bring your left hand up to the sky and your right hand down by your front knee.
- Lift your back heel up as you rotate back to start. Repeat, opening and closing with your breath.
- Perform five to 10 reps, then repeat on the opposite side.
Standing Split Taps
- From your side-angle position, plant your hands on the ground in front of your left foot and bring your right leg up off the floor behind you.
- Don’t worry about how high your back leg goes. On your inhale, lift up onto the ball of your standing foot.
- As you exhale, bend your standing knee as you bend your back leg and bring your kneecap to your front leg.
- Inhale to lift, exhale to bend and tap. To target the sciatic nerve more, as you lift up, turn your head forward, and as you tap forward, tuck your neck.
- Perform five to 10 rounds on one side before repeating on the opposite side.
Photo credit: Mark Kuroda, kurodastudios.com