Stretches are grouped on this page in the following categoties: Hip Flexor stretches, Quad Stretches, Hamstring Stretches, Hip Extensor Stretches, Glutes Stretches, Inner Thigh Stretches, Arm/Shoulder Stretches
Whether contracting and relaxing to stretch or contracting while stretching, and then relaxing, focus on contracting and releasing slowly and smoothly. You'll improve muscle control and also reduce the risk of injury, particularly when you are stretching near your limits. (If you've ever laughed while stretching, you know what a "sudden" contraction can feel like.)
Create a Stable Foundation
Whether using relaxed or resisted stretching, creating a stable foundation helps to support the body. It also may make the muscle being stretched feel safe so it's able to relax and be stretched or so it's easier to do a controlled contraction.
Focus on What you are Doing
While stretching, focus on the part that you are stretching and the parts of the body that support the part that you are stretching. The more mindful you are the easier it will be for you to notice if you are holding unnecessary tension. You can then work to release that tension.
Control Your Body
Stretching, or learning to do yoga stretches is as much about control as learning to do strength poses or regular yoga poses. If you are doing relaxed stretching then you have to relax the muscle that you are stretching. That takes control. Likewise, if you are doing resisted or active stretching that too takes control. The better you can control your body the easier you'll be able to stretch it. But if you haven't got control then yoga stretches are a chance for you to practice gaining it.
Make your yoga poses less wobbly with less effort. Grounding and centering are two techniques for creating stability in yoga poses.
Arm supported yoga poses can be used to strengthen the arms and shoulders. Includes plank, chaturanga dandasana, downward dog, dolphin pose, side plank, wheel, reverse plank, table top pose.
Rather than fighting through joint pain here is an overview of the approach that I've used to help alleviate hip pain, knee pain or shoulder joint pain while doing yoga poses.
Make balancing easier. Use pressure sensitivity to feel your center of gravity.
A yoga approach to how to do squats including how to stay balanced, and avoiding knee or hip pain even while going all the way down.
Camel Yoga Pose or ustrasana is a kneeling pose that can be used to stretch the hip flexors. One key action that may help in getting your pelvis forwards more is pushing your hands forwards, either against your feet or against the floor.
The transverse abdominis can have an affect on sacroiliac joint stability as well as stability of the lumbar spine and the T12/L1 junction.
Fluid tensegrity joint anatomy looks at the tendency of the body to maintain space within the joints. The question is, how is this space maintained?
Why improve body awareness? So that you can use your body more effectively and fix problems yourself when they arise.
How is tensegrity maintained at the joints even as the body adopts non-tensegrity postures or movements?
Why being present is the oppositve of thinking and how to utilize both modes effecively.
Pigeon yoga pose variations include lifting the front hip and resting it on the floor. Learn how to activate the front hip in either variation for better hip control and more effective stretching.
Creating tensegrity in yoga poses. What is tensegrity, why should we aim to achieve it when doing yoga or any other activity where mindfullness is required?
Obturator externus anatomy for yoga teachers. If you have hip pain in forward bends and your hip feels weak, obturator externus may be the culprit.
Yoga stretches for tight hamstrings. Learn to feel when your legs are active and when they are relaxed so that you can gradually stretch tight hamstrings.
An experienced yogi's yoga pose has a sense of bigness. How do you as a beginner add bigness to your yoga poses?
Basic yoga sequence for flexibility. Includes hip, hamstring, quad stretches and neck stretches and recovery exercises.
Back strengthening yoga poses can be used to strengthen the back of the body including hamstrings, glutes and both the lower and upper back.
A look at getting your feet off of the wall and balancing in handstand plus tips for greater arm stability.
Yoga pose sequences for flexibility and strength. These sequences can be used for improving hip and shoulder flexibility and strength.