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.
Learn how to use Friction to improve leg and arm strength.
Simple exercises with easy to follow instructions
Making difficult poses like Chaturanga Dandasana easier to learn.
Learn Your Body with
Frictional Arm and Leg Strength
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Your iphone needs power in order to sense your touch. Proprioception needs muscle activity in order to sense your body.
Some simple exercises so that you can work towards the pistol squat gradually.
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.
This sequence of seated yoga poses includes lotus and virasana variations, janu sirsasana and marichyasana variations as well as more basic seated poses like bound angle, pigeon and seated forward bend.
These hip flexor stretches open up the fronts of the hips and can be used as a preparation for front to back splits. Bent knee hip stretches can be used to focus on rectus fermoris.
Strengthen your hands, your arms, glutes and hamstrings with these standing forward bend variations.
The small actions in this standing psoas stretch can be used to stretch both the upper and lower fibers of the psoas muscle.
Variations of the standing psoas stretch that use the same basic actions.
Here's a break down of the steps of Ashtanga Yoga Surya Namaskar A to make this sun salutation easier to learn and remember.
A reclining psoas stretch I learned from a Richard Freeman Workshop. The better you understand your anatomy the easier it is to work on your body effectively.
The hip stretches included on this page can be used to stretch and improve flexibility of the hip flexors, hip extensors, adductors and abductors.
Friction and pressure are two simple techniques that I use to help my students get stronger and more flexible. These simple techniques also offer a roadway into not only learning how to activate your muscles, but getting a feel for them and your body. Three challenging yoga poses that I use these techniques in are chaturanga, front splits and side splits. While they might not help you get all the way down into the splits, they'll help you feel stronger, and more integrated as you work towards them. And because I've got to pay for my daughters schooling this week, I'm offering a discount on the frictional muscle control videos. (First 100 people only can save over 30%).
Active stretching teaches you muscle control to not only improve flexibility but also body awareness. You'll learn how to adjust postures for better feel as well as more control through a broader range of motion.
Standing exercises for low back pain plus anatomy that can affect the low back and how to use that anatomical understanding.
Experience your body (and understand it) with sensational yoga poses.
Is it a bad idea to heel strike while barefoot running? What are the possible benefits of heel striking? When should you not heel strike?
These yoga poses for abs work on the abdominal muscles (and hips) in both standing positions and seated positions.
Here are the Ashtanga Standing Pose Vinyassas, with inhale movements highlighted in red.
Single joint hip flexors include iliacus, pectineus, obturators, gemelli and gluteus minimus. Use them to help improve your forward bends.
In this preparation for compass pose use your arms to pull your leg towards you for a seated hamstring stretch. To modify, use a strap.