Yoga Stretch for Crossfit - 2016.08.27
This week I introduced a flow-based sequence. One which still allowed for longer holds of certain postures, but also one that moved with the breath. Focus was mostly on the lower body after workouts filled with front and back squats, thrusters, pistols, and lunges -- release in the glutes, posterior chain and the legs.
Yoga block, stiff pillow or blanket that could be rolled
Cat/Cow: 10 rounds, pausing where you find your body needs
Thread the Needle (both sides): Before bringing the side of the shoulder to the mat, be sure to reach for the ceiling, opening across the chest and abdomen. Once you make your way down into the pose, hold 5-8 breaths in the stretch before switching sides. I like to take the opposite arm above my head on the floor for an added stretch in the shoulders.
Downward Facing Dog: Focus on the torso and lower body. Lifting the belly toward the spine to continue to create length through the pose.
Classic Sun Salutation: 4 complete rounds
For the first two rounds, practice allowing the breath to begin and lead the movement. Pause between each part of the breath to make 4 total parts of the breath: (1) inhale, (2) pause after inhale; (3) exhale; (4) pause after exhale.
In thirdround, introduce a twist toward the front leg in the low lunge. Hold for approximately 5 breaths. Be sure to add the twist on each side.
For the 1/2 split/low lunge flow: Exhale to move from low lunge to 1/2 split and inhale to come forward again. Complete 5-8 rounds with a slight pause between the exhale & inhale and between the inhale & exhale again.
For the 1/2 split hold, bring the block under the glute of the extended leg. Rest the buttock on the block and flex the foot toward your forehead. With hands framing the lengthened leg, tip at the hip for a foward fold. (This will, in all likliehood, not be a deep forward fold). Hold for 10 breaths (or 15 if you are able).
Squat: From a standing position, take feet a little wider than hip distance apart. Turn the heels in toward the center. With hands at heart, slow sit back and down into the squat. Bring the arms inside the thighs to allow you to press thighs into the backs of the arms and arms into the thighs.
To introduce a non-static version of this pose, shift weight to one foot and press with the arm into the thigh. Exhale back to center. Inhale shift to your other side. Move back and forth with the breath about 5-8 times on each side.
If your hips do not allow a full squat, please the block underneath your bottom and sit directly on the block. The legs can remain in the squat shape and you can still allow for the dynamic movement referenced above.
I recommend bringing a block or folded blanket under the side of the bottom leg (near the knee) if your trunk and posterior chain do not allow a full twist, where the outside of the bottom leg comes to the floor with the hips stacking.
If you would like to experiment with introducing a stretch to the IT band of the top leg -- straighten this leg. Keep the knees and hips stacked when doing so. To come out, bend the knee to fully stack the legs on one another again.
Rest -- today, consider bringing your legs up the wall.
Author's note: Photos in today's post are brought to me by www.unsplash.com. Thank you to the artists who so willingly allow their work to be used by others. And, if you know me well, you know I love sunflowers and am fascinated by the majesty of wind turbines. :)