Summer seems to fly by, doesn’t it? That’s not surprising when you pack it full of fast-paced fun. But in the midst of all that energetic play, try slowing down for a bit and practice some yoga. You’ll be surprised by how 5 simple yoga poses can ready your body for movement in the morning and help you recover at night.
Summertime endurance endeavors, like cycling, kayaking, and running can cause tightness in your neck and back. Keep the muscles in the back of your body supple and aligned with:
5 Simple Yoga Poses to Stretch-Out Your Summer
Come to all fours. Place your hands underneath your shoulders and your knees slightly apart. As you exhale, round your back to the ceiling while tucking your chin toward your chest. Draw your hips toward your arms to accentuate the rounding motion in your back, so you resemble an angry Cat. On inhalation, lower your navel toward the ground as you arch your back to create Cow. Repeat for several full breaths.
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From the hands and knee position, plant the balls of your feet on the ground and start to lift your hips toward the ceiling by straightening your legs. You should look like an upside down “V.” Try to elongate your back by drawing your chest toward your thighs while pressing through your palms and lengthening your arms. You should feel a stretch down the length of the back of your body - in your lats, arms, and shoulders. The nice thing about Downward Dog is that your lower body gets to stretch too. You’ll feel your calves, and your hamstrings loosen up as you hold the pose.
Walking and running barefoot in the sand or grass is the epitome of summer living. Healthy, pliable feet can make the difference between having joyful jaunts or gritting your teeth and hobbling. Make sure your feet are ready to carry you from surf to turf with:
From Downward Dog, return to hands and knees. Keep the base of your toes on the ground. Slowly move your body weight back, so your glutes rest on your heels. Sit up tall.
Your core is key in providing the strength and stabilization you need to go all in this summer whether water skiing or jumping into a pop-up Frisbee football game. Keep your center balanced, stretched, strong and ready for anything with:
From Screaming Toe Pose, place your hands on the ground in front of you. Walk your feet back and straighten your legs until you are in a Plank with your hands directly under your shoulders and your heels, hips, and shoulders aligned. Hold for several breaths.
From Plank Pose, step one foot in-between your hands. Drop your back knee to the ground. Lift your hands off the ground and bring your arms toward the ceiling as you press your hips forward to feel a hip-flexor stretch.