Three weeks ago I started training for The Smart Ride, a 165 mile benefit ride. All the funds raised go directly to those affected and infected with HIV/AIDS. I am loving training, but my daily asana routine has changed to fit a post-bike ride stretch. Check out these four poses to help your body stay limber after your ride!
The front of your thighs are tight from pulling your pedals up, try this Anjaneyasana variation to bring relief to your sore muscles.
- FORM: From hands and knees take a wide lunge pose, Bring your right foot to the outside of your right pinky finger. Your right knee will stay directly over your right ankle for the full stretch. Bring both hands (or forearms) to the inside of your lunge.
- ACTION: Hug your front foot and your back knee towards each other as you rock your hips forward and pull the front of your ribs up and in to engage your core and the front of your thigh.
- PROPS: Blocks under your forearms will give you more room to stretch if you are tight or your breath feels shallow.Option to lift back leg into Eka Pada Rajakapotasana.
Ardha Hanuman Asana
Ardha Hanuman Asana Your hamstrings have been working hard! Stretch them out with Half Splits Pose.
- FORM: From hands and knees bring your right foot between your hands and your fingertips on the floor or two blocks.
- ACTION: Flex every muscle, from your toes to your hips and straighten your front leg. (The flexing action will protect you from pulling your hamstring)
- Advance this pose by lifting your back knee off the mat and squaring your hips to the front of the room.
Supta Eka Pada Rajakapotasana
Stretch the outside of your sore hips with Supta Eka Pada Rajakapotasana (Reclining Pigeon Pose).
- FORM: Bring both feet to the wall and place your knees directly over your hips. Flex your right foot and cross it over your left knee. (Flexing your foot will protect your knee)
- ACTION: Press your left foot into the wall and your spine into the Earth.
- For a deeper stretch, interlace your hands behind your left thigh and bring your knees into your chest or move into Pigeon Pose. Pigeon Pose keeps the same placement of your right foot, but your back leg is extended behind you and your hips are square to the front of the room.
Your inner thighs have been working to keep your knees in, towards your bike as you pedal, show them some love with Upavistha Konasana (Seated Angle)
- PREP: Slightly raise your hips on blanket to give you room in your lower back.
- FORM: Sit to the edge of your blanket and widen your legs to either direction.
- ACTION: Press your heels into the earth as you lengthen your spine and lean forward.
Counter the forward reaching motion of grabbing your handlebars with Supported Matsyasana (Fish Pose).
- PREP: Roll up a blanket or use a yoga block to open the front or your shoulders.
- FORM: Place your blanket the length of your spine, with the bottom tip of the blanket resting underneath of your sacrum (the base of your spine). If you are using yoga blocks, place the bottom tip of the first yoga block underneath where your shoulders meet, and the second block underneath your head. Reach your arms out in either direction and take a few deep breaths.
- ACTION: This is a restorative pose, so allow gravity to do the work.
- Give yourself anywhere from 90 seconds to 5 minutes in this pose. Place your legs up against the wall to add in a gentle hamstring stretch or bring your feet together for Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclining Butterfly Pose) with support underneath each thigh.
If you haven’t already place your legs up the wall, close your eyes and relax. Allowing the energy to move from your heels to your hips will relax cramped and fatigued muscles in your legs. It will also feel amazing!
Enjoy the ride!