Had a big weekend on the bike? Try this routine to speed recovery, improve your overall conditioning and restore your energy.
Often overworked muscles can lead to misalignment as we begin to compensate with those less worked. At no point must there be any pain in any shape. Remember to release and surrender into the poses whilst breathing as opposed to holding your breath and tensing up which can cause harm or further injury.
Start your session with a prop. Position the feet just wider than your hips and turn your feet slightly out. You will move into an assisted squat position which will aid in lengthening the lower lumber and bring warmth to the muscles, ligaments and tendons in order for you to release them. Do not worry if your heels are off the floor. Work on keeping the knees over the toes – adjust your feet as you need. Press your feet into the floor and push back up to the standing position. Repeat this movement a few times, slowly and mindfully.
Step back with one foot and adjust the foot into a comfortable angle (maximum range of 45degrees) supporting yourself with your hands and lengthening your spine. Keep your hips pointing forward. If you are able to, take your elbows down – keeping that length in the spine. We are looking at lengthening the backline of the body. Repeat on the opposite side.
Proceed into a simple downward dog – bend your knees if you need and lift your heels but keep the length in the spine. Hold for a few breaths. Drop slowly to your knees from your down dog position and stretch your upper back, now press your hands into the floor and round the upper back while tucking in the pelvis. Reversing the movement: you are going to arch the spine with the intention of lengthening it at the same time. You are imagining space between the vertebrae is opening while you gently arch the spine and take the gaze forward, so not to crunch the back of your neck.
Lie on your back, place your feet hip-width apart. Place one ankle above the knee of the opposite leg, letting your lifted knee open out. Thread your hands behind your leg or on the shin depending on flexibility, gently pull towards the body. Lengthen the spine, relax and neck and face. Breathe.
Take your mat to the wall and use a blanket for your head for support. Place yourself an inch from the wall and take your legs up the wall. Draw the soles of your feet together and open your knees to release the groin. Straighten the legs when you get tired.
| WORDS & ROUTINE: Lynette Morris / @lynwmorris |
| IMAGES: Wayne Reiche / @waynereiche |