You know the feeling: you torched your body like a boss in yesterday’s circuit or spin sesh—and now you can barely sit down without wincing. Maybe you’ve bounded back into workouts after a break, or got after a brand-new movement you’ve never tried before, but however you managed it, you’re sore as hell. Here, Honest Yoga teacher Allison Jones shares her go-to poses to get you back to fighting form—or just make getting out of your car a little easier.
Standing Wide Leg Forward Fold
WHY: This pose stretches the back of the legs, calves, and hamstrings while also getting some nice flexion in your hips while supporting your spine with your hands.
HOW: Stand with your feet about 4 feet apart, heels in one line and feet very slightly pigeon toed. Bend forward from your low spine, legs straight with thigh or quadriceps muscles contracted. Place your hands on the floor. Keep your thighs contracted if possible and take three deep breaths. If you are more flexible you can grab the outside of the feet and bend your elbows toward your shins and pull to increase the stretch, keep your legs straight, thighs contracted and body weight forward on the toes. Breathe and hold for 20 seconds.
WHY: Safe, supported back bending is so important for a healthy spine, and this pose can helps compress and massage the muscles around your spinal column, increasing blood flow to a sore back and glutes.
HOW: Lay on your stomach with your legs together. Place your hands on the floor by your upper ribs, fingers facing forward. Squeeze your legs together and press your feet against the floor, and with hip muscles contracted, lift your upper body from the floor keeping the naval down. Use your back strength to lift with only a little weight in your hands while keeping the elbows at a 90 degree angle. Breathe and hold for 20 seconds.
Seated Stretching Pose
WHY: Some more stretchy goodness targeting your hips, calves, hamstrings, and spine. You can do this with your back against a wall for added comfort.
HOW: Sit with your legs stretched out forwards. Bend your knees and grab your big toes with your middle and index fingers. Lift your chest and straighten your spine. Take a deep breath here. With your spine straight, begin to straighten the legs keep your feet flexed. You will feel the back of the legs, hips and spine stretch. Only let your legs go as straight as they can without curving your spine. Breathe and hold for 20 seconds.
WHY: Sure, your hammies will yell at you a bit louder than your other leg muscles, but the quadriceps need love, too. This pose targets sore thighs to make walking down stairs a little more comfortable.
HOW: Start on all fours, and pull the right knee up close to the right hand and angle the foot to the left. Stretch your left leg back place the top of the foot down. Slowly sink your pelvis down to feel a stretch on the back of the right hip and the front of the left hip and quadricep. Take three deep breaths or hold for at least 30 seconds. Repeat with the left leg forward and right leg back.
Interested in using yoga to stretch and support your muscles on a more regular basis? Drop in for Allison’s free Tuesday night yoga class at 7:15. That’s right, it’s FREE for all Honest clients. See you there!