yoga for shoulders and armsCategoriesYoga

Yoga for Tight Legs

If you suffer from tight legs (quads, glutes, hamstrings & hips) then these yoga poses are for you! Tight legs can often trigger pain in the lower back too as well as hinder mobility in strength training activities like squats, toes to bar and lunges. We use our legs all the time, so it’s important that you look after these muscles and allow them to stretch and recover.

Try to practice these movements regularly (after workouts/at the end of your day) and you will soon see a huge improvement in flexibility, mobility, plus maybe a bit of pain relief too!

Yoga for tight legs – our top postures

yoga for tight legs

1. Standing forward fold

Stand upright in Tadasana, feet hip distance apart. Inhale to lift the arms up above the head, lengthening the spine and reaching through the crown to gain space between the vertebrae. Exhale to to swan dive forwards, hinging at the hips whilst keeping length in the spine, brining the chest towards the thighs, before dropping the crown of the head towards the ground letting the neck hang long and loose.  Feel free to cradle the arms, take a slight bend in the knees if needed and rock side to side, back and forth.  Stay here for around 10 breaths.

2. Head to knee

Come to seated, legs straight out in front of you. Move the fleshy bits out from underneath your bum so you can feel your sit bones are in contact with the ground. Bring the sole of the left foot in to the right thigh and square the body off to face the right leg. Flex the toes back towards you rather than pointed. Inhale to lift the arms and body up through the pelvis, creating long neutral spine, arms above the head, lifting upwards through the crown.  Exhale as you keep a long straight spine and fold forwards over the right leg , first bringing the chest toward the thigh, then finally dropping the head towards the knee. Stay here for 10 breaths, then repeat other side.

3. One leg king pigeon pose

Come to your hands and knees.  Bring the right leg in front of you bending at the knee and placing its down on the ground at a 45 degree angle towards the right, front, corner of the mat.  Slide the left leg backwards as far as you can go, toes untucked. Make sure the hips remain left and square the front of the mat.  The aim is to get the right bum cheek to the floor and the left hip should rest on top of your right heal.  Use blocks as required. If you are comfortable stay here. If you would like to increase the intensity of the stretch allow the body to fold forwards towards the ground in front until you are completely flat on the ground.  Stay here for 10 breaths, then repeat on the other side.

4. Cow Face pose

Come to seated, legs straight out in front of you, then bend your knees and put your feet on the floor. Slide your left leg under the right knee and placing the left foot to the outside of the right hip, sole facing upwards. Then cross your right leg over the left, stacking the knees vertically, and placing the right foot to the outside of the left hip, sole facing upwards. Hips should be level and you should be sat evenly on the sit bones, use a block if not.

If you wish to add the arms – Inhale to lift your left up above you, turn your palm to face the wall behind you. Exhale as you bend at the elbow, reaching backwards before you slide the hand down between your shoulder blades.

Inhale to take your right arm straight out to the side, parallel to the floor. Rotate your arm inwardly, then exhale as you ben at the elbow and try to grab your left hand.  Use a strap to bridge the gap at first. Also try to keep a straight back as leaning forwards only increase the distance your hands have to reach. Stay here for 10 breaths, then release the arms and the legs and switch to do the other side.

Runners stretch

From a high lunge, inhale to straighten the front leg, lifting the body upwards slightly to find length in the spine. Exhale to fold forwards over the right leg, brining the chest towards the thighs, before dropping the crown of the head towards the knee.  Stay here for around 10 breaths, the repeat on the other side.

Half splits

Come to your hands and knees, step your right foot forward between your hands. Left knee should remain on the ground with the top of the left foot on the ground. Flex your right foot, coming up onto the heel and extending your toes back toward you, and begin to straighten your right leg as much as you comfortably can. Keep your hips square and stacked over your left knee. Inhale to lengthen your spine, and as you exhale, begin to fold over your right leg. Keep drawing your right heel back while reaching your chest forward, and draw your shoulder blades down your back and away from your ears. Stay here for 10 breaths, then repeat other side.

Garland pose

From standing come down to a squatting position.  yo make want to take your feet out a little wider and even turn the feet out slightly rather than having toes pointing directly forwards.  Aim to have the heals flat to the floor if you can.  Inhale to lengthen though the spine and bring your hands to prayer position in front of you, use your elbows to encourage the knees to go outwards. Stay here for 10 – 15 breaths. Again feel free to add movement, bounce or rock side to side to get deeper. This stretch is not only a great hip opener, but also helps release tension in the lower back.

Dragon

From down facing dog (below) exhale and step your right foot forward between your hands, aligning the right knee over the heel. Then lower your left knee to the floor and, keeping the right knee fixed in place, slide the left back until you feel a comfortable stretch in the left front thigh and groin. Turn the top of your left foot to the floor. Now, place the right hand on the inside of the right foot and nudge the right knee out sideways, sink deeper into the stretch. if you are comfortable stay here, if you want to take the pose further see if you can lower down to your forearms to get deeper. Stay here for 10 breaths. Repeat other side.

Leg breaker

From dragon, come back up on the hands keeping the legs exactly where they were. With your right leg forwards and your left leg long on the ground, reach back with your right hand, whilst bending at the left knee, reaching for your foot and brining the heel towards the buttock so that you feel a stretching the front of your left leg.  If you are comfortable her, you can take the pose further by returning back down to your left forearm and using the right shoulder to keep pushing the right leg outwards for a deeper groin strecth at the same time. Stay here for 10 breaths , then repeat on the other side.

Want to try one of our classes?

If you are new to yoga, or just would like to try to practice more regularly with company, then why not pop along to one of our classes.  We have various levels and styles of classes from the more strength focused Yoga for Fitness classes, to our very chilled Restore & Recover gentle yoga sessions, or if you are looking for something in the middle why not try our Stretch & Tone class.  Full timetables , price and class details can be found here.

We also offer 1-2-1 sessions and private bookings for those who would like something a little more personalised. Read more here.

Follow our instagram and facebook pages for more yoga and nutrition tips and tricks!

CategoriesYoga

Yoga for Sore Arms & Shoulders

The shoulders are a common place of where many people hold a lot of tension, and struggle with mobility and strength. It is important that we look after our shoulders as issues here can cause pail in the back, arms and neck too.

Here are a few easy yoga postures you can try at home to relieve your tight shoulders and arms, improve mobility and even increase strength. Hold each pose for 10 breaths. If you find you are tighter more on one side than the other, then go back and repeat the tighter side again to promote balance.

Yoga for Sore Arms & Shoulders

Yoga for back pain

1. Down Facing Dog

Come to your hands and knees, hands slightly forwards of your shoulders, knees under hips. Exhale to tuck your tone and lift knees away from the floor, pushing your sit bones high towards the ceiling and creating an upside down V-shape.  Heels may or may not come to the ground, feel free to take a slight bend in the knees if the stretch is too much. Head should hang loosely, crown towards the ground. Now push your head through your arms, whilst pressing evenly through the palms to of your hands.  You should rotate your shoulders outwards to create space between the shoulder blades, broadening your back, wrapping your lateral muscles around your ribcage for stability. Feel free to pedal the feet to ease off tight hamstrings.  Aim to stay in this pose for at least 10 breaths.

2. Dolphin Pose

From down facing dog, kneel, then bring your elbows, forearms, and hands to the floor in front of your knees, shoulder-width apart. Exhale as you push your sit bones up and back, lifting the knees off the floor, returning to a similar leg position of down facing dog. Keep pushing through the upper arms ensuring your ears are well away from your shoulders, head should be off the floor and eye gaze downwards.  Make sure your shoulders are over your elbows. Stay here for 10 breaths. Exhale to lower back down to kneeling.

3. Extended Childs Pose

From kneeling, touch your big toes together and sit on your heels, then separate your knees about as wide as your hips. Exhale as you fold your torso over and between your thighs, reaching the arms straight out in front of you as far as they can go without lifting your buttocks away from you heels. Try to maintain and promote length in the spine, whilst completely relaxing the body, allowing it to melt, folded, into the ground. Head comes to the floor just in front of your knees. Stay here for 10 breaths or more.  This pose stretches the spine, hips, knees and relieves tension in the body.

4. Thread the Needle (do both sides)

Come to your hands and knees, wrists directly under shoulders and knees directly under hips, toes untucked, shins to floor. Exhale to slide your right arm under the left, palm facing up. Bring your right shoulder all the way down to the mat, creating a twist, resting the right side of your head on the ground, gaze should be looking under and up through your left armpit. Keep the hips raised and actively pressing through your left arm to avoid strain on the neck or right shoulder. Broaden you upper back, creating space between the shoulder blades, let the lower back soften and relax. Stay here for 10 breaths, then repeat on the other side.

5. Puppy Pose

Come to your hands and knees, shoulders stacked over your wrists, your hips stacked over your knees, and the tops of your feet relaxed down on the mat. Walk your hands out in front of you lowering your chest down toward the mat. Keep your hips over your knees. Allow your forehead down to the ground. Draw your shoulder blades back and down, reach your hips up high toward the ceiling, creating a deeper back bend.  Allow you neck to relax. Stay here for 10 breaths.

6. Bow Pose

Start by laying on your stomach with your hands alongside your torso, palms up. Bend your knees, bringing your heels as close as you can towards your buttocks whilst reaching back with your hands and take hold of your ankles, keeping the feet flexed. Make sure your point your knees directly backwards, no wider than hip distance, do not let your legs splay outwards.

Inhale to lift the chest and the knees off the floor at the same time, creating a back bend, kicking your heals away from your buttocks to pull your arms further back and open your chest. Stay here for 5-10 breaths, then exhale to lower back to the ground.

7. Camel

From kneeling, knees hip distance apart, press your shins and the tops of your feet firmly into floor. Option to place your hans on the lower section of your back/top of buttocks, or reach further back so that they rest on your heals. Inhale to lift through spine, creating length and bending through the thoracic or the upper part of the back, opening the shoulders and chest. Keep pushing the thighs forwards so they remain vertical and lifting through the chest. Hold for 5-10 breaths.

8. Cow Face Arms (do both sides)

Whilst seated. Inhale to lift your left up above you, turn your palm to face the wall behind you. Exhale as you bend at the elbow, reaching backwards before you slide the hand down between your shoulder blades.

Inhale to take your right arm straight out to the side, parallel to the floor. Rotate your arm inwardly, then exhale as you ben at the elbow and try to grab your left hand.  Use a strap to bridge the gap at first. Also try to keep a straight back as leaning forwards only increase the distance your hands have to reach. Stay here for 10 breaths, then release the arms and the legs and switch to do the other side.

Option to do full cow face pose – From seated with legs straight out in front of you, then bend your knees and put your feet on the floor. Slide your left leg under the right knee and placing the left foot to the outside of the right hip, sole facing upwards. Then cross your right leg over the left, stacking the knees vertically, and placing the right foot to the outside of the left hip, sole facing upwards. Hips should be level and you should be sat evenly on the sit bones, use a block if not.

9. Eagle Arms (do both sides)

Want to try one of our classes?

If you are new to yoga, or just would like to try to practice more regularly with company, then why not pop along to one of our classes.  We have various levels and styles of classes from the more strength focused Yoga for Fitness classes, to our very chilled Restore & Recover gentle yoga sessions, or if you are looking for something in the middle why not try our Stretch & Tone class.  Full timetables , price and class details can be found here.

We also offer 1-2-1 sessions and private bookings for those who would like something a little more personalised. Read more here.

Follow our instagram and facebook pages for more yoga and nutrition tips and tricks!