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!

yoga for runnersCategoriesYoga

Yoga for Runners

Attention all runners out there – these yoga poses are directed specifically at you!

If you are a keen runner, the chances are you lower body has taken an absolute hammering and you might summer from all sorts of aches and pains. Release and stretch tight hamstrings, ease lower back pain and tension in the hips with these 9 simple stretches that you can do anywhere, ideally directly after your running session.

Our top yoga poses for runners

yoga for runners

1. Low Lunge

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. Stay here for 10 breaths. Repeat other side.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. Wide Leg Forward Fold

Take the feet out wide, long sides of the feet should be parallel to the short edges of your mat.  Press evenly through all four corners of the feet. 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 crown of the head towards the ground letting the neck hang long and loose.  Arms can relax, hanging loose with elbows bent, hands can rest to ground.  Aim to bring the crown of the head eventually to the floor. Stay here for around 10 breaths.

5. Side Flank Stretch

Stand upright in Tadasana, feet hip distance apart. Step the left leg slightly in front, keeping the hips square and level. Lift the toes up and flex back towards you. Take a small ben in the right knee and inhale to lift the arms up above the head, lengthening the spine and reaching through the crown to gain space between the vertebrae. Exhale as you fold over the left leg, hinging at the hips whilst keeping length in the spine, bringing the chest towards the left thigh, before dropping the crown of the head towards the left knee. Place the hands on the ground. Stay here for 10 breaths.  Inhale to lift back to standing, then repeat on the other leg.

6. 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.

7. Supine Abdominal Twist

Lay flat on your mat.  Take your arms out to the side in a ‘T’ shaped position, palms facing down. Inhale to lift the legs together bending at the knees 90 degrees. Exhale to drop the legs over the left side of the body. Shoulders remain flat to the ground. Inhale to turn the head so that you look at the back of the right hand. Stay here for 10 breaths.  Inhale to lift the head and legs back to the centre. Repeat on the other side.

8. Standing Splits

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, bringing the chest towards the thighs, before dropping the crown of the head towards the ground letting the neck hang long and loose. Place the hands on the ground in front of your feet. Inhale as you lift the left leg back and upwards into standing splits. Stay here for 10 breaths. Exhale to lower the leg back down to the floor and repeat on the other leg.

9. Twisted 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, bringing the chest towards the thighs, before dropping the crown of the head towards the ground letting the neck hang long and loose. Place the left hand on the floor in front of your feet, inhale to lift right arm and eye gaze up to the ceiling, twining at the hips and pushing through the left palm to gain a deeper stretch. Stay here for around 10 breaths.

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

The benefits of stretching and how important it is after sport or physical activity

Stretching off after exercise is so important and yet it’s the most common thing people either don’t both with or forget to factor in time for at the end of each training session.

Stretching can often get labelled as the boring bit of a training program. Many people, including athletes and fitness fanatics, don’t understand the true benefits of  stretching, or regular yoga practice, when incorporated into their training routines can have.  If they did they might make a little more time for it.  Below we have listed our top 5 benefits of stretching.

Benefits of stretching

Stretching properly after exercise helps to…

Prevent injury and alleviate tightness

One of the main benefits of stretching is to help avoid injury. If you have been training hard, perhaps lifting heavy weights or doing HIIT Training (High Intensity Interval Training) you probably have tightened up a lot of muscles in the process.  If these muscles remain tight (under tension) they run the risk of getting injured in future training sessions or even during every day activities.  Stretching off, after workouts can help reduce this risk.

Speed up recovery time

Yoga practice improves the blood flow around the body using a combination of movement and breath. The additional breathing focus also increases the amount of oxygen carried in the blood.  Good blood supply and circulation is vital for the repair of all our body cells including the muscles and ligaments you have just trained hard.  The increase flow enables our damaged cells to get the nutrients and energy they need to repair more quickly and therefore speed up overall recovery time.

Reduce delayed onset muscle soreness (AKA the DOMS)

As outlined above stretching or yoga practice after exercise can help improve circulation and blood flow, enabling our muscles and ligaments to receive the supply of nutrients and energy they need to repair more quickly.  If practiced directly after exercise you can vastly reduce delayed onset muscle soreness or avoid it completely.

Release tension

Don’t forget our muscles are not only put under a lot of stress and tension during exercise but also during our day to day lives to, creating tension in those areas of our bodies that we use most.  Stretching properly or incorporating regular yoga practice in your weekly schedule will help to alleviate muscle tension.

Calm the body and re-balance hormone levels

As good as exercise is for our bodies, it also increases the release of the cortisol (the stress hormone) and other adrenal hormones.  This can throw some peoples endocrine system out of sync and then cause other issues too. Practicing yoga after your workout, or incorporating regular practice into your weekly schedule, can help control and re-balance your hormone levels again creating peace and harmony within your body, with the added bonus of calming the mind too.

Fancy giving Yoga a try?

Flotality have lots of options to help you stretch off…

Find a local class:

If you prefer to be instructed (enforced practice if you like) see if you can find a local class before or after your main training activity.  This also helps to prevent any distractions which may prevent you from practicing as well ensuring correct postures are held.  Flotality runs both lunchtime and evening classes on Thursdays if you are looking for a group class.  See our classe timetable here.

Book private 1-2-1’s at a time that suits you:

Or you might choose to book a 1-2-1 to better fit in around your training schedule.  A private yoga lesson will typically be programmed specific to your individual needs and so therefore could be really beneficial as you will be getting exactly what YOU need.  Flotality 1-2-1s can be held at your home or a venue suitable for you. Find out more about these here.

Use online video classes:

Alternatively, you could look at online video classes, there are plenty of freebies on YouTube you can use, or you could sign up to a online class provider such as Alo Moves.  This will enable you to practice yoga anywhere you like, on the move, at home or even whilst away.  Hopefully one day Flotality might be able to offer some video classes too – so watch this space!

 

If you would like to know any more information on any of the above feel free to give us a call!

CategoriesYoga

Yoga Poses for Crossfit

Here at Flotality, we can’t rave enough about how good yoga is for any fitness routine, but especially for Crossfitters, and yet when you ask a group of Crossfit athletes ‘who actually practices yoga?’ you will be surprised how few do.

Incorporating regular yoga practice into your training routine alongside any other sports that you do, not only helps to reduce recovery time between sessions, it also helps to prevent injury as well as enhance your athletic performance too – so yoga should be a no brainer right?

Perceptions on yoga are gradually changing, with many professional athletes embracing it as a vital part of their training programs too.  Unfortunately though it still sometimes has this ‘hippie’ images which can be off-putting, even to those who would benefit from it most.  Yoga doesn’t have to be ‘hippie’ or ‘spiritual’ and that is exactly what our classes here at Flotality avoid.  Instead we promote yoga as an active form of relaxation for physical health and mental wellness, designing classes with the athlete or sport enthusiast  in mind.

Crossfit is one of our favourite forms of training but often gets a bad rap for causing injuries, many of which could be prevented.  We don’t blame the sport for causing injuries, what we do blame however are the athletes who don’t pay proper attention to building the core strength of all the muscles used within a movement or perhaps don’t cool down properly after workouts.

For example, shoulder injuries are probably the most common.  Most pain in shoulder injuries are caused by impingements in the rotator cuff or muscle imbalances.  These types of injury are so easily preventable with a few key movements that can be built into your daily workouts or routines.

Essentially for Crossfitters, mixing yoga into their routine is a perfect “ying” to their high-intensity “yang.

Below we have listed our top 9 yoga poses for Crossfit athletes, their benefits and purpose.

Our top 9 Yoga Poses for Crossfit

Plank

Plank poses help to build strength and stability in the core and shoulder girdle.  Planks are a core strengthening powerhouse and should form part of your staple diet when it comes to accessory movements to accompany your main WODs and strength workouts.

yoga poses for cross fit - plank  

There are many variations of the plank pose that you could try, from the basic high or low plank to side planks, and forearm planks.  You could also play with balance too by lifting a hand or foot of the ground, or even both (alternate).

Down Facing Dog

When done correctly, the down facing dog pose should release tension from the upper trapezius, build upon arm and lateral strength as well as stretch and loosen the hamstrings, lower back and calves.

Down facing dog would be an ideal movement to try out after a workout that may have included running, box jumps, double-unders or explosive lifts like thrusters.

You can also use down facing dog and plank together in a kind of mini flow to build strength and warm up – from down facing dog, roll forwards through the spine into high plank, hold for 10 seconds, option to add a press or move to low plank, push back to down dog.

Warrior 1 

Warrior 1 is an amazing movement for stabilising the scapular and pelvic girdle and strength building in the erector spine and deltoids.  It also helps increase flexibility in the hip flexors and quads, which in turn can help to prevent your knee from turning inwards in other squatting or lunging positions within your WODs – a massive help for knee injuries. And finally it aids in opening the chest too.

Eagle Arms

Another pose that should form part of your staple diet in post workout stretches and is so good for your shoulders especially.  Eagle (arms) pose helps with shoulder and back flexibility and mobility, releasing tightness from the shoulders – which is probably what most keen Crossfitters need!

yoga poses for cross fit - eagle arms

Pigeon

This a must do pose for runners, but will benefit most athletes or fitness fanatics too, so add it to your cool down lists! Pigeon is a great pose for increasing flexibility in the spine, hips, quads, abs, glutes and shoulders.  It’s also one of the few stretches that can help stretch off the IT band too – tight IT bands are something that many runners or Crossfit athletes suffer from. In terms of injury prevention, this pose can help protect your knees too from turning inwards on those squats.

  

Lizard Lunge

Lizard lunge is similar to a normal lunge but really puts emphasis on stretching out those hip flexors.  This is a brilliant movement to incorporate into your cool down after running, WODS that include box jumps or lots of squatting movements.

Supine Ab Twist

A lovely and very relaxing pose that many people use to stretch off after workouts and for good reasons too.  This pose helps release tension held in the back and hips.  It also helps to strengthen the core too – bonus!

Standing forward fold

A staple diet, basic movement and perhaps one of the best poses to start your cool down with after any workout.  Helping release the hamstrings and stretch out the spine, a simple standing (or seated) forward fold is one of the best and easiest movements to help increase flexibility and mobility in these areas.

 

There are a few variations you can do for this pose;

  • Rag doll – standing forward fold but without forcing your hands to the floor, simply hold your elbows in the opposite hands, hang and gently rock side to side to ease off any tightness.
  • Seated – inhale to lift and sit tall brining your arms above your head, then exhale to reach and fold forwards brining your chest towards you thighs, maintaining length in the back and neck.
  • Standing variation with hands interlaced behind the back, helps pull tight shoulders back and open.

 

Camel

Last but not least, Camel pose – brilliant for opening and releasing the chest, shoulders quads and spine.  Again there are a few variations you may want to try with this pose such as Half Camel where you reach back one side at a time, or if you want progression, you could get a deeper backbend by taking your hands, from prayer pose, up and over all the way to the floor.

  

Want to have yoga sessions held at your Crossfit Box?

If you are a the owner of a Crossfit Box in the South East, UK and would like to be able to offer yoga classes to your members please get in touch with Harriet for more information. We have lots of options available and would love to help plan, design and/or run classes from your box!

T: 07803 146 960

E: hello@flotality.co.uk

CategoriesYoga

Fitness Yoga – Helping you improve sporting performance

Yoga is complimentary to virtually any sporting practice and will only help you to improve fitness performance and reduce risk of injury – both very appealing benefits to any sports or fitness addict.  Some of the world’s best athletes even swear their yoga practice alongside their other training has helped them in the bid to become champions of their sport.

A common miss conception about yoga, made by many who have yet to try, is that it looks ‘slow and easy’ and therefore it is assumed yoga practice doesn’t ‘do much’.  However, for those who have tried a yoga class or two, you will probably remember your first surprise at how much you may have ached the next day in places you didn’t even know existed.

The thing is, yoga may seem slow, but this passive form of exercise I perhaps one of the best kinds of movement your body can get!  Not only does it help release sore muscles and improve flexibility, it also strengthens your core and improves balance too – all these factors also help reduce risk of injury whilst you are our playing/doing your other activities. Not to mention the stress relieving benefits of regular practice!

Benefits of Fitness Yoga

Improves athletic performance

Yoga improves strength, flexibility and balance, which in turn improves body awareness and ease of movement – this will only aid your other training or sporting activities.  You might find because your core muscles are stronger you are able to lift heavier or go for longer during endurance activities.  Yoga also helps improve recovery time between sessions too.

Reduces risk of injury

By improving strength, flexibility and balance your body is far less likely to get injured.   Tightness and mobility issues are often the cause of most injuries in sport, regular yoga practice can really help combat this.  You might also find it interesting to learn also that because yoga practice uses breath with movement, extra oxygen is pushed around your body which helps to improve blood flow.  Your blood carries all the nutrients needed to repair and maintain the cells in your body including that found in muscles, tendons, joints etc. This means not only are the vital body parts used in your sport getting extra nutrients they need; they are also likely to recover quicker after heavy use when yoga is practiced alongside training.

Yoga is a great way to prevent and rehabilitate injuries.

Increases mental focus

Yoga is sometimes considered an active form of relaxation or meditation, and without sounding too ‘hippie’ this can massively improve mental performance too as well as physical.  How? Yoga practice aligns your body with the mind so that you are in sync. It also helps to clear any ‘chatter’ or distractions enabling clarity and better focus for whatever task you need to set your mind to.

Athletes who are known to practice fitness yoga

Still don’t believe us – why not hear it from the mouths of a few professional athletes themselves…

1. Jessica Ennis-Hill, Heptathlete

“Yoga has been really good for me training-wise…It helps keep some level of fitness up through my pregnancy and also on the run-up to major championships.”

2. Andy Murray, Tennis Player

“I’m pretty flexible for a tennis player. (Yoga) has helped a lot with my fitness and mental strength.”

fitness yoga

3. Welsh Rugby Union Team

“We hand-picked six guys who we thought were a little bit susceptible to injury and not as flexible. We put those six in and then said to the others it’s not compulsory, but we ended up having to knock the guys back, because we can only fit 10 in the room.”

Adam Beard, RWU Head Conditioning Coach

4. Paula Radclife, Long-Distance Runner

“Stretching is really important before a race, but even more so afterwards. Go for a swim or to a Yoga class to make sure you’re stretching in a relaxed and mindful way.”

5. Jamie Anderson, Snowboarder

“My favourite poses are variations on the handstand and the scorpion,” she said. “You have to use your whole body, it’s physically and mentally challenging. You have to find your balance in this uncomfortable position, so when you do it, you feel like you’re really overcoming an obstacle.”

6. Jenson Button, F1 Driver

“There you go! #coupleyoga with @jenson_ichiban.” ~ Jessica Michibata, Instagram


Flotality offer various yoga classes designed specifically to aid athletes and fitness fanatics to compliment their other sporting activities.

  • Our Balance classes will help develop strength and flexibility in order to improve fitness performance and reduce risk of injury.
  • Our Focus classes will help clear your mind and allow you to concentrate better on reaching your goals and beating the competition.
  • Our Restore classes will soothe your aching muscles, help improve recovery rates and relieve stress.

 

Find out more about the classes we offer here.