Post-race reflection time. Your body is tired and needs nourishing. Gently targeting areas that need extra care and attention and working through any stiffness or niggles. This is where a slow, restorative style of yoga will help the body to relax and surrender. Re-group your thoughts on what went well and how you can improve for next time.
This yoga session uses less poses, instead focusing on time and the breath to deepen your experience. Letting go of what doesn’t serve you any longer.
You can try longer holds on your own. Holding poses for longer really helps develop flexibility. It works past muscles and gets into the soft tissues.
Here are some leg poses to get you started. Remember to keep using the breath – full smooth inhale and exhale. If your breathing becomes laboured you’ve probably gone too far; pull back from your edge. Try to hold poses for at least two minutes.
Sit with the soles of the feet together and legs in a diamond shape. If you want to take if further you can fold forward.
Wide leg forward fold
Bring the legs comfortably wide. Remember to keep the feet flexed (toes pulling back). Fold forward here if you can.
Seated forward fold
Sit with the legs straight out in front of you. Keep the feet flexed the whole time (imagine pulling the little toes back towards you). And keep the lower abdomen engaged. Lengthen on the inhale and pivot from the hips forward. Keep a long spine – look forward, chest lifted until all the ribs are on the legs.
Start with the left leg extended, foot flexed. Bring the sole of the right foot up to the left inner thigh. Turn the body to face centrally over the left leg. Fold forwards. With the breath, try to lower the right shoulder so you are square over the left leg. Repeat on the other side.
Using a belt helps to get into the tight areas between the shoulder blades. Take a wide grip on the belt and inhale the arms up and exhale over the head, the key is to keep the arms straight bringing the arms back over the head. Start with a wide grip you can easily manage and after a few tries see if you can lessen the width of your grip.
From all fours sit back on the heels. Bring the forehead down to the floor and extend the arms out in front on the floor. Use the hands to press the weight of the chest back and down, trying to push the hips back to the heels.