Sunday, April 29, 2012

Yoga for Swimmers

As the summer approaches I start to consider all of the wonderful more accessible outdoor activities available to us in Wisconsin.  Tennis, golf, biking , riding,....all are great activities that pair well with a healthy and happy spine (via yoga).  Specifically I was thrilled to write my latest post for The Athleta Chi blog Yoga For Swimmers.

While the article focuses specifically on poses that open and soothe shoulders, its important to realize the value in the technical aspects of each pose for every person, not just the swimmer.  Crescent pose or high lunge in particular is a fav of mine and always woven through the sequences I teach. Consider the benefits of lengthening the spine, strengthening the quads, opening the heart and breathing for every human from someone who sits at the computer desk all day long to the performance athlete.

Crescent Pose
Begin in Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Dog).  In this pose, consider that you need to ground your feet and maintain your base, power up your quads and hip muscles, lengthen your side body, and expand and shine your heart upwards.  All of that, plus breathing! I love this pose and the openness and expansion it creates in the entire upper body.  Start in low lunge with your fingertips at the floor.  Inhale and lift the upper body stabilizing with equal strength in both legs.  Raise your hands over your head. You can also modify this pose by creating cactus arms out to the side or lift the arms over your head palms facing in.

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