Do you have tight pecs from benchpressing? Many people, including myself, fail to stretch before and after exercise. Lifting weights strengthens but also shortens your muscles. Torn rotator cuff is a common injury among bodybuilders. Two yoga poses that will keep your chest a nd rotator cuffs healthy and flexible are cows head/gomukhasana arms and eagle/garuda arms. Do the poses before and after your weight lifting session.
The Sun Salutation is a centuries old yoga vinyasa. Vinyasa is a sanskrit word meaning to put down . . . the yoga poses are threaded together with your breath as you flow from pose to pose. There are many variations of the Sun Salutation, but all contain mountain pose, forward fold, downward facing dog and cobra pose. When the poses are done over and over, as in Ashtanga yoga the entire spine is stimulated and chakra healing takes place.
Yoga theory is based on the idea of seven chakras or energy centers located on your spine. These seven centers can be envisioned as swirling vortexes or portholes where energy is activated, donated, recieved or traded. The first chakra is on the tailbone and the seventh is on the crown of the head.
- Stand in mountain pose with your feet together and your arms at your sides. Be like a tree, with your mind's eye (drishti) focused on a distant point - a tree leaf in the distance for example. Let your body become like a tree as you root your feet and tighten your core muscles.
- Bring your hands in prayer position to your heart's center (namaste) and bring the heel of one foot to rest against the standing ankle of the other foot.
- Use your hand to bring your foot up to the thigh of the standing leg when and if you are ready, otherwise wait until another time. Bring your hands up over your head placing your palms together as in the picture above.
- Breathe deeply continuing to focus on your distant point. Stay here for five to ten breaths increasing the time with practice.
- Repeat tree pose standing on the other leg for the same amount of breaths.