Day 2: Stretching (Fundamentals) – approx 30 minutes.
Today continued with some building blocks. Focused on hip and hamstring stretching. Did both thread the needle and straight leg stretches. Also did some deep low lunge work. Learned a couple new cues there as well (apparently you shouldn’t let your front knee flair out – you should try to keep it over your ankle). There were a few sequences of mountain into forward fold into flat back, into forward fold, and back to mountain.
We finished with some twisting stretches from the cross-legged pose. I really liked the fact that he made us switch up the cross-legged pose and put the other leg in front as well. Instinctively, I always cross my right over my left. Crossing my left over my right isn’t something I do very often, and it was a different sensation. I’m glad I’m going to work out that imbalance. He had a nice quote that makes a lot of sense (and I’m paraphrasing)…
“To get to balance, you have to go through imbalance.”
This is very true. Without thinking about it, we all have a dominant side that we favor. We have a dominant eye. We are left or right handed. When we go to jump, we probably have a specific leg we push off of. One of our hips, hamstrings, or glutes is probably tighter than the other. There are performance and athletic benefits to training our non-dominant sides and striving for overall “balance” in our abilities on both sides. (note – to read the whole article, click on the “PDF” option when you go to the link).
I’ve personally experienced this in baseball when I trained myself to switch hit. I’ve also noticed overall performance improvement in agility drills when I focused on leading with my non-dominant side. Sure, it’s clunky at first, but once you build those neuro-pathways in the brain for the movement, it becomes smoother. I’m starting to get pretty good at throwing a football with my left hand!
This is the goal for my yoga practice. Not only do I want to develop more mobility and flexibility, I also want to develop balance and symmetry in my mobility and flexibility. I’d prefer to not have one side “tighter” than the other. Not only will I feel better, but I’ll also be less prone to injury when making quick moves during sports events.
I’m still happy with where this is going, and I’m looking forward to day 3.
Are you an aspiring yogi? Do you enjoy mixing yoga workouts into your fitness plan? If so, please let us know about it in the comments. If you enjoyed this post, please “like” and share. Thank you!