Have you ever consider what can be the relationship between bodybuilding exersices and yoga? Rushing headlong into our strength training routine without the requisite stretching and then rushing through our warm down isn't the best for your body. How conscious are you of your flexibility? Can you still touch your toes? Do you still want to be able to do this as you get older? Yoga could be the power lifter or strongman’s new best friend and you don’t need an incense filled room to do this either.
There are a few quick and simple moves you can incorporate into your warm down that might just make all the difference. After all yoga is no flash in the pan, it’s been around for a few thousand years and it may just extend your lifting career and improve your power lifting routine.
There are a few yoga moves that will improve the suppleness of your big muscle groups: the glutes, hams, quads, and lats.
The Child Pose or (Balasana)
- Kneel down on the floor.
- Knees and heels should be together.
- Rest your posterior on the heels.
- Spread your knees apart.
- Bend your trunk forward and bring the head down.
- Touch the forehead on the floor.
- The abdomen should be in between the thighs.
- Extend your hands back to reach the ankle.
- Place your palms on the floor face turned down.
- Stay in this posture for about 30 seconds, breathing normally.
- Raise your body gradually straight up, as you inhale.
- Exhale and return to normal sitting position.
Caution:Expectant mothers should never practice Balasana.Persons with knee injury should avoid this pose.If you are suffering from diarrhea, do not perform this yoga pose.
Benefits:This asana provides relaxation of body and mind.The spinal column becomes stronger.Balasana can help you overcome fatigue.You can get relief from back and neck pain.Your entire back, hips, thighs and knees get a good stretch and thus get relaxed.
Half Lord of the Fishes Pose (Ardha Matsyendrasana)
This one is a bit tricky to master, but the stretch is well worth it. This is a seated twist that great for loosening up the upper back and hips.
- Sit in an erect position on the floor.
- Stretch out both legs in front of you.
- Bend the right leg and place the heel of the right foot in the perineum.
- Cross your left leg over your right knee and place it on the floor.
- The left foot should touch the floor.
- The heel of the left leg should be placed close to the right knee.
- Pass your right hand over the left calf and grasp the big toe of the left foot.
- The toe should be held with the thumb, index and middle finger.
- Slide your left hand behind the back and reach for the root of your right thigh.
- Turn your upper body towards the left.
- Get into the final position by turning your shoulder, neck and head towards the left. Align your chin with the left shoulder.Try looking farthest over your shoulder.Hold onto this position as long as you comfortably can.
- Slowly return to your starting posture.Repeat the same process with the opposite side.
Caution:Hold the position as long as you are comfortable. If you feel pain, return to starting posture slowly.
Benefits:The pose massages the entire spine and makes it supple.As each vertebra rotates in this pose, it increases the flexibility of the spinal column, particularly of the lumbar region.
Lying Abdominal Twist (Supta Udkarshansana)
- Lie flat on your back with legs stretched out.
- Spread out both hands on either side, keeping the palms down.Inhale.
- Fold the right leg at the knee.Lift the right leg and place your sole on the left thigh.Exhale.
- Press your right knee on the floor with the left hand. The right knee should be touching the floor.
- Turn your head towards the right and try to gaze at the right hand.Keep your head turned and knee pressed on the ground for a few seconds.Continue normal breathing.
- Release the knee and return to starting posture.
- Repeat three to five times.Relax completely.
- Repeat the above steps with the left leg.
Benefits:This yoga pose helps the waist and hip get into better shape.This pose relieves constipation by improving bowel movements.Supta Udkarshasana helps tone the legs.Regular practice of the asana can result in weight loss.The spinal column gets toned and strengthened.
These are just for starters; there are many more challenging poses to discover. You may be as big as a house and strong as an ox, but if you lack elasticity your training, and ultimately your quality of life, will be at risk.