3 Basic Yoga Stretches to Try this Weekend

We have all heard about the benefits of yoga. Not only is it a great way to stretch, but it can provide a wonderful space to slow down and incorporate mindfulness practices into your daily life.

But if you have ever found yourself wanting to try yoga but thinking, “I can’t do yoga, I am not flexible at all!” or “I can’t even touch my toes!”, where is a good place to begin?

To help you get started, Yoga Instructor & Health Coach Mandee Metzger of Be Simple Be Healthy LLC is here to share a few of her favorite basic, fundamental yoga poses for stretching.


3 Basic Yoga Stretches to Try this Weekend

A NOTE BEFORE GETTING STARTED: As you practice the following poses, remember to be in tune with the body, use wise effort in poses (don’t under-exert, but don’t force your way into the poses), and know the difference between excruciating pain and some discomfort coming from releasing stiffness and tension in those areas that need to be stretched. And, as always, feel free to modify as needed.

#1) SUPTA BADDHA KONASANA or RECLINED BOUND ANGLE

I absolutely LOVE this pose. You get a good stretch in the groin, thighs and knees. It’s a hip opener so it helps to relieve tension in those hips {lots of times our hips will consistently be tight because of the things we do during the day – the way we sit, the way we stand, the way we sleep}. This pose is also RESTORATIVE, making it a great way to relax and unwind.

HERE IS HOW YOU DO IT: Feet together. Knees wide. Lay on your back. Arms out to your sides, palms up. Close your eyes.

TIP #1: Bring the arms into “Goal Post Arms” – elbows/forearms at 90 degree angles, elbows in line with shoulders – for a nice opening across the chest and shoulders.

TIP #2: Place a bolster (or a pillow) underneath and along the spine to get a nice stretch along the back and bring a greater opening across the chest and shoulders.

#2) JANU SIRSASANA or HEAD-TO-KNEE FORWARD BEND

Tight hamstrings and having two legs straight in a Forward Fold too much for you? Try this one. You will get a stretch in the hamstrings, spine, groin and shoulders one leg at a time.

HERE IS HOW YOU DO IT: Sit comfortably, place the right leg straight out in front of you. The left knee bends as you place the left sole of the foot on the inside of the right thigh. Inhale the arms up, Exhale and fold as you reach for the right toes. Grab on to what you can – calf, ankle, foot. Release, and then switch sides.

TIP: Keep a micro-bend in the knee of the straightened leg for safety.

#3) BALASANA or CHILD’S POSE

This one can be a restful, pleasant pose, and a great way to get grounded again and come back to your breath and intention for your practice. You’ll get the stretch in the groin, hips, thighs, ankles, and, if you are active in the arms (lifting the arms and elbows up off of the mat), you can feel a nice stretch in the upper back and arms too.

HERE IS HOW YOU DO IT: Bring knees wide on the mat, big toes touch behind you. Gently sit back on your heels. Walk the hands out in front of you on the mat, and then rest the forehead on the mat. Close your eyes.

TIP: Try another variation – Bring knees together, sit back on heels, forehead to the mat, and bring arms down along your sides around the body. Relax the shoulders and arms.

TIP: Focus on the breath in each of these poses. Release tension with every exhale, and try to gently ease deeper into the pose as you release the breath.

Happy Stretching!

Mandee Metzger


xx jen

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