Namaste! How did it get to be September already?? I hope your week is going well!
This week in my classes, I am focussing on the quadriceps. The quadriceps are made up of four muscles. These four muscles are extensor muscles that help extend the knee. The quadriceps help us to walk, run & jump so it goes without saying, we need to take care of them! In my personal practice, I know I am working the quadriceps often as I almost always incorporate lunges into my practice, but it is not often I remember to do poses that help stretch these muscles.
If you have not taken my classes, one of the things I strive to provide for my students is accessibility. I encourage the use of props, to make modifications if necessary, and of course to listen to your body! Modifications do not mean you are cheating! Modifications mean you are customizing the practice to make it work for you in order to help the practice feel good in your body and also to avoid injuries! Safety first!!!
So this week I am sharing with you just two poses… Reclined Hero Pose and Revolved Low Lunge and ways to modify the pose if necessary. These poses are two I really enjoy. There are many ways these poses can be modified so if the modifications shown here don’t work for you don’t give up! You can also put a message in the comments and I will get back to you. I’m sure you can find a way to make the poses work for you!!
Benefits: helps to stretch the knees, thighs, and increase mobility in the ankles. It can also help to strengthen the arches in the feet. It is also a great pose to help support digestion.
When in this pose, you will want to try to keep the arch in your low back. Another thing to keep in mind, you will want your knees to stay touching the mat if possible. If your knees lift, consider not coming down as far or using the blocks underneath your arms as shown in the modification for this pose.
I’m showing this pose here with one leg straight. In order to level your hips you might put a blanket under the straight leg. I also am showing the pose with blocks under the elbows. If even that modification is too much you can stay on your hands and lean back.
Benefits: In addition to stretching the quadriceps this pose also helps to strengthen the spine and stimulate the abdominal organs. This pose starts off in a low lunge, you will then twist towards the bent knee. Once you have made your way into a twist then end the back knee and reach for your back foot.
To help you get into this pose, you might place a block under your hand to bring you up a bit higher. This will help you twist a little more and help you to reach your back foot. Also, a strap around your foot will help you to get the benefit of stretching the quadricep if you are unable to reach your foot without it. Also, if your knees are sensitive, place a blanket under your knee for added support.
Enjoy the rest of your week!