After you have rested for a few breaths in Balasana/Child’s Pose walk your self up to a standing position anywhere on your mat. I add this next pose in to every yoga, Pilates and spin class I teach! It’s a Uttanasana (Standing Forward Fold/Bend) variation known as “ragdoll”. This is such a great pose to release the back, stretch the backs of the legs, and you can do it anywhere in your sequence, or anywhere you feel you need to just take a minute to let go (such as post race).
Pose #5 Uttanasana/Ragdoll/Standing Forward Fold
- stretches hamstrings, calves and hips
- releases tension in the spine, back and neck
- relieves headaches
- stimulates and improves digestion
- eases fatigue
- From standing take a deep breath in.
- As you exhale hinge forward from the hips and fold forward touching the floor in front of your toes.
- Now grab opposite hand to opposite elbow; making a box/window with your arms.
- Let the weight of the upper body and your hands pull the upper body down.
- Let the head hang heavy from the spine, releasing the neck fully.
- Check that you are evenly distributing your weight in your feet, you may need to roll forward slightly bringing some of the weight into the balls of your feet. Most people have a tendency to rock back bringing all of the weight in to their heels.
- Let your hips rest right over your ankles. If you are super tight in the hamstrings bring a little bend into the knee and allow your upper body to rest on your thighs.
- With each inhale try to lengthen the spine and with each exhale allow yourself to become heavier and fold forward deeper.
- Work on straightening the legs to get deeper into the stretch in the back of the leg.
- Stay here for about 5-10 breaths, then place your hands on your hips and slowly roll up, stacking one vertebrae at a time, and bringing your head up last.