By guest blogger Holly Walck, devoted Iyengar yoga student and teacher
The warm weather has finally arrived, and the walkers, runners, hikers, bikers, golfers, surfers, car washers, and gardeners are out in droves! During this--dare I say "magical" (think fireflies lighting up your backyard)--time of year, when the days are longer and the nights shorter, our physical activity levels peak.
One of the side effects of a "bad" winter (much like the one we just had on the East Coast) is that we don't move around much because we're stuck indoors. That lack of activity causes our bodies to become weak and tight. Well, Old Man Winter may have done us wrong this year, but it's time to cast off the extra pounds (and foul moods) he left as his legacy by getting in some good old-fashioned "fun-in-the-sun" playtime.
To counteract the additional hours logged on the couch, try this yoga sequence designed to loosen up those tight areas (legs, buttocks, hips, and back) and strengthen the weak ones (abdominals and spinal muscles).
It's also a great way to cool down after a long hike or bike ride, or after many hours spent crouched down planting vegetables.
And the good news is that when you practice yoga, you always come out a winner, karmically speaking, of course.
Yoga for the Hips and Low Back
- Lying-down Big Toe Pose, 3 stages (Supta Padangusthasana I, II, and III)
- Cow-face Pose, Legs Only (Gomukhasana)
- Seated Angle Pose (Upavistha Konasana)
- Bound Angle Pose (Baddha Konasana)
- Perfect Being Pose (Siddhasana from Upavistha Konasana)
- Relaxation Pose (Savasana)
For more from Maria Rodale, visit www.mariasfarmcountrykitchen.com