Now let me just throw it out there that we don't condone violence, but there are times when a good 1-2 just feels so damn'ed good. One of those times is when you're knocking someone out in the name of charity. Our gal pal Ashley B- yoga teacher extraordinare is swapping her Garudasana for Gloves this summer as a part of the Aprons for Gloves Restaurant Rumble fundraiser for Eastside Boxing- a boxing gym for inner city youth. On the blog today, she demos some great post-punch yoga poses to help complement her strict training regime.
1. SCORPION STRETCH (NOT TO BE CONFUSED WITH SCORPION FOREARM STAND/ HANDSTAND)
WHAT TO DO: Lying on your belly, extend your right arm out to the side- palms facing down. Start to roll on to your right side by pushing yourself up with your left hand by your chest. If it feels okay, take your left foot to the outside of your right leg. Rest on your right cheek/ right temple. 8 breaths or so and switch sides
WHY SHOULD I DO THIS: Open up those pecs that are probably feeling pretty tight after a few rounds.
2. REVERSE WARRIOR WITH COW FACE ARMS
WHAT TO DO: Take your feet into warrior 2 stance (front foot points to the front of the mat, back foot parallel to short edge/ back of mat). Take your front arm up and over while reaching your back arm around behind you and up- grasping for fingertips. All good if you don't fully reach, just tug on your shirt (pictured). Focus on taking your elbows away from your face, sliding shoulder blades back and down and drawing the tops of the shoulders away from the ears. Start to lean back, lifting your front elbow up towards the ceiling. Feet are firmly rooted. To avoid a huge arch in the lower back (aka a no-no), engage your abdominals to contain your ribcage/ draw the front ribs in. 8 breaths or so before switching sides.
WHY SHOULD I DO THIS: Odd names aside, this is THE pose to do if you want the feeling of brand new shoulders.
3. WIDE LEGGED FORWARD FOLD, INTERLACED FINGERS
WHAT TO DO: From warrior 2, turn your front foot so that it is parallel to your back foot. Alternatively take a wider than hip-width stance. Soften knees and hinge forwards, sending tailbone to the sky. Interlace fingers behind your back, working on glueing the heels of the hands together. Release through the back of the neck & let the top of your head drop to the ground. 8 breaths or so.
WHY SHOULD I DO THIS: Hamstrings, more chest opening/ stretching through the front of the shoulders.
4. SIDE LUNGE
WHAT TO DO: From Wide Legged Forward Fold, turn your back foot out to 45 degrees and start to bend into the back knee as you flip your front foot so that your toes point towards the ceiling. Go down as low as you can (Ash is rocking it and super bendy here), working on dropping your front inner thigh to the ground.
WHY SHOULD I DO THIS: To stretch out the muscles you never knew you had- including your groin.
5. HALF SPLIT- LITTLE BONUS SOMETHIN' SOMETHIN' FOR THE CALVES
WHAT TO DO: From downward dog, step one foot between your hands, lower your back knee. Start to slide your hips back halfway (until hips stack overtop of back knee) and extend your front leg. Flex your front foot. Focus on sliding your extended leg hip back, and other hip forwards, dropping belly to thigh, and maintaining a flat spine.
If you want the extra somethin' something' for the calves, bend your front leg enough to take hold of your toes with your opposite hand. Start to draw your toes towards your shin as you press your heel away, working to straighten the front leg. Take 8 or so breaths before switching sides.
WHY SHOULD I DO THIS: Your calves are probably sore from staying light on your feet/ bouncing around- give them this for some TLC.
6. OPEN TWIST
WHAT TO DO: From seated, extend your legs out ahead of you. Take your right foot to the outside of your left knee, making sure both sitbones are firmly rooted. Twist towards your left, using your left hand behind you as a brace. Keep chest proud and spine long. 8 breaths or so before switching sides.
WHY SHOULD I DO THIS: To counteract the twisting & stretch out all the core muscles that are used when you punch.
7. COBBLERS POSE
WHAT TO DO: From seated, take the soles of the feet together, knees apart. Place your hands on the bottoms of your feet and focus on prying the feet away (like you're opening a book). Don't worry too much about pulling the feet in closer or pushing your knees down- it'll happen in due time. Option to fold forwards over feet or stay upright. 8-10 breaths.
WHY SHOULD I DO THIS: A mellow hip opener is always a great way to end things off. Fun fact- this pose is alternatively called Butterfly pose. Now go sting like a bee, you butterfly.
Note: Ashley B along with two other friends of Social Yoga are hosting a stellar fundraising event at Fortune Nightclub this Friday. Check out details here: https://www.facebook.com/events/630195330457912/