Open the hamstrings on your back in reclining big toe pose. Have a strap handy if the hamstrings are tight. Reclining poses are beneficial because we can hold them longer, and we're taking gravity out of the mix so we can more easily control the depth of the stretch.
Ready to work it?
Here are some classes featuring Reclining Big Toe Pose.
Who doesn't want to slow down time? "The Clock" is a fluid floor practice that opens the whole body, especially the spine and shoulders. If you are tight in your shoulders or spine, this session slows down and supports the movement with props so that you can dial in the right amount of stability and mobility to feel fluid and free. It's a great practice when you want to take it slow or as a warmup for backbends. Over time, your spine will feel more supple and your core will feel more stable. Then check out the "Clock Your Abs" session for a more vigorous version. The more time you take to move, the more you slow down time!
Shoulder stand is a great pose to invoke deep relaxation - IF you have the flexibility to get into it AND the strength to sustain it for (at least) several minutes. When you do it using the support of a chair, you can stay longer with more ease. It's especially great for tight shoulders and tender necks because your body weight shifts out of the neck/shoulders and into the support of the chair. If this is new, make sure you preview getting in and getting out of the shoulder stand so you know how to move safely to take care of your neck! Over time, this practice will strengthen and open your shoulder girdle and give your more internal support for all inversions.
When you're not in the mood to do anything and you know moving will (almost always) make you feel better, get some props and roll around on your mat - or your bed?! This hip-opening session has your hips on a blanket for extra traction in your lower back. Rocking around on the blanket is a super sweet way to massage your lower back. Enjoy opening your whole body with minimal effort and maximum support! Make sure you have blocks/bolster/support to place your feet on to avoid over-stretching the front body and compressing the back body so you truly feel equanimous - open and at ease.
This class is beginner to intermediate. It covers all the basic parts of a class within a 40 minute time frame. It allows you to find a balanced, strength building class, as well as a relaxation, and stress reduction class within a short period of time.
Releasing the hips can relieve low-back tension from extended sitting, tight hips from hiking/biking/running/living, or simply relax the mind/body by shifting the nervous system out of the stress response. This practice includes a lot of rocking movements that also quiet the nervous system, giving the body and mind just enough sensation and activity to focus on a gentle rhythm. Whether you have had a hectic day and need a relaxing practice or you have chronically tight hips that are a friend for life that you need to attend to... this session will leave you feeling relaxed, rested and spacious.
Build yourself a new bridge for stronger hips and hamstrings. We start with a blanket under the hips to traction the low back. Add some leg extensions to open up the front body and prepare you for a bridge with your feet on a chair. This shift of ground will increase your awareness - as all new things do! - and builds more strength in hips and hamstrings than your boring old bridge. With practice, you will feel yourself rising higher and feeling stronger. This boost of strength will have you feeling more light and more stable in your basic bridge. And stronger hips and hamstrings will also translate into better balance and more fun in other poses!