This is more just a series of poses/stretches that you can use to relieve tension in your lower back and hips, not as much of a full-on Flow.
There were plenty of outtakes for this little photoshoot:
Screaming in A’s face while he tries to take my picture…
Why does this hair always look like it needs to be brushed? It’s the law of Erin. And again with the yelling!
But enough with that child’s play, right?! 🙂 The pics here are just kind of… ehh. So when I do the MindBodyGreen version, there will be some better illustrations. In the meantime, let’s do this! Keep in the mind that for each stretch you’ll want to try to hold for about a minute. Here we go!
Pigeon. Keep in mind you’ll want to repeat on both sides, but start in Down Dog and…
– Bring your right knee through to meet your hands. So your front knee is slightly bent and the foot is flexed.
– Ideally your hips are square, facing in front of you.
Bound Angle. Well, this one ended up being a semi-outtake, but the focus here is my legs!
– Soles of feet together, knees dropping towards the floor, and pelvis tilting forward. You should feel a deep stretch through the hip flexors and hamstrings. If you’re extra tight, you’ll even feel a gentle pull down the lower back into the glutes.
– Be sure to sit up tall so the shoulders stack over the hips.Half Happy Baby. Usually this is NOT a good thing, but in for our purposes, it’s glorious! 😉– Reach for the sole of one foot and bend the knee so it comes up right beneath your armpit, and it should settle right next to the ribs. The opposite leg does NOT have to be straight – you can keep the knee bent with the foot on the floor to take off some of the intensity.
Cat. Normally you’d do this as a cat/cow sequence and you absolutely still can. But, since the “cow” version flexes the back muscles and the “cat” part stretches, I figured to only show you this one.
– Line hips over knees and shoulders over wrists
– Squeeze naval to spine and press palms firmly to the ground
– Round out upper back to you arch like a sassy kitty 😉 (Yes, I just said that!)
*This one also takes the strain out of the lumbar spine by drawing the tailbone down longer, so you’ll feel a great release there, too
Forward Fold. Simple enough, but really puts space between the vertebrae to strrrretch ’em out and lengthen all the muscles of the trunk.
– Bend the knees enough so you can rest the chest on the thighs
– Let the arms hang heavy but keep drawing the shoulders away from the ears (this is important because it keeps the neck long, so the spine runs straight and lax from the tail to the base of the neck. Otherwise you’ll end up letting the shoulders slump forward which compresses the neck.)