Wednesday, September 8, 2010

yoga and knitting

It's yoga month!  This probably doesn't mean much to a lot of people.  I've been doing yoga pretty regularly for about a year now.  In celebration of my yoga-versy and yoga month I've put together a list of poses that I think are great for knitters or really anyone who spends lots of time sitting.  These are all pretty simple poses, if you do yoga you've probably seen them before.  For those of you don't do yoga, give some of these poses a try.  I think you'll be pleasantly surprised how much better they can make you feel.

Note:  Just to be clear I'm not a yoga instructor.  I've included links yo yogajournal.com to show how the poses should be done, but the best way to learn how to properly do a pose is to attend a class.  Also don't do anything to hurt yourself.  I'm certainly not as stretchy as the yoga journal models, and don't expect yourself to be, just do what feels comfortable for you.  Of course, enjoy!

Bound Angle/Cobbler's Pose- Feeling a little stiff in your hips and pelvis?  I love this pose because it helps stretch out these areas after a long day of sitting.  One of my favorite things to do is lay down while in this pose to let my hips gently relax.

Standing Forward Bend- I love how this pose stretches the back.  It's also very refreshing since it helps send fresh rush of blood to your head.  I do this pose all the time, whenever I feel I could use a little refreshment.

Modified Half Moon- This is great for stretching your side and arms, but I could only find the description for a more difficult version.  Here's what I recommend you do: Stand or sit up straight.  Raise your hands above your head and gently clasp your right wrist with your left hand.  Lean your upper body to the left.  You should feel a stretch in your right side.  Hold for a few breathes.  Straighten you upper body, and then repeat for the other side.

Cat to Cow Stretch- Inhale into cow pose and exhale into cat pose.  The combination of these two poses gently flexes your spine and opens your chest.

If you'd like to learn more yoga poses and get some suggested routines I'd suggest you look at Essential Yoga.  It's a great book with very clear descriptions of poses and the benefits of each.  If you're interested in DVDs check out Yoga for Beginners for some great intro level routines.  Barbarba Benagh gives clear descriptions of each pose and how to move into it, which is great for anyone starting out.  Shiva Rea's Flow Yoga for Beginners is also good for anyone who knows some basics but is still looking for beginner level stuff.

Enjoy!

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