My Hero


So yes, my quads ended up quite sore after Saturday's many ski runs in lots of fluffy snow. A very good time to practice my favorite après-ski yoga pose, virasana, aka "hero pose". It stretches out the front of the thighs and all around the knees, and just feels like the right thing to do in order to just give them all a break. Here's a little how-to:

Virasana
Stand on your knees, and reach back and hook your thumbs on the inside of your calf muscles. Move them out to the side by gently rotating your hands; the idea here is to get them out of the way so you can sit back in between your feet. Don't let the feet splay out; work to keep all five toenails on the floor, with the toes pointing straight back. Once you gently lower your seat down, lift the crown of your head up to keep lengthening the spine and keep you from collapsing weight into your seat and knees. If you are really comfortable here, you can slowly and carefully lower onto your elbows behind you; next step is to take the crown of the head to the floor; full pose is to lay back and take opposite elbows above your head on the floor.

If you cannot lower your seat all the way down, place a yoga block or a rolled-up blanket under you to bridge the gap. As your quads and knees become more open, you can gradually reduce the support. 

Hold either option for 3-5 minutes to really maximize the lengthening of your muscles. Questions? let me know. Namaste.

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