PEDESTRIAN.TV have found a brand-spanking new workout buddy in Blackmores. This Sunday a bunch of PTV’s are gonna give the Official Blackmores Sydney Running Festival a red hot go. We’ve also getting around Blackmores Superfood Range and upping our yoga practice with the help of expert yogis like Kate Kendall. She’s decked out in current season Stylerunner, too.
There are quite a few misconceptions when it comes to yoga.
“Yoga is only for chicks, or Russell Brand.”
“Unless you’re as bendy as a dead goose’s neck, you’ve got no hope getting into the poses.”
While there is some truth in the second statement (Kasyapasana, anyone?), yoga really is for everyone. The benefits that come with the age-old practice are seemingly endless. When done regularly and properly, yoga can improve your flexibility, build muscle, perfect your posture, drops your blood pressure and can soothe a racing mind.
One person who can preach the benefits first hand is Co-Founder and Director of Yoga at Flow Athletic and Blackmores Yoga and Wellbeing Coach, Kate Kendall.
Kendall has given P.TV a sneaky peek into the five easiest poses to get into straight after a big cardio sesh – and how to nail them.
1. DOWNWARD FACING DOG
KK wears Nimble Activewear Stella Mesh Crop Top, First Base Washed Out Tank & Nimble Activewear Lauren 7/8 Tights.
We kick it all off with the OG and one of the best – the downward facing dog.
“It decompresses the spine which is beneficial after any high impact activity,” says Kendall. “It lengthens the hamstrings, opens the shoulders and chest and because it’s technically an inversion it’s great for circulation, digestion and overall a state of mental calm.”
As easy as this foundational pose looks, it can take years of conscious practice to perfect form and get the soles of your feet touching the ground.
2. LIZARD LUNGE
Kendall reckons this one’s great for “opening the hips and hamstrings,” and she’s not wrong.
The lizard lunge is the kind of pose you can really get into. Unlike some of the other poses, you will definitely feel this working your bottom half. It’s particularly important for runners or bike riders whose thighs are on the tighter end of the spectrum.
Hot tip – do this one on a soft surface, like a yoga mat or carpet. That knee touching the ground will thank you for it.
3. QUAD LIZARD
This one’s aptly named, ’cause if you do it frequently enough you’ll be well on your way to becoming a full-blown Quadzilla.
It’s the advanced cousin of the Lizard Lunge, and it provides an even deeper stretch.
“Again great for opening the hips and hamstrings as well as those stubborn quadriceps which are some of the main muscles in the body,” says Kendall. “When we neglect their health, we can often feel fatigued and over worked.”
As beneficial as this pose is, if you’re a noobie you shouldn’t launch right into it – you’ve gotta work up to it.
“Less is more. I always say, if you’re feeling a stretch, it’s working. If we force, hustle, bounce and push and pull our way into a posture we end up doing more damage than good; creating more tension than ease,” explains Kendall.
“A great rule of thumb is to use deep, conscious inhalations to lengthen the spine and long exhalations to release tension and ‘melt’ into the posture. And remember, backing out is sometimes going ‘deeper’.”
4. PIGEON POSE
Keeping in the theme of working the legs, the pigeon pose is a great one for getting deep into the glutes. “It’s also a great posture just to focus on the breath and acknowledge the contribution you’ve just made to your health through a work out,” says Kendall.
5. RECLINED ITB
“An incredible twist which focuses on lengthening both the hamstrings and the ITB [iliotibial band] which runs from down the side of the leg and commonly gets tight and sticky from loads of running and cycling.”
How to get into this pose comfortably? Start by laying on your back. Bring your right knee to your chest, keeping your spine in neutral position (don’t tense up!). Take your right foot in your left hand and slowly guide it over to the other side of your body. Bring your right arm out, 90 degrees away from your body. And breathe. Breathing is important.
“My trick is to imagine that there is a thread of breath moving in through the tips of the nostrils, moving across the back of the throat and then making it’s way down into the areas of the body that ‘call out’ to you or in which you feel the most sensation and biggest stretch,” says Kendall.
Kendall might make yoga look like a sinch, but her ability to master her poses and practice everyday is aided by a nutritient-rich, balanced diet.
“I add in Blackmores Matcha Green Tea + Nature Boost Vitamin Bs to my smoothies for focus and vitality which is perfect for either pre or post workout.”
how u feel after a boonta stretch sesh
Photo(s): Dave McKelvey.