Quick exercises and tips for releasing tension, working with chronic pain and injuries, building strength & flexibility and creating ease in your body.
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Forrest Yoga Basic Moves
7 simples moves to get the most out of your yoga practice. The basic moves are hallmarks of Forrest Yoga and are used throughout the practice in every pose. They can be incorporated into any yoga class to ease tension, especially in the neck and shoulders, decompress the spine, improve lung capacity and focus and deepen your practice.
7 Forrest Yoga Basic Moves:
1. Relax the Neck
2. Wrap the Shoulders
3. Ujjayi Breath
4. Telescoping the Ribs
5. Expanding the Ribs
6. Tuck/Lengthen the Tailbone
7. Active Hands & Feet
Rolling Out Feet with Franklin Balls for Improved Balance & Pain Relief
Quick techniques for relieving pain and stiffness in the feet, ankles and knee using Franklin balls. By taking a couple of minutes to lubricate the joints and wake up and strengthen the muscles supporting the foot and ankle, you'll feel more grounded, more balanced and better able to perform the activites of your day, whether it be hiking, yoga, dance, sports or simply walking. These techniques are great for anyone working with poor balance, pain or tightness in the feet (such as plantar fasciitis), knees or hips or weak ankles.
If balance is a challenge, do these exercises near a wall or surface that you can hold on to if needed.
Five exercises are shown in this video. Four are done with one ball. The last exercise uses both to practice balancing on an uneven surface.
Forrest Yoga Wrist Stretches
Forrest Yoga wrist stretches to decompress the bones of the fingers, hands and wrists. These are a great warm up before yoga or other weight bearing activities or to ease stiffness and pain anytime.
There are 3 stages to Forrest Yoga wrist stretches. They can be done as a series as shown in the video or you can do any one of them on their own throughout the day.
Stage 1: This can be done standing, sitting (as shown) or even lying down, reaching your hand palm up towards the ceiling and pointing the fingers toward your toes.
Reach one arm out in front, slide shoulder down your back and spread your fingers apart. Wrap all 4 fingers of the opposite hand around one finger at a time, starting with the pinky and gently draw the finger and hand back, getting a stretch through the finger, palm and wrist. Repeat on both sides.
Stage 2: From a seated position, places hands in front of legs with fingers spread and pointing back towards you, palms facing the floor. Keep the chest lifted and shoulders down your back with a slight bend in the elbows. Stretch the wrist forward and down, feeling the stretch through your fingers, palm, wrist and forearm.
Stage 3: This can be done in either a standing or sitting (as shown) position. Arms lift up to shoulder height or slightly lower straight out from sides. Flex your hands (as if you were pushing two walls away from you) and spread your fingers. Roll fingers down to palm, one at a time. Wrap thumb around fingers into a fist and roll the fist down to the floor to stretch the back of the wrist.
For the second variation, reach your arms and hands out but with palms facing forward. Roll the thumb down into your palm first, wrap the fingers around and then roll pinky side of the hand down to the floor, feeling the stretch through the thumb and side of the wrist. This variation is especially good for any pain or stiffness caused by cell phone use or too much driving or computer time.
Psoas Release with a Foam Roller
This gentle release for the Poses and hip flexors is great when you don't have the time or energy for a more active practice to open up the front of the hips and the low back.
You don't need to be warmed up for it and all you need is a foam roller. The more firm and dense the roller is, the stronger the stretch (as well as the pressure on your back, so if the back is very sensitive, a softer roll can be nice).
This move is great on it's own but it's also nice to do before any ab work as it will soften the hip flexors, allowing the low abdominals to work more effectively. For my favorite ab exercise (which is also the most effective exercise I've found for strengthening all of the abdominal muscles and protecting he back), see my Elbow to Knee video: https://youtu.be/7y78sODWsiM