Stretching...Right Way / Wrong Way

Stretching your body is just a natural thing to do. Even dogs and cats delight in lengthening their torsos. However, it's the quality of the stretch that is the essence. Incorrect stretching not only deprives one of the benefits, but it can actually be very hazardous.

In yoga, we hold our stretches for a nice length of time. If you hold, you can't be forcing. You'll eventually have to back down to a level of tolerable discomfort. If you force a stretch, you are contraindicating because your muscles will contract in a self defense mechanism, so you're really wasting your time. Forcing a stretch should be against the law!!

The plow is one of my favorite poses, offering such benefits as stretching the hamstrings, lengthening the muscles in the back, rejuvenating the torso and bringing a rich supply of blood to the brain. It is an overall wonderfully rejuvenating stretch. However, it is extremely controversial because it is done incorrectly far too often. The plow is an inverted pose, with the weight bearing on the shoulders and the toes approaching the floor behind the head. For a beginner to stretch properly, the weight must be maintained on the upper back, the shoulder blades, and NOT on the cervical vertebrae (neck bones). This will create a major stretch at the back of the thighs, stretching deeply through the hamstrings. The weight must stay on the shoulders and not on the neck! Do not do inverted poses if there is a history of high blood pressure, detached retina, weak eye or skin capillaries, heavy menstrual flow, or if pregnant.

   
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Yoga is very scientific exersise and Priscilla is an excellent teacher - the class 


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