Side Stretch Your Way To Physical Wellbeing
I only recently realised how often I’ve been side stretching and how good it is for your body both externally and internally.
Side stretches are performed by athletes taking part in all different kinds of sports and anyone with an interest in fitness has probably spent some time side stretching without even realising it!
Yoga involves a lot of side stretches too
My own Yoga practice isn’t as regular or advanced as I would like, but I enjoy it and I feel like it helps me maintain some flexibility.
Usually I follow the course inside the Iyenga Yoga book -Light on Yoga but sometimes I just practice any asanas I feel like
Trikonasana, also known as the extended triangle, is a simple pose that stretches the side of your body but also benefits your whole body.
If performed correctly following the instructions in the Light on Yoga book, you will end up in a position which looks like the following image
This simple and beautiful looking pose allows you to keep a strong foundation with the legs, that tones them and helps to build up strength by holding pressure on the legs for a short time.
Your back is extended sideways which opens up your shoulders and allows you to feel a nice stretch along the side of your back. At first, it can feel as though you are pulling and extending the hip quite a lot but this movement feels nice and when you hold this posture with your arms creating a nice vertical line upwards, you feel the side of your body stretch and it feels good.
BKS Iyegana in his book light on yoga, suggests that if you practice Trikonasana correctly it can help to adjust and encourage your shoulders to align correctly, increase spine flexibility and internally it will help improve the digestive system, tone pelvic muscles and also reduce stiffness in your knees, ankles legs and neck.
But most importantly, the asana should help to stretch out your back and counteract any of the negative effects and tension caused by sitting down a lot, as we often have to do at work or on the sofa, when our body becomes hunched up and in need of a good side stretch!
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