This week during chair and floor yoga classes, I will challenge participants to
1. use their quadriceps with yoga postures during the upcoming weeks
2. notice when they use the quadriceps muscles during daily activities
and report back either in class, on Facebook or on this blog.
What are "quadriceps" ?
Quadriceps or "quads" are a group of muscles on the front of your thigh. Quadriceps help us walk, run, squat, and kick. The quadriceps work to extend your knee which means when your knee is bent the quadriceps straighten your leg. Try sitting in a chair with legs bent, feet on the floor. Now extend (straighten) your leg and then flex (bend) your knee a few times. See if you can feel your muscles on the top of your thighs contracting.
What are some yoga postures that use our quadriceps?
We have practiced "goddess pose" during class and is a great quadriceps stretch.
More standing poses: Dancer Pose, Warrior I and Warrior II, Chair Pose
Sitting Poses: Knee Lift and extend, Knee lift and swing to side
What other poses can you think of?
What have you done this week? During what activities did you use your quads?
(Hint: Did you vacuum? Did you work in the garden? Did you pick stuff or cat up off the floor? Did you walk/jump/run?)
Please let me know how the Quad Challenge went for you.
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Note: Click on the green highlighted poses above for a description.
Before Thursday night yoga at Gleason YMCA, one of the participants approached me and shared a little of his story. "John" said he hurt his ankle a few years ago leaving it weak. John said he became inactive because of his ankle. John pointed to his ankle and said yoga practice had improved his ankle! I was so glad to hear that. During yoga practice we do stretches specifically geared toward ankles, but also many yoga poses involve the ankle. For example, when we do Child Pose we extend our ankles out against our mats giving our ankles a good stretch. Downward Facing Dog asks us to balance on the balls of our feet which helps strengthen our feet and ankles. Thank you John for sharing your story!
A student shared a story about her use of "the cooling breath." Apparently, Sonia works out in the gym using the exercise machines. She has noticed that the breathing done during the workout irritates her throat. So, Sonia tried using the coolness breath. As she breaths in, she purses her lips and exhales through her nose! No irritated throat with this method. Great job Sonia!
During yoga classes a few weeks ago we practiced the "Cooling Breath." (Sitali or Sitkari Pranayama) Today a student shared a story of how he used the Cooling Breath outside of class.
Bob likes to walk the canal, usually around a mile each time. The other day, Bob found himself walking on a humid day. When Bob had walked halfway, he found himself feeling weary. Bob sat on a bench and practiced the Cooling Breath. Bob says the breathing helped him feel better and was able to complete his walk.
I love hearing all of your stories of yoga in your life!
From time to time I like to share stories from your fellow students for yoga and their experiences with yoga.
Today, Janet shared that she had a dental appointment recently during which she found herself using Jana mudra. It was a relaxing dental appointment!!
Tim shared that as he waited to compete during the recent Special Olympics, he practiced the breathing we do in Chair Yoga. The breathing helped keep away his usual nervousness and prepare him for 2 gold metals!
I enjoy yoga as it brings peace to my life. Teaching yoga has brought joy to my life and given me a chance to encourage others in learning yoga.