Yoga Poses to Recover After Any Summer Adventure
Après ________ yoga. Fill in the blank with your favorite summer activity and enjoy these poses to help wind down after a long summer’s day and give your muscles and mind some solid R & R!
Hiking, biking, climbing, paddling – all these are full-body workouts. Sometimes we may feel one particular muscle group took the brunt of the work and want to focus only on that group afterward, but it’s important we tune into the rest of the body and take notice from head to toe, and give everything a little bit of love and attention, you can always circle back and give the extra love where you need it. Below are a few poses that help open and ease tension in the parts of our bodies that can tend to need it most, whether we just got done with the most epic multi-sport day, or spent all day at the office in order to be able to get after it the following day.
Let’s Start By Getting Geared Up
TMS carries lots of yoga apparel and mats, as well as great recovery tools, to help you get back after it sooner. There is no such thing as days off when you live in Truckee-Tahoe!
We have rollers, recovery drinks, The Recoup Cryosphere, the R8 Roll Recovery, Kinesiology tape, braces, ice packs, massage balls, you name it! We take recovery very seriously! Pair these recovery tools with the yoga poses below and say goodbye to soreness and after adventure pain.
Time To Zen It Out
Puppy Pose – Uttana Shishosana
Start on all fours, hips over knees, shoulders over wrists then slowly start to walk your hands out in front of you dropping your chest towards the ground. Keep your hips over your knees and hands shoulder-width apart. Let the forehead gently drop towards the ground so the head and neck begin to relax. If you can’t get your chest all the way to the ground let the forehead rest on the ground and keep the chest lifted. Hold for 30 seconds to 1 minute. This is an excellent stretch for the spine and shoulders. This pose is considered an inversion so remember to come out slowly by gently walking the hands back underneath the shoulders and lifting the head.
Hero – Virasana
Coming from puppy pose, bring the knees together, bring the feet wider than the hips, and begin to sit the hips down between the feet. This can be very intense on the knees, so if you have any knee problems place a block or bolster under your seat to keep less pressure on the knee joint. Once you are seated between the feet, sit up tall, lifting the chest, lengthen through the collar bone, and relax the shoulders away from the ears. Hold for 30 seconds to 1 minute. When you are ready to come out press into the floor lifting your seat off of the ground, cross your ankles, and sit back onto the ground with the feet now out in front of you, then extend the legs long and give them a little wiggle if it feels good. This is a great stretch for the thighs, knees, and ankles. But avoid if you have major ankle and knee joint issues.
Revolved Head to Knee Pose – Parivrtta Janu Sirsasana
With your legs out stretched in front of you, sit up tall, feel the sit bones root into the ground as you press your heels away from you, toes towards the sky. Keeping your left leg extended begin to bend the right knee bringing your right heel into your inner left thigh, close to the groin. Sitting tall, twist your torso to the right. Begin to lean forward enough to place your left elbow into your left knee. Keeping your left toes flexed reach the right arm to the sky, and begin to reach your right fingers towards your left toes. This is a great stretch for the hamstrings, shoulders, low back, and side body. Hold 30 sec to 1 min then slowly come out and switch sides.
Extended Triangle – Utthita Trikonasana
Come to standing on your mat with your feet together. Turn to face the long side of your mat and step your feet apart about 3-4 feet. Start with your toes parallel to each other, then turn your right toes out 90 degrees, making sure your heels remain in line with each other. Bring your arms up parallel to the floor, at shoulder height, and extend them long, reaching your fingers in opposite directions. Start to hinge the hips to the left, as the torso extends down over the right leg. Rotate your torso to the left, opening the chest as your right-hand reaches towards your shin, a block, or the ground, and your left-hand reaches towards the sky, staying in line with your shoulder. Keep your gaze where the neck is in a neutral, comfortable, position. Hold for 30 seconds to 1 min and actively press into your back leg, reach your top hand to the sky, and brace the core as you hinge back up and switch positions of your feet and repeat on the other side. This is a great stretch for the calves, hamstrings, hips, groin, shoulders, chest, and spine.
Eagle – Garudasana
This is truly a balance pose, so if you are feeling a little wobbly keep both feet on the ground and focus on the arm wrap here. From triangle bring both feet together at the top of the mat, facing forward. Bend the knees as if you are going to sit in a chair then start to bring the weight into your left leg, slowly lifting the right foot and knee over the top of the left thigh. (If you can wrap your right foot behind your calf do so.) Squeeze the thighs tightly together keeping your hips square and a deep bend in the left knee. Bring your arms up overhead, then reach them out in front of you crossing your right elbow under your left, and bring your palms together if possible. From here keep your knees and elbows in line with each other and squeeze everything toward the midline of your body, sitting deep into your left knee. Shoulders and hips remain square, shoulders relaxed away from the ears, lift through the chest, and breathe. Hold 30 sec and start to straighten through the left leg as you unwind the body. Reset the feet, and repeat on the other side. Eagle helps to open the shoulders, hips, and IT band, as well as help circulation through all joints with its tight bind.
Bow – Dhanurasana
Lie on your belly with your hands down by your sides, palms up. Bend your knees bringing your heels as close to the glutes as possible. Reach back for your ankles grabbing them by the outside, (grip: thumbs down, pinkies up, palms against ankles). Keep your knee’s hips-width distance apart, inhale and lift heels away from the glutes pressing them into the hands. Lift through the thighs and chest, pressing the pubic bone into the ground and keeping your back relaxed, and shoulders away from the ears, gaze forward. Keep breathing and hold up to 30 seconds then slowly lower down and release the feet, lying all the way down with one ear to the. Rotate your thighs inward to lengthen through the low back, and reach your tailbone toward your heels, and your toes reach long behind you. Bring your elbows under your shoulders, palms flat on the ground, and lift your chest and head away from the ground coming into a light backbend, continue breathing normally. Hold for 30 seconds then slowly lower to the ground bringing one ear to the ground and relaxing. Both of these poses are a great stretch for the entire anterior chain.
Bridge – Setu Bandha Sarvangasana
If you are ready to completely start to melt into a pose, grab some props, blocks, a bolster, pillows, or blankets for support. Lie down on your back, bending the knees so the feet are flat on the mat, heels under the knees, feet parallel to each other, and hands down by the side, palms down. Press the feet and arms into the floor, lifting the hips and butt away from the floor, keeping your knees over the heels and thighs and feet parallel to each other. (If you want the supported version, start in the same position and lift your hips as you place your prop underneath your sacrum, then relax back down onto your pro, and stay here as long as you like). With your hips lifted, begin to reach the arms underneath you and clasp your hands together, extending the hands towards the feet to stay lifted on top of your shoulders. Make sure your neck is neutral and there is no weight on your top vertebrae. Hold 30 seconds to 1 minute, slowly release the hands and lower the hips and spine. This pose helps stretch the spine, chest, and neck and strengthens the posterior chain.
Reclined Bound Angle Pose – Supta Baddha Konasana
Grab all the props you want to finish this session off! Our final resting pose will be here. From bridge pose extend the legs long and give them a little wiggle to help release any tension in the low back. Then bend the knees out to the sides bringing the soles of the feet together. The heels can be as close to the groin as feels comfortable. If you like, place support (blocks, pillows) underneath the knees, and a bolster under the spine. Let your arms layout to the sides with the palms up allowing for an open chest and heart. Close the eyes and relax as long as you are comfortable! When you are ready to come out, use your hands to gently lift the knees together and let them windshield wiper side to side, or hug them into the chest and make little circles with the hips and knees. Slowly roll to one side of the body, bending the knees towards the chest and use your arms to press up into a comfortable seat and seal your practice.
Use this sequence whenever you need a quick stretch through the entire body after your favorite summer activity!
Check out our Winter Aprés Yoga post for a good stretch after a snowy tour.
I’m a personal trainer, yoga teacher, and overall outdoor enthusiast who’s dabbled in a little of everything. I spend winter snowboarding, splitboarding, and more recently, snowmobiling too. In the summer you can find me mountain biking and teaching paddleboard yoga and fitness on Lake Tahoe and Donner lake!