How to stretch like a yoga pro
Seriously, don’t forget to stretch.
EXERCISE: Seated forward fold
WHAT IS IT GOOD FOR? This calming pose stretches your lower back and hamstrings. ”It is a great introductory pose for beginners to stay in one place for longer periods of time”, says H&M Sport ambassador and yoga instructor Patrick Beach.
Sit on the floor with the legs extended straight out in front of you. If you have very tight hamstrings or ever feel any discomfort, know that it is OK to bend your knees. Focus on how the pose feels, not just the aesthetics!
Reach through the heels and the head to create as much length as possible in both directions, feel like you are trying to create a shape that is similar to an "L". Slowly begin to fold over your legs, walking the hands out a little bit more with each breath.
If possible, you can catch the feet with your hands to pull your chest closer towards the toes. To keep the lower back as long as possible, keep reaching your heart out past the feet. This is not something you can physically accomplish, but it keeps your mind present and your body focused on continuing to create length.
Drop your nose down to face your shins, if you have the range of motion, the head can even rest on the legs. Hold here for as much time as is comfortable for you. This is a very common yoga pose and stretch for the hamstrings; you will see the most physical result when you are warmed up but this is a pose you can do at anytime and feel a nice quieting sensation in the body and mind.