Category Archives: stretching

Virtual Yoga: Seated Open Angle Pose

Seated Open Angle Yoga Pose

Seated Open Angle Yoga Pose stretches the inner thighs and side of your upper body. Calves are stretched while the ankles are flexed, as shown in the video.

Instructions: As you lean into the stretch, your bottom and legs remain on the mat. As you stretch to the right, your left leg and left buttock are firmly planted on the mat. If they begin to lift, select Modification #1, and #2. Maintain a long spine without leaning forward. If you can’t do that, select Modification #2 and #4. Modification #3 will help you to reach farther.

Modifications: 1) Place your hand, instead of your forearm on the mat. 2) Lift your arm straight up, rather than overhead. 3) Sit either on a Yoga wedge if you have one, or a thick, folded towel. 4) Sit with your back against a wall.

EXERCISE DOs and DONTs – As with all exercise programs, when using exercise videos that appear on this site, you need to use common sense. If your muscles are weak, either do the modifications, or don’t attempt this exercise if it’s too difficult for you. When starting an exercise program, be sure to discuss your plans with your healthcare provider

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Virtual Yoga: Downward Dog Vinyasa II

Downward Dog Vinyasa II

Down Dog > Down Plank > Stick > Up Dog > Down Dog

Short Vinyasas Are A Good Way To Focus On Areas That Need Improvement

This is a short video demonstration of 4 fluid poses: Downward Facing Dog, followed by Downward Plank, into Stick Pose, into Upward Facing Dog, and finishing in Downward Facing Dog. Avoid collapsing shoulders. Keep them neutral and strong.

Modifications: To modify Stick Pose, lean on your thighs.

Benefits: Stretches hamstrings, front of neck. Strengthens backside, arms. Short vinyasas help to improve your overall practice by focusing your attention on areas that need improvement.

EXERCISE DOs and DONTs – As with all exercise programs, when using exercise videos that appear on this site, you need to use common sense. If your muscles are weak, either do the modifications, or don’t attempt this exercise if it’s too difficult for you. When starting an exercise program, be sure to discuss your plans with your healthcare provider

Please leave comments. It helps others to learn.

Virtual Yoga Studio: Balanced Bow Pose

Balanced Bow Pose

Instructions: Begin on all fours. Align wrists under shoulders, and knees under hips. Stretch hands open. Keep your body steady throughout the pose. Extend the right leg and left arm. Slowly reach back with your left hand, and grab your right ankle. Lift the right leg. Look upward. The model in the video is curling her toes under, but you can also do this pose by keeping your feet flat. Balancing is more challenging when you curl the toes under.

Cautions: You can lose your balance if you’re muscles are tight. Reaching back and grabbing the ankle is difficult for many people. Either do the modification, or skip this pose until you’ve developed more flexibility.

Benefits: The Balanced Bow Pose is a backward bend, and therefore strengthens spinal muscles that initiate this type of movement. The backside (gluteus maximus) is strengthened. The abdominals, inner hips and chest are stretched. Core stabilization is required to perform this pose without loss of balance.

Modifications: 1) Instead of your hand, lean on your forearm with your elbow aligned under your shoulder. 2) After grabbing your ankle, don’t lift your leg higher. 3) Look down with your neck long. Variation: Keep both feet flat, instead of curling your toes under.

EXERCISE DOs and DONTsAs with all exercise programs, when using exercise videos that appear on this site, you need to use common sense. If your muscles are weak, either do the modifications, or don’t attempt this exercise if it’s too difficult for you. When starting an exercise program, be sure to discuss your plans with your healthcare provider


Virtual Fitness: Fitball Thigh Stretch

Fitball Thigh Stretch

Instructions: Getting your foot on the fitball without external support requires excellent balance. Once your foot is resting on the ball, begin slowly tilting toward the ball until you feel a sufficient stretch on upper body and inside the thigh. Move slowly.

Modifications: 1) Stand close to a wall. Place both hands at shoulder height against the wall. Allow the wall to support you, as you place your foot on the fitball. 2) Using a smaller ball will make it easier. 3) Don’t fill the ball to capacity. The more air, the harder it is to balance.

Benefits: This exercise stretches the inner thigh (adductors), and the side of the torso. Improves balance. Strengthens the core.

Equipment: Fitball, sneakers, exercise mat.

Caution: This exercise is not for beginners. Do not attempt it unless you have excellent balance. Perform the modifications instead. Do not use a ball that is too big for your ability. Filling the fitball to capacity, makes balancing more difficult. Avoid doing this exercise near furniture.

EXERCISE DOs and DONTs – As with all exercise programs, when using exercise videos that appear on this site, you need to use common sense. If your muscles are weak, either do the modifications, or don’t attempt this exercise if it’s too difficult for you. When starting an exercise program, be sure to discuss your plans with your healthcare provider


Please leave comments. It helps others to learn.

Virtual Fitness: Stick Chest Stretch

Overhead and Diagonal Stick Chest Stretch

Overhead Stick Chest Stretch

Twisting Stick Upper Body Stretch

Instructions: The top video demonstrates two movements that stretch the pectoral muscles; directly overhead, and diagonally overhead. The center video demonstrates the overhead movement only. The bottom video demonstrates a twistiing stretch for the obliques and spinal rotators.

Modification: Don’t bring the stick all the way back. Cut the movement down by stopping when you feel you’ve had enough. Recognize your limits, and do not force the stretch.

Cautions: If your chest or front shoulders are tight, these exercises may be difficult for you. If that’s the case, then the diagonal move will be harder to do, and you’ll experience discomfort in your neck. Take it easy, and maintain a slow pace.

EXERCISE DOs and DONTs – As with all exercise programs, when using exercise videos that appear on this site, you need to use common sense. If your muscles are weak, either do the modifications, or don’t attempt this exercise if it’s too difficult for you. When starting an exercise program, be sure to discuss your plans with your healthcare provider