In my classes this week, I've been focusing on backbending and opening the quads. As per usual, when teaching the poses that focus more on the quads and less on opening the heart, I've seen a lot of frustrated and/or pained faces--grimaces, teeth-gritting, and sometimes even looks of desperation, as people struggle to reach for their back foot and just can't quite reach it...
Here's the thing about the quadriceps: we don't stretch them enough. Almost no one does! We spend tons of time stretching the hamstrings because everyone wants to touch their toes and hamstrings are easy to stretch and much more accessible and yadayadayada but people--what about the quads!?
They're just as important and they work WITH the hamstrings! When the hamstrings are contracted or flexed, the quads are extended, and when the quads are working, the hamstrings are extended. Thus, in order for either muscle group to work optimally, the other needs to be working optimally, too. Very basic, right?
So, since yoga is all about balance, today's Mat Matters Episode is focused on a few accessible ways to open the quads on your own. I urge you to add one or all of these poses to your home practice/stretching routine, in order to start treating your quads with just as much respect as you give your hamstrings.
Enjoy! You can watch here or subscribe to my YouTube channel to ensure that you never miss an episode ;)
And you guys, try to relax your face when doing thess poses, okay?