Yoga Routine


The Cool Down of a Yoga Routine

If you’ve read my article on meditation and its importance to a yoga routine, you’ll know that the last ten or so minutes of your session should be devoted to cooling down your body and, ultimately, achieving a calm, meditative state.

After you’ve done all your positions, it is time to lay down on your mat, lay your arms out away from your body, move your feet apart from each other, and close your eyes. Now focus only on your breathing. This is the key. You need to focus on your breathing or else your thoughts will pull you away from everything and you’ll become stressed out while worrying about the bills, etc. Meditation will allow you to relax those thoughts in your mind and you will feel much better for it, but it may take some practice at first before you can actually lose yourself in a calm brain. You may have to concentrate really hard on your breathing first.

Now that you’re concentrating on that, we’re going to do some small post-workout stretches. They will be very slow movements so as not to disturb your meditation. You’re going to bring one leg up to your chest, hold it with both hands, and then lower it across your other leg so that the knee of your raised leg is now touching the ground by the outside of your opposite thigh. Then, you will take the arm of the same side as the raised leg and you will stretch it out as far as you can out from your body in the arm’s own direction. If you’re doing this right, you should be twisted with your torso going one way and your legs going the other. Slowly return to your starting position and repeat the process with the opposite limbs.

For the next stretch, you’re going to raise both knees to your chest and simply hold them there for a while. This stretch actually feels pretty good to me compared to some of the others. Now, sit up. Keep your eyes closed and remain focused on your breathing, as you do. You’re going to stretch your hands down to your toes. Bend yourself at the waist, leaving your back as straight as possible, and hold this position. Now, I recommend doing more variations on this pose by coming back upward and then going down much further than before. Now, bring one leg in and stretch out to the opposite foot. Repeat on the other side.

And for a really good one, place yourself sitting on the floor with the soles of your feet touching. Now, bend yourself forward at the waist once more and move yourself over your feet. Your face should be pretty close to being right in front of them in this pose, and you can now feel a stretch in your inner thighs and hips.

That’s about it for the cool-down techniques. I’ll let you know if I have any more!