Après-Shred Yoga: 9 Poses to Stretch You Out

Winter is here! Snowboarding is one of my favorite things to do in the winter. It's social, fun, and is a nice time to challenge myself get stronger + better. If you think about it, when riding down the mountain (whether on skis or a snowboard), the body is constantly responding to the changing terrain. From the ground up, the feet, ankles, legs, hips, and abdomen absorb whats beneath us to keep us steady and stable (so as not to eat sh&*). It's no wonder you're wiped out after a day on the slopes. 

Thankfully, yoga is the perfect remedy. This is because the same thing happens on the yoga mat. We work from the ground up to challenge our muscles, we hug the midline to stay balanced, and find our center through moving meditation. 

Here are 10 Poses to help slow you down and stretch you out after your day on the hill (demonstrated by yours truly in my base-layers for added effect ;).

DOWNWARD FACING DOG
Adho Mukha Savasana

- Lengthens the spine and legs, restores energy from head to toe. Great for stretching ankles.
TIP: Press the tips of your fingers firmly down. Press your thighs back and lift your hips.

FORWARD FOLD
Uttanasana

- Re-lengthens spine, reduces lower back strain and restores blood flow to tight hamstrings and ankles.
TIP: Keep a soft bend in the knees. Place your sit bones against the wall if you want more support.

RECLINING BIG TOE
Supta Padangusthasana I

- Opens hamstrings, hips, ankles and feet. Helps with overall circulation to the lower extremities. 
TIP: Use a strap/belt to hold onto your foot to ease the stretch. Stop at a point that is intense, but not painful. 

TRIANGLE
Trikonasana

- Improves flexibility in the pelvis and abdomen. Opens hips while stretching the legs.
TIP: Keep a soft bend in your front knee. Look down at front foot if it hurts the neck to look up.

BOUND ANGLE
Baddha Konasana

- Lengthens tight inner thigh muscles and neutralizes the pelvis. Improves flexibility in the hips and legs.
TIP: Prop your knees up on pillows or blocks to reduce strain. Tilt forward from the pelvis.

HAPPY BABY
Ananda Balasana

- Relieves stress in the hips and groin by providing a gentle opening. Creates length for the lower back.
TIP: Reach for inner calves or ankles if the feet feel far. Rock gently left and right for an added stretch. 

WIDE LEGGED FOLD
Prasarita Padottanasana I

- Stretches inner thigh, hips and back, releasing built up tension . 
TIP: Bring hands to the floor or props if holding toes is too much. Find a comfortable distance between your feet.
 

HALF LORD OF THE FISHES
Ardha Matsyendrasana

- Eases stiffness in the spine, massages internal organs and improves circulation in the shoulders. 
TIP: Twist from your center rather than your neck. 

CHILDS POSE
Balasana

- Rejuvenates the mind and body. Brings a sense of ease and calm. Relaxes the spine to neutral. 
TIP: Decide how far apart you want your knees to be for comfort. Extend arms in front or by your sides.