How I got my splits! (click on photos to make them bigger)
Stretch 1 - Try not to let the front knee come beyond the toes. Having your toes on your back leg curled under will make it slightly easier for beginners.
Stretch 2 - Stand up with your legs apart and just get as low as you can go!
Stretch 3 - Sit back on one leg (so your foot is under your bum) with the other leg straight in front, and bend over your front leg as far as you can.
Stretch 4 - One leg bent in front and the other directly behind. This yoga pose is called One Legged Pigeon
Stretch 5 - Yoga mermaid pose, don’t stress if you can’t do this straight away, it’s a big quad stretcher, don’t force this - it’ll come with time!
Do all stretches on both legs!
- Do these AFTER you are warmed up (I suggest cardio) otherwise you may hurt yourself.
- Practise every day with one day rest and try to hold each pose for at least 30 seconds.
- It took me 1.5 months to get my right split and 2 months to get my left. Everyone is different so you could need more or less time than I did, but be patient!
- LISTEN TO YOUR BODY!! If your muscles are really hurting, light stretching only! Don’t force it!
- Take rests days!! VERY IMPORTANT. Your muscles need rest to repair otherwise you will overstretch and hurt yourself.
I track the tag #beckyfitness, I’d love to see your split progress!!
Yesterday I made a post about self observation as being the key to controlling both thought and emotion. So here is a little exercise to try if you are of a mind to test this hypothesis. Simply go about your daily routine only today pay attention to both your thoughts and how those thoughts make you feel. Then consciously insert compassionate thoughts and compassionate action to the mix.
Example: You are in a long line at the bank. An elderly woman is at the teller’s window taking a really long time. She is unprepared, befuddled and doesn’t understand much of what the teller is saying to her. Now, an automatic thought pops into your head “what the hell is wrong with some people I’m in a hurry. Why does this always happen to me”. This will be followed by a burst of frustration, impatience and anger. Now when this happens look at it as if you were on the outside looking in. Analyze it. “Okay ego is frustrated because it is impatient and doesn’t want to stand here”. That’s observation. Next apply compassion. “that woman is elderly and either is unfamiliar with banking or has a diminished capacity to reason due to age” and “maybe her husband used to do the banking and now he has passed away”.
Feel the anger melt away and love enter your heart. The elder woman looks at you with an embarrassed gaze knowing she is holding up the line. Instead of glaring at her out of frustration you smile a warm and loving smile. This is compassionate action. Now, elder woman takes reassurance from your smile and is less nervous and finishes her transaction. You smile and she smiles.
What has happened here is that you got to the teller’s window at precisely the same instant you would have if you had been angry or impatient. Yet, this time you were kind and felt better yourself and increased the sum total of loving kindness on this earth.
☯ Samsaran ☯
A must-read for anyone graduating college, or anyone who just needs some perspective! By the great Pema Chodron, who I can’t way to read more from this summer and beyond.