Everything you read says how important it is to stretch when you exercise. Some people say before, some say during and others say after you workout but the bottom line is stretching is important. Confession… I rarely stretch and this is not a good thing! When I am finished with my workouts I am ready to get out of the gym and on with my day. However, on those rare occasions that I do stretch I feel so much better!
Last summer I heard about Deep Stretch Yoga. This is different from normal yoga classes in that you just stretch the whole class. You hold yoga poses for up to 3 minutes at a time. It wasn’t until late October of last year that I finally went and tried a class. What was I thinking waiting so long to try it?! In my opinion this is the best class ever! I have talked about my low back pain and this is excellent for it! I didn’t realize that so many different muscles affect your low back. The class does a good bit of lower body stretches (hamstrings, quads, hips) and these all affect the lower back. Don’t worry, you also get to stretch your arms and shoulders good too.
I took a deep stretch class regularly for about 10 weeks and then stopped when the package I bought ran out. Big mistake. When going to the class I felt like a different person when I left than when I arrived just 75 minutes earlier. Not only did my body feel a million times better but I was also so relaxed. Normally I take evening classes but once I did a day class and I was such a better person throughout the whole day! Something about yoga is so relaxing and peaceful. There are no mirrors so you can’t see what you are doing and you can’t get distracted by what others are doing. The lights are low, the room is warm, the music is light and relaxing and no one bothers you!
I have recently started back to help my back and I can already tell a huge difference. I highly recommend this class! If you do have pain or injuries be sure to tell the instructor so they can tell you how to modify the poses if need be (example, folding forward puts a lot of pressure on the low back so I lay on my back for these poses). The great thing about yoga is it’s your practice so you do what you can. It’s not a competition and no one cares what anyone else is doing (that’s the great thing about there not being mirrors!)!