Many times in previous years I’ve tried to enhance my range of motion, but without success. I just couldn’t find the motivation for it. Maybe because it’s hard to see big improvements from day to day, so you really need to stick to it for months before you feel the difference. At least that’s how I felt it.
Late last year I finally found a way to improve my flexibility where I was motivated to continue: yoga. Not only gave yoga me the advantage of increased flexibility, but it also gave me time to relax every day, cleared my thoughts and gave me increased body awareness. When I was living in Barcelona, it was easy to do the daily session. Very few distractions, lots of spare time. But, after coming back to Norway, there were so many things to divide my attention to, that I wasn’t able to do it daily. After the season, I felt it was time for a new start. So I figured out I had to prioritize it, and I did. I’m currently one a 33 days streak of yoga now, not one single day without it.
I have a daily routine which consists of four elements. First off I start with some foam rolling. I do this for the whole body, slow and steady. After the rolling, I continue to a yoga flow. Maybe 10-15 minutes long, focusing on balance, body control and flexibility. Especially the range of motion in hamstrings and the hips. Followed by the yoga, I do some stretching of hips and hamstrings. In the end I finish with the Powerball, to increase local muscular endurance in my forearms. Really important for trials, climbing and overall arm health (to avoid tendinitis).
If you’re struggling with lack of flexibility, slow recovery and general poor body awareness, I strongly advice you to spend 20-60 mins every day for some yoga and foam rolling. If you don’t have the time during the day, do it first thing in the morning!
Looking for a yoga flow for beginners? Check out Ryan Leech’s stuff. You should also look at his blog, lots of interesting writing.
Yes, this is a namaste with a certain ironical distance:Practicing the downward facing dog somewhere along the Riviera: