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Exercise Lifestyle Wellness

Uttanasana

If you started with me in this blog, you will know that I used to be a “runner”.  Okay, that’s not exactly true.  I had an on&off again love affair with running since I was in track in middle school.  I was always slightly above average back in “my day” in track and field, but by no means was I a Joyner, Florence or Jackie.

When I turned 40, I was in full mid-life crisis mode, and I started to run, a lot, mostly half marathons, 5K’s, etc.  The thing that I learned quickly is that one shouldn’t run on&off again, as my joints were not at all acclimated to full swing running mode.  Injuries started and running, although I did enjoy it mostly, became a teetering of injury vs activity.  I also learned quickly that even though I am thin, I also have grandpa Anderson’s knees (something that many of us Anderson’s have).  My right knee started to scream at me incessantly, and each time I climbed that stairs was a battle of wills between myself and my knee.

I also WAY over did it.  I pushed my body to extremes rather quickly, and eventually that also backfired with my body crashing of sorts.  I had literally depleted my body of my energy cascade by not refueling it properly, and not training properly.

So long story shortened, I had to quit running about 1 1/2 years ago.

It was bittersweet.  I loved running, but my body revolted the idea.

So enter YOGA, and Adriene, my personal yoga instructor.

I am most definitely NOT an experienced Yogi, but I am slowly learning the poses.  Previously I had poo-pooed yoga as exercise, but it is amazing the things I can be wrong about.  It can be a serious workout, depending what you choose for intensity.  I can decide how much time I want/have to spend each morning with my sessions, and the degree of difficulty.  If I am stiff and sore, I choose a gentle stretching program.  If I want to get my heart pounding, I can choose a full body yoga session that literally makes me shake while I hold the various poses.

Back to Adriene, my personal instructor.  She is very flexible (no pun intended) with my schedule and shows up at my house at the time of my choosing, and with my chosen yoga program.  No, I didn’t win the lottery.  Adriene visits me via my laptop and youtube.

She is available for everyone and she is very good.

I love most everything about yoga and find that poses are always beneficial but there was always one pose that Adriene does a lot that seemed, well, a waste of time.  So, I did a little research about this yoga pose called Uttanasana.

And this is what I found.

Uttanasana benefits:

Stretches the hips, hamstrings and calves.

Strengthens the thighs and knees.

Keeps your spine strong and flexible.

Reduces stress, anxiety, depression and fatigue.

Calms the mind and soothes the nerves.

Relieves tension in the spine, neck and back.

Activates the abdominal muscle.

I found that this is a pretty powerful little stretch, when all this time I figured it wasn’t doing much.  I have a new found respect for this fairly easy pose, but overall body stretch and toning pose.

Happy yoga-ing!

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