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January 30, 2015

Super Bowl Sunday: Yoga for Football Fans.

Stacy Porter

It’s Super Bowl Sunday!

What does that mean? It’s a day full of camaraderie, sports and snacks, where families and friends get together to yell at the TV, maybe throw chips at the screen when the referee makes a bad call and tear-up at the new Budweiser puppy commercial.

Whether you’re playing on the field or not, Super Bowl Sunday is a day of tradition, hopes, dreams and fun.

Though, sometimes we forget to have fun. Football brings out a lot of rage for some people: rivalry and competition. Some people might not even want to watch it, if their team didn’t make the cut. I know my Walmart didn’t even have anything for this Super Bowl, because the Steelers weren’t in it.

But, I am hoping we can bring fun and good sportsmanship to today’s game!

The video includes a hilarious intro to this year’s Super Bowl (along with secret insider information from our favorite referee on who’s going to win!), a 15 minute yoga routine for the Seahawks and the Patriots as they prep for the big game, and a 10 minute routine for all the fans during halftime to relax and stretch out after a lot of time on the couch with all those snacks!

The first routine is for the Seahawks and Patriots as they get ready for the game!

This routine was designed to help with flexibility, balance, and strength.

Kundalini instructor, Maya Fiennes says,

“If you want to stay young, stay flexible,” and that “Age is measured by the flexibility of the spine.”

With-Our-Breath Forward Folds:

Standing, inhale the arms all the way out and up. Exhale and dive down, reaching for the floor. Continue this motion of inhaling to stand and exhaling down to the floor, to really warm up the back and the spine, which encourages flexibility and balance.

Plank Pose:

At the top of the push-up position, hold plank pose for a few deep breathes. Inhale the hips up to downward facing dog and then exhale back out to plank. Continue this motion, making sure to roll the shoulders and spine to engage the core and warm up the upper back.

Low Lunge:

From down dog, step the right foot forward so it’s between the hands and sink down into the hips for low lunge. It is nice to stay low, with our fingertips on the mat, but if you are comfortable enough we can walk our hands up onto our knee. From here, we can also twist open to the right. This is great for balance as well as creating more space and flexibility in the hips.

Runner’s Lunge:

From low lunge, bring the fingertips back down so they are framing the foot and then sink the hips back into a runner’s lunge, folding over the front leg. This is a great stretch for the hamstrings.

Warrior 3:

We’ll ease our weight forward, lifting the back leg off of the mat and extending the heel backwards. At first, keep the fingertips down on the floor to catch our balance. Then, use the core and lift up so we are creating a line with the body. The hands can come together at the chest which is easier for balance, but we can also extend the arms out to our sides like we’re flying (like Seahawks!)

Half Moon:

While keeping the back leg lifted up and extended back, bring the fingertips back down to the floor and open the body to the left, stacking the hips on top of each other. Inhale the left arm up, keeping the right arm touching down to the floor. This pose is great for balance and leg and core strength.

Warrior 2:

Gently step the back foot back down to the floor and inhale the chest up, extending the arms. Make sure your back heel is a little behind the toes and really stretch through the back fingertips, aligning the shoulders and hips. Sink into the front knee, for strength and balance. On the next exhale, tilt back, sliding the back hand down the back leg. Inhale back up to center, straightening both knees.

Triangle.

With both legs straight, lean forward as if someone if tugging on the front fingertips. Then tilt on down, pressing the top of your hand into the side of your leg for balance. Really use the core here, maybe stretching both arms up at an angle. Or, we can keep our fingers down, maybe even touching down to the floor if that feels better.

Warrior 1:

Stretch both arms up and square off the hips and shoulders, we we’re looking straight ahead. Sink into the front knee, resting in Warrior 1. Keep the back foot rooted down, with the heel a little behind the toes to make this a great hip opener.

Low lunge:

From Warrior 1, exhale the hands down and sink the hips back into low lunge. From here, we can bend the back knee and reach for the foot, guiding it in closer to the butt for a great quad stretch.

Relax and bring both hands back down to the floor. Straighten both knees and lift the hips up, folding over that front leg. From here, plant the palms and step back into down dog to do it all on the other side. The video will also guide you through all the poses on the left side.

Now, it’s halftime!

If you watched the hilarious exchange between me and my mom in the video, you’ll know that I understand what it’s like to be in a house divided by our teams. Sometimes we get caught up in our rivalry and competition that we forgot that the most important part of any game is being a good sport.

Sometimes we need to take a break from the action and come back to our breath so we can cheer on everyone as they work hard for their team!

If you only want the halftime routine, fast forward to minute 15:17 and I’ll lead you through a few poses that will help ease any tension in your body and mind and will give you an awesome energy and mood boost!

With-Our-Breath Forward Folds:

Standing, inhale the arms all the way out and up. Exhale and dive down, reaching for the floor. Continue this motion of inhaling to stand and exhaling down to the floor, to really warm up the back and the spine, which encourages flexibility and balance.

Standing Twists:

From forward fold, inhale the right arm up, looking to the ceiling, and twist the body open while putting a gentle bend in the left leg. Then do it on the other side. This helps open up the back and settle the breath.

Downward Facing Dog:

Plant the palms and step back into down dog. This is a great opener for the back and hips. Breathe deeply, pressing all parts of the hand, especially the fingers, into the mat.

Upward Facing Dog:

Roll out to plank, from down dog, then lower down and roll the shoulders down the back as we inhale our chests open, coming into up dog. Pinball the chest here, opening the hips, which feels great after a few hours on the couch.

Down Dog Split:

Curl the toes and lift back up to down dog. Inhale the right leg up and bend the knee to open up the hips and shoulders. Then, shift forward and step that right foot so it’s outside of your right palm to open up the hips.

Hip Opener:

Gently lower the knee down to the floor and maybe ease down onto the forearms to make some space in the hips for flexibility.

Side Plank:

Climb back up onto your hands and inhale open the chest, lifting the right arm. Turn the toes out so they are pointing out to the side, and then we’ll rock our weight until that right leg just swoops back into side plank. We can always step the top toes back behind us for a back-bend.

Then, roll back to center, plank pose. Lower down and lift the chest up into up dog and do it all on the other side. The video also walks and talks you through the routine for the left side.

Good Luck and Enjoy the Game!

Relephant read:

Super Bowl Domestic Violence PSA. {Video & Commentary}

 

Author: Stacy Porter

Editor: Ashleigh Hitchcock

Photos: courtesy of author

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