Yoga Tennis Stretch Routine
Stretching is an essential part of looking after your body if you practice sports. It prevents injury, keeps the body subtle and flexible, and helps with good posture.
Yoga helps to oxidize the internal organs; it positions the internal organs in the correct place and helps to elongate the muscles.
The following routine can be fitted in after tennis training, or other physical activity, to help with recovery. All you need is a yoga mat.
Start with a headstand, make a triangle with your forearms and put the crown of your head in the middle, raise your legs, keep them straight with pointed toes, hold for 10 seconds then flex your feet for another 10 seconds, move one leg forward and one back, hold for 10 with first pointed then flexed feet.
Bring your legs together and move them sideways, again hold for a count of 10 with pointed toes and flexed feet. Bring both feet down to the ground. Stay in the triangle shape to stretch the back of the legs.
The headstand needs daily practice, but once you achieve the balance it’s not hard.
Move into shoulder stand, from lying on your back, move both legs straight into the air, hold for a count of ten, move a straight right leg down to the ground, then the left, followed by both of them together into the plough position.
Move your legs back up and slowly down into the bridge. After the hold, bring the legs up and the knees to the forehead, slowly roll into a sitting position, lay on your back and move your head back so the crown touches the ground, your hand goes into a prayer position on the chest, this pose is called fish.
Come into a sitting position with your legs straight out in front, bend the top forward and hold onto your ankles with your hands, keeping your legs straight, the forward bend.
Now come back up and move your hands behind you, push the body up and head back inclined plane.
From a sitting position, stretch both legs out wide to each side, bring both arms up, rotate to the right and hold on to your right ankle, back to the middle and repeat for the other side.
Both arms up straight and one hand to either side, stomach flat on the floor, and hold for 10 seconds. Move into laying on your front position with hands under your shoulders, push up with head leaning back into cobra.
Come down and place your hands under your body, raise one leg off the ground then both legs together. Take hold of your ankles with your hands and move into the bow position.
Follow with arms and legs straight and lift all four limbs simultaneously, moving arms from the front to the side and the back.
Move to a standing position on your lower legs and stretch your right arm in front with fingers up and then down for 10 seconds, repeat with your left hand.
Now hold up your right arm and bend your elbow, put the hand on your left shoulder blade, then repeat with the other side. move both hands to your heels and push the chest up into the camel position.
Sit on the right side of your body and place the right knee over the left leg, put your left hand next to your left knee, right arm behind and turn the body to look over your shoulder; the spinal twist. And reverse the action the other way.
Crouch down low on your feet and put your hands flat on the ground in front, move your knees into the armpits and lift your feet off the ground into the crow position.
After that, stand up straight and move your right foot up your left leg, your arms go up straight into the tree position. Hold again for 10 seconds and repeat with the other leg.
Stand up straight and move your arms down into a standing forward bend. Move straight legs wide apart and move the right arm over the body to the left into the triangle.
Repeat on the other side.
Final relaxation, lay down flat on the floor with the palms of the hands facing up. Relax all the muscles in the body, starting with your feet and slowly moving up to the crown of your head. Breathe in and out rhythmically and feel comfortable.
Slowly get up and notice how relaxed your body feels. It’s good to remember the routine and start the stretches counting to ten, then increase to twenty when they are easier to achieve.