What are your favorite poses after you have stepped onto your mat? Warming up with Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose) is a favorite thing of mine. I refer to my warmups as being “gooey” by using lots of movement. All my joints are mobilized, including my legs and arms. While I stretch both sides of the body, I don’t care about extending symmetrically. It’s essential to listen to my body and assess its needs. Dog Pose is my favorite yoga warmup because it allows you to stretch just about everything.
Your body should be able to relax into yoga practice, especially if you do it first thing in the AM. It is essential to warm up, and it also feels great. After a night of relative inactivity, the fascia (the connective tissues surrounding the muscles) forms a layer called “fuzz” by anatomist Gil Hedley. (Here’s his fantastic video about the fuzz.
Fuzz is a tiny, interconnected fiber that forms between muscles. It starts on the surfaces between your muscles. This natural process occurs when we are not mobile for a certain period. The fuzz prevents muscles from sliding against each other and instead causes them to stick to one another.
Moving and stretching can melt the fuzz and allow our muscles to glide over each other again. This is why our afternoons are more flexible than mornings. After our bodies have had the chance to move and melt some of that fuzz, they are more flexible. If we don’t move or stretch enough on a given day, the fur thickens and becomes harder to dissolve.
Even if you cannot do a full-on yoga practice, it is a good idea for you to practice some warmup poses. You will find your muscles more receptive to formal training if you keep the fuzz at bay.
3 YOGA WARMUP POSES FOR BREAKING UP THE FUZZ
Dog Pose is one of many great poses for yoga warmups. A yoga mat or strap might be handy. These are my three favorites:
- Adho Mukha Svanasana: Dog Pose (Downward Facing Dog Pose) is an excellent stretch for all areas. You can use it to help you get rid of the fuzz. Move through your joints and keep moving. The form is not essential. Consider how your cat or dog does this pose. They do what is best for them, not what looks good. While waiting for my morning tea to boil, I do Half-Dog Pose.
- Tadasana: Talasana focuses on the sides of your body. Talasana, on the other hand, stretches your legs to a certain extent in Downward Facing Dog Pose. You can move freely in this pose. Try twisting in Talasana. This pose can be done with a yoga strap between your hands. It will allow your chest to expand better.
- Urdhva Hastasana: This pose focuses on axial extension, but you can also add back-bending elements. Try different hand positions: clasp your fingers with your palms facing up, put a yoga strap between your hands, or clasp them together.
This practice is excellent for reducing your fuzz. As a quick yoga break, you can easily do Talasana or Urdhva Hastasana at your desk in the middle of the day. This practice can be used as a warmup or stand-alone.