If you exercise you should always ensure that you are giving your muscles a proper stretch afterwards. Yoga doesn't have to be an isolated thing, if you can get down on your mat even for 10 minutes and move and breathe mindfully your body will thank you!
Here are a few key favourite stretches of mine after cycle class, intense workouts etc
1. Straddle Forward Fold
Areas targeted: hamstrings, calves, outer ankles, back and neck
The Straddle Forward Fold is beneficial for stretching out your hamstrings, calves and outer ankles. Added variations also start to target parts of your upper body like back, neck, shoulders etc.
2. Low Lunge
Areas targeted: hip flexors, chest and spine
Cardio activities can be hard on the hips, so this pose is perfect for stretching out hip flexors and the spine. It creates a nice opening sensation that you feel across your chest. The pose releases hip tensions, whilst also stretching and strengthening your lower body
3. Half Split
Areas targeted: hamstrings and calves
Especially after a big run, cycle or just sitting for hours hamstrings and calves tend to hold a lot of tension. This pose is helpful for releasing tightness in these muscles.
4. Half Pigeon Pose
Areas targeted: outer hips, hip flexors, quads
Helps to stretch your quads, open up the hips, and lengthen hip flexors which over time increase range of motion.
5. Reclining Bound Angle Pose
Areas targeted: Groin/ inner thighs
This pose helps you to decrease your heart rate and relax – essential for after high-intensity workouts and stress. It stretches out groin and inner thighs reducing the chance of strain in this area.