Why Counter Stretch?

The best feeling is when you are able to execute a pose. When we are aiming for a full expression of a certain asana like advance poses, we tend to stretch some parts of our bodies; a stretch that is not normal when we are doing a regular stretching or exercise.

For sure most of us experienced and felt a tight hamstrings, cracking bones when twisting and stiff neck the next day after an intense practice. 2 years ago, when I was still new in yoga, I just keep on practicing asanas that are beyond my body limit and I don’t counter stretch after that. You know the story the next day, for sure I’ll get back, hamstrings and quads pain. Until I joined Real Yoga Studio here in Singapore, I learned different techniques and know the benefits of counter stretching.

Counter Stretching is as important of doing stretching in the beginning of the class or performing advance asanas. Doing these calms the muscles and realigning the bones and joints; it relieves bone compressions especially in the lower back after performing deep backbends. Let me share some counter stretching asanas that can be perform after deep backbends, intense forward bends and powerful yoga flow.

There are more amazing counter stretch poses that you can do after your practice.

Some very good counter stretch after deep back bend asanas:

-Padahastasana

-Janu Sirsasana

-Paschimotanasana

-Baddha Konasana

-Pavanmuktasana

Some very good counter stretch after intense forward bend asanas:

-Setubandasana

-Kandhrasana

-Chakrasana

-Dhanurasana

-Salabhasana

-Kapotasana

Twisting Asanas are really good counter stretch after front bend, back bend asanas and yoga flow; here are some of the twisting poses that you can perform:

-Merudandhasana

-Parivritta Trikonasana

-Parivritta Parsvakonasana

-Marichiasana C and D

-Purna Matsyendrasana

List of asanas mentioned above are from the book “Yoga Sadhana and the Secrets of Pranayama” by Swami Sudhir Anand

My Favourite Counter Stretch After Backbend Asanas.

Head to Knee Forward Bend

Half Wind Releasing Pose

Wind Releasing Pose

Plow Pose

Knee to Ear Pose

My Favourite Counter Stretch After Forward Bend and Inversion Asanas .

Half Locust Pose

Half Locust Pose

Full Locust Pose

Full Locust Pose

Fish Pose

Fish Pose

Bow Pose

Bow Pose

Corpse Pose

Corpse Pose

Mark Louie Maycong