Sit on the floor making sure your back is straight. Raise your arms over your head and reach (reach hard) to the ceiling. Breathe slowly and deeply
(4 count) in through your nose and (4 count) out through your mouth. Remember to breathe diaphragmatically – fill the bottom of your lungs with air, first!
Be sure your legs are together and flat on the floor. Your arms are still reaching to the ceiling and are straight over your head.
For this stretch you’ll bend forward ONLY at the waist, while reaching to grab your ankles (or, as far down your legs as possible). Then, pull yourself forward and bring your face to your knees.
Don’t worry if you can’t reach very far down your legs, in time the reach will improve. The most important thing to concentrate on is proper form. [
[NOTE: To prevent injury, DO NOT bounce into your stretch and DO NOT allow anyone to “press” on you to increase your stretch!! With patience and frequent practice you’ll reach your goals properly and healthfully. You can’t rush the process!!]
And, now, perform identically as in The LEG SPREAD stretch:
ALWAYS breathe properly: At the start, and each time you return to starting position, inhale to a 4 count in through the nose and exhale to a 4 count out through the mouth as you extend into the stretch. And, even though you’re sitting on the floor, still do your diaphragmatic breathing (aka Budda breathing).
Do this stretch 3 times. To affect different muscles, tendons & ligaments form a different foot shape each time:
- Curl back your toes. This is called the “ball” position.
2. Point the sole(s) of your foot to the floor and your toes outward. This
is called the “instep” position.
3. Press your Achiles Heel to the floor, point your toes to the ceiling and
push out your heel(s).
Finally, before proceeding to the next stretch, take a few moments to “shake out” your legs. This simply means to relax your legs and easily “bounce” them against the floor in a rapid fashion. This will relieve any built up tension in your legs, as a result of doing this (The Pike) stretch.
Pike Stretch Video