In this free at-home class you will learn about the importance of flexibility, discover tips & techniques on how to achieve increased flexibility in a safe manner, and of course, stretch! Open to all levels. You can even get your family involved! We hope you will join us!
At the beginning of each week we will send you an email outlining for you a set of four stretches, one for each of the targeted areas: 1) shoulders, 2) back, 3) side splits, and 4) middle splits. Each of the 4 stretches comes with a detailed description and a photo.
A chart will also be included so that you can track your progress. The time commitment will be up to you, but the more time you put into it, the happier you will be with your results. Also, you do not need to buy anything special for this class, any props that might be required, you most likely already have. You don't even need a pole.
Okay, let’s do this!
Please Note: By participating in any of our online classes you are agreeing to our Release of Liability Waiver. You can view the waiver here.
Welcome to Week 1 of our At Home Stretching for Pole Flexibility Class. Thank you for joining us! You will find attached a document that you can print out and use this week. It will have a detailed description of our four stretches, some photos, and a chart for you to use to track your progress throughout the week. It is up to you how often and how long you do your stretches. But a good rule of thumb is that the more consistent you are, the happier you will be with your results.
A few things we need to say before we begin. Yes, they actually are really important, so please read them.
Please do these (and any other physical activity) at your own risk. The information we provide here is for guidance only. Every one of us is different and will need to make there own personal adjustments. Please listen to your body- it is your best teacher. Never over-stretch. These stretches should not hurt. Please be aware of the difference between “discomfort” and “pain”, which signals an injury. Please be sure you are warm and your body feels ready to stretch before you begin each exercise.
Before you jump right into the stretches, you need to make sure your body is warm and feels ready to stretch. Start with some gently circling movements of your neck, shoulders, hips, wrists and ankles. Then move into some movements that will get your heart going. Continue reading to see a quick list of things you can do to warm up. I would suggest choosing an assortment and to do them continuously for at least 5-10 minutes. Pick a few up-tempo, fun songs, to keep you motivated while you warm-up. (If you are a Spotify user, you can find a playlist specifically for this class under Kellee Rasor’s profile.)
Running in Place
Running in Place with High Knees
Running in Place with Heels to Butt
Skips across room
Lunges across room
Leg lifts across room
Inch worms across room
Stationary bike riding
… you get the idea….
Once you are nice and warm, it is time to stretch. Please read the instructions carefully (keep scrolling down for the pdf) before you begin each one. The description gives good pointers on setting up properly so that you will have correct (safe) alignment. It will also be good to know if you need any props before you begin.
When you are done with your stretches we recommend you record and make notes.
A great workout is even more satisfying with a good Savasana. Do it. You deserve it. Savasana is usually done for 7-10 minutes. Even if you only have 3-5 minutes, please allow yourself and your body this time to absorb the goodness. Choose a song that is about the length that you want, and that will encourage you to slow down and relax.
Welcome to Week 2 of our At Home Stretching for Pole Flexibility Class. How did week one go? Are you ready to change things up a little bit? This week we have 4 new stretching exercises for you to work on.
Our shoulder stretch this week requires the use of a yoga strap. If you do not own a yoga strap, you can improvise with a belt, dog leash, or even a broom handle.
Our back exercise suggests the use of a bolster. If you do not want to use a prop, you don't need to. You can do this flat on the floor. Another option for those of you who do not have a bolster is to use a rolled up yoga mat, or something that will give you the same sort of support as a bolster. (You might want to watch THIS helpful tutorial. )
Welcome to Week 3 of our At Home Stretching for Pole Flexibility Class. How is everyone doing? Are we starting to see some change? Please keep in mind, the more often you stretch, the bigger results you will see. Keep reading for a few more tips on improving your flexibility as well as four new stretches for the week.
Tips to improve Flexibility
1) Stay Hydrated- Water forms a large part of our muscle composition. In order for our muscles to respond to flexibility training, they have to be working optimally. That includes proper hydration. Many individuals are walking around in a constantly dehydrated state. Focus on consuming more water, especially during and after hard exercise sessions to keep your muscles working optimally and steer clear of performance declines due to hydration.
2) Breathe Properly- Typically we use our rib cage far too much to breath,
which doesn't engage the diaphragm optimally. Instead focus on belly
breaths where the belly button moves in and out with each breath. Take full, deep breaths, and use your minds eye to help send your breath into the areas of tightness and tension.
3) Incorporate Message- Massage adds an extra benefit of helping to break up knots in muscles and tissues that restrict movement. Foam rolling preworkout can help to prepare the body for movement whereas a postworkout roll out can flush away waste products from exercise and help you recover quicker for your next session. If possible, work with a skilled massage therapist a few times a month to compliment your flexibility routine and get some extra relief.
4) Relax- Stress causes your body to tighten up into one huge ball of knots. Combine the normal stress from work and family with a challenging pole class or intense workout at the gym, and you're looking at a recipe for disaster. Find a few times a week to engage in a relaxing activity to help you unwind. Walking, light yoga, and massage are all great examples, but it could be as simple as heading out on a short walk to unwind from your day. Taking time to de-stress will help to relax your body and prevent muscles from tensing up and restricting movement.
5) Consistency- Yoga Sutra 2.46- Practice becomes firmly grounded when well attended to for a long time, with out break, and in all earnestness.
The Oak Tree and the Reeds
Alongside a river, an oak tree and a patch of reeds grew side-by-side. The oak tree was strong and proud; its enormous trunk and branches reaching far above the tops of the slender reeds below.
One day, a great storm came from across the river, and the strong winds blew with all their might.
The oak tree, as strong as it was, was toppled over by the winds, but much to the dismay of the oak tree, the reeds were still standing.
The reeds replied calmly, “We were not blown over because we were flexible and moved with the wind. Although you are strong, you fought against the wind and lost.”
1) Spinal twists are great to warm-up and help prepare the body for backbends and
they are equally good to unwind after doing back bends.
2) Concentrate your bend more at the tips of your shoulder blades than at the lower
back. The lower back (lumbar region of the spine) is the most flexible part of the
spine. It tends to get overused already.
3) Engage the Abdominal muscles. If you are taking a pose that starts off lying on
your stomach, for instance a cobra pose, it’s easy to feel the work in the abs. When
you go deeper into a full wheel for example, this becomes more difficult as your
stomach stretches. Practice makes perfect though! Keep practicing the principles
and eventually the bend will happen throughout your spine as opposed to just at
one particular area (usually the lumbar portion).
4) Take a bit of the round out of the lower back. This can be done by dropping your
tailbone just slightly toward your heels. You don’t want the low back to flatten
completely, just come to a normal lordotic curve. As soon as we start backbending
this curve becomes more pronounced and can lead to some amount of back pain. By
starting off in a normal curve we allow the spine to open a little more gradually and
ensure that we don’t blast into a pose and end up injured.
5) Pay attention to the position of your head. Your neck should feel comfortable. If it
hurts your neck to take it out of alignment with the upper spine keep it in line.
Always practice with a mind for compassion for yourself.