For the second day in a row, I went walking on the beach. Technically, I walked on the broad walk (my walking partner doesn’t like sand and that’s a problem for many reasons*). It was drizzling for part of the walk and then came the downpour but this is Florida. It stopped raining within 10 minutes and we went back out and finished our walk.
The problem with today’s walk (one of today’s problems actually) was that it was very windy. I mean, it was really, really windy. In the rain. Uphill. In both directions. And then it started snowing. Actually, we walked uphill in a blizzard in both directions fort MILES. Ok, some of that isn’t true, but it was windy and my calves were aching, the left one especially.
We’ll talk more about why/how one side hurts more than the other and what to do about that in a different post but it has to do with one of the reasons why I prefer to walk on the sand.
I knew that when I got home I would need to stretch my calves. I don’t like that an hour walk in the wind (granted, uphill in a blizzard in both directions) would make me ache like it did.
Downdog to the rescue. I could have opted for so many different stretches – rolled mat calf stretch, rolling on my feet (which I am doing while I’m typing on my laptop), rolling my calf muscles in a modified thunderbolt pose – but I have a love affair with down dog. I start there so often and as my body unwinds and remembers years of love and self-care, I start to move how I need.
In downdog today though, I needed those calves to get the most goodness so I kept my knees bent more than normal, allowing my heels to drop down as I drew my thighs and bum both up and back. Ahhhhhhh, heaven. Bend the left knee more and my right side loves me. Breath deeper. Deep sigh (who are we kidding? it was more of a moan). Switch sides. Repeat a few times.
Add a few modified Sun Salutations (Modify based on your needs. Knees up or down in plank through updog. Skip the vinyasa altogether and step back to down dog. Add one legged versions.) including a long standing forward fold with the bent knees. Bent knees, even if it’s only a micro bend, allow your spine, including the sacrum, and pelvis to tilt in the same direction as opposed to being pulled in opposite directions and possibly causing damage. Move your arms. Move your body. Add some rag doll. Add some hip sway.
Pay attention to how these movements change what and where you feel things. Oh my, I was feeling all sorts of things. My body was talking all over the place!
Return to downdog and this time, turn the left heel towards the right foot and bend the left knee. Keep the right leg straight. Try to keep the weight even in both arms. Check that your left knee is pointing the same directions as your toes but feel free to play with the angle because it changes what you feel in the right leg. Lift both cheeks up and back and then only the right one. I love how changing something small changes the sensation so much! Sigh or moan more! I’m not judging! Switch sides.
Add some more suns and finish with a few reverse tables to open the chest. Don’t forget to hang at some point, yogi!
Calves are feeling much better now and hopefullly, I’m ready to take the dogs for a walk because they don’t care at all how much I’ve already walked, they’ve got places to go, things to smell and places to pee! Ahhh, the life of my dogs!